Wish you all a very happy and prosperous New year my friends!
After a short vacation , I am very glad to present a well known Indian dessert , the Gulab Jamun.
Gulab means Rose flower and Jamun means a dark colored fruit called Naval pazham (Tamil). Mostly they soak the fried khoya dough balls in oil and soak them in rose scented sugar surup or honey or cardamom + saffron mixed sugar syrup.
The traditional method is to prepare / buy sugarless paal kova (khoya in Hindi / extremely condensed milk in form of creamy white semi solid) and mix it with maida flour to make jamuns.
It is my mother's technique to make gova at home by evaporating milk with lot of stirring, then add a tsp of rice flour + sugar to get the finishing touch. (For making GulabJamun we need not add sugar in ghova.) Then she would knead the gova (if we leave them behind ..hi hi) with careful addition of All purpose flour, baking soda ....mix them to get the small balls..fry them in ghee ..soak in sugar syrup....OMG! a lot of work ..huh!
But for me the easiest way is to buy a readymade Jamun mix. Anyways it still needs some technique to get a flawless one and I am giving out my procedure.
Gulab jamun mix - 1 1/4 cup (250 ml)
(I used Gits brand)
water - 1/4 cup (Check instructions in your package carefully)
ghee / oil for deep frying - 100 ml
Sugar - 2 cups (400 gms)
water - 2 cups (equal measures of sugar)
Cardamom powder - 1/8 tsp
saffron - few strands.
Pour the mix from sachet in to a mixing bowl.
Using your hand gently break down all the lumps.
Immediately add all the water given in the instruction (adding little by little will create lumps and we may need more time to straighten it).
Mix well. At this stage the dough may seem a little sticky.
Allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Now the dough will become hard like chapathi dough.
Divide it into 20 equal parts and make smooth balls of 1 inch diameter with your hand.
Apply ghee / oil to make crack-less balls.
(If our dough is perfect ,we won't need oil to make it smooth).
Prepare sugar syrup in a wide vessel. Boil it for 10 minutes to get a single thread consistency.
(Single thread - If we pour the syrup by using a spatula , the last drop should fall as a single drop/ thread)
Add cardamom and saffron to it. Keep it in low heat.
Heat oil in a wok. Reduce flame to minimum and slowly fry the balls to a reddish brown color.
Drain oil and put it in hot syrup.
Take off the heat for sugar syrup now.
Likewise continue for all the jamuns and add them to the syrup.
Now leave it open till the gulabjamun gets cooled. Let them soak overnight or atleast 5 hours.
GulabJamun is ready!
Serve it in small bowls with a generous helping of sugar syrup.
Decorate it with slivered almonds , pistachio (if desired).
Serve chilled as dessert after a grand dinner.
The secret to get flawless gulabjamun lies in the dough and ball preparation. If we see any crack in the ball before frying, then redo it with very little ghee.
The diameter of the ball before frying should be 1 - 1.5 inches.
One of the biggest challenges we face is to get a correct water + flour mixture.
So fry one ball, immerse in sugar solution and wait for 10 minutes to see if we get the correct taste. It is a must , if we make large batches.
If the jamun seems not cooked at center, then reduce the flame. Because high flame leaves the center raw.
If the jamun has more water content, ADD milk powder. NEVER add maida or any flour to suck the extra water added. It is very important hint in getting successful gulabjamuns. So keep some milk powder handy (Milk powders never go waste...hi..hi).
If the jeera is not absorbed properly, then increase the thickness of syrup by adding more sugar and heat to get a thicker sugar syrup.