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Gulab Jamun in syrup in bowl

Gulab jamun

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • plus at least 3 hrs soaking
  • More effort
  • Makes 16 (serves 6-8)

Make one of India’s most cherished festival desserts, gulab jamun. These fried dumplings are scented with cardamom and steeped in rose and saffron syrup

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: Per serving (8)
NutrientUnit
kcal559
fat22g
saturates13g
carbs85g
sugars81g
fibre0.4g
protein5g
salt0.2g
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Ingredients

For the syrup

  • 4 green cardamom pods, lightly squashed with the side of a knife
  • 600g caster sugar
  • few drops rosewater
  • ¼ tsp saffron strands, soaked in 2 tbsp warm water for 1 hr
  • 2 tsp chopped pistachios

For the gulab jamun

  • 6 green cardamom pods, seeds removed
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 100g full-cream milk powder
  • 40g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 50g ghee or softened unsalted butter plus 1kg ghee, for frying
  • 1 tbsp natural yogurt
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 4-5 tbsp whole milk
  • sunflower oil

Method

  • STEP 1

    To make the syrup, gently heat the cardamom, sugar and 500ml water in a saucepan. Don't let the water boil before the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 10 mins, then cool.

  • STEP 2

    Gradually add the rosewater, saffron and a little of its soaking liquid until you have a subtly flavoured syrup. Set aside.

  • STEP 3

    To make the gulab jamun, use a pestle and mortar to grind together the cardamom and sugar until fine.

  • STEP 4

    Sieve the milk powder, flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and stir in the cardamom and sugar mixture. Rub in the 50g ghee or butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

  • STEP 5

    Add the yogurt, lemon juice and enough milk to form a soft dough, taking care not to overwork the mixture.

  • STEP 6

    Oil your hands with a little sunflower oil and shape small portions of the dough into walnut-sized balls, about 3cm in diameter and 20g each. Make sure the dumplings are smooth and have no cracks or folds.

  • STEP 7

    Reheat the syrup until  it comes to the boil, then turn off the heat and cover with a lid.

  • STEP 8

    Heat the 1kg ghee in a wok or karahi to 130C or until a small piece of dough dropped in turns golden in 40 seconds. Fry the balls, in batches, over a medium heat for 5-7 mins, moving them around until they are an even, deep brown. Remove from the saucepan using a slotted spoon, then drain on kitchen paper. Add to the warm syrup, leaving them to soak for 2-3 hrs or preferably overnight.

  • STEP 9

    When ready to eat, warm the gulab jamun through in a wide saucepan, spooning over the syrup. Serve piping hot with the pistachios scattered over.

RECIPE TIPS

HOMEMADE GHEE
Heat 250g unsalted butter in a small sturdy pan and cook over a low heat without stirring for 15-20 mins, until the milk solids start to brown and the butter is golden. Turn the heat off and leave the pan undisturbed for a few minutes. Line a metal sieve with muslin or strong kitchen paper and put it over a heatproof bowl. Pour over the melted butter, taking care to leave the browned milk solids in the pan. Leave the ghee for a few minutes to drip into the bowl, then pour into a jar. Because ghee has no moisture or milk solids, it will keep for 2-3 months at room temperature, and even longer in the fridge.

Goes well with

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