For the syrup

For the gulab jamun


  • 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.



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


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 5 out of 5.2 ratings