This recipe was long overdue! For weeks, months and even years, to be honest. Because this particular dish holds a special place in our household. You know how there are some things that a particular person does so well that sometimes you don’t even try your hands on it just to keep its purity and sanctity intact. Gulab Jamun hold that place in our house hold. More so in the butterfly’s life.
In her eyes (to be honest in my eyes too), nothing can come close to the gulab jamuns that her grandma makes. And trust me, she is right. Maybe it has something to do with the use of homemade mawa (milk solids) which she makes laboring through hours in order to get the right consistency. Or the trick of kneading the mixture for a certain amount of time to make it smooth or the years of experience making them or just the right dose of plain love. I’m not sure what that is but they sure taste better than any other gulab jamun I’ve ever eaten and I have eaten a LOT of them!
So when it came to sharing a recipe for Gulab Jamun here on the blog, you can imagine the pressure of reciprocating those flavors that Mumma bring with hers. The pressure what so huge that I told myself, “never mind… you can’t do it all!”. So I left it to a good opportunity whenever it arises, when I’ll be able to have Mumma cook some for me and for Indian Simmer.
The opportunity came when I was in India a couple months back. Like every time she visits, this time as well when the butterfly was visiting her, her grandma decided to make gulab jamuns for her. This time I was ready with my notepad and camera. Jotted down all the minor details and shot everything, step by step. And as a result, there’s a Gulab Jamun recipe on this blog now! I might not be confident enough to say this for many other recipes on my blog but these are the best you’ll ever try!
For Gulab Jamun Balls:
- Mawa milk solids- 250 gm. (room temperature. preferably fresh otherwise store bought is good enough.)
- All Purpose Flour- 25 gm.
- Cardamom powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Semolina- 1 tablespoon
- Milk- 1-2 tablespoons
- Sugar crystals- 12- 15 optional
- Ghee- 1 1/2 cups for deep frying
For Chashni (simple syrup):
- Sugar- 1 cup
- Water- 1 cup
- Cardamom powder- 1 teaspoon
For Gulab Jamun Balls:
In a large mixing bowl bring all the ingredients together. Hold on to the milk for now and use as required.
Using hand mash the mawa and mix the dry ingredients. Now a few teaspoons at a time add milk, just enough to make the kneading smooth. Knead the mix into a smooth dough making sure there are no lumps formed but at the same time the dough is not too loose either. Should be firm just enough to dig your finger in easily but smooth at the same time.
Divide the dough into equal portions, approximately 1 1/2 teaspoon each. Cover with a damp cloth to keep the dough from drying.
Now one portion at a time roll the dough into smooth balls. Flatten between your palms into a disc. Place one sugar crystal in the middle. Bring the corners together to roll into a smooth ball. Repeat the same for the whole dough. Cover with a damp cloth and get the chashni ready.
Bring sugar and water together in a saucepan. Bring it to a rolling boil. Turn down the heat. and let it thicken.
To check if the chashni is ready for gulab jamun, dip a spoon in the chashni. Let it cool to make it easy to touch. Now take couple drops of chashni between your thumb and index finger. Touch the finger and thumb, open and close to see if they a strand. If it makes just one strand then its right for gulab jamuns. If makes two strands then its probably too thick for the gulab jamuns. Note the step in the video above.Once the chashni is thick enough to make one strand then its ready. This is called "ek taar ki chashni" which just means single strand syrup in hindi.
Sprinkle cardamom. Set aside and drop the fried balls while the chashni is still hot to warm.
Bringing it all together:
Heat ghee in a wok. 5-7 balls at a time deep fry the gulab jamun balls until golden brown.
Once golden brown take them out of the wok and straight into the hot/warm chashni. Give them a quick swirl to coat all the gulab jamuns in chashni. Let them sit for at least 15-20 minute before serving warm.
Gulab Jamun Related Recipes: