Gulab Jamun is a traditional Indian dessert which consists of a small fried ball of milk dough soaked in a simple syrup. It is a must-have at Indian weddings and festivities. It is delicious when served warm (my personal preference) or cold. Homemade Gulab Jamuns are delicious, but they require a lot of patience and love for best results. You cannot rush the process but they are well worth the effort!
This recipe calls for our Chai Masala, but you can substitute crushed green cardamom or use no spice at all. The dish turns out delicious either way!
For Gulab Jamun
To prepare the syrup, bring water to a boil and add sugar. Let it simmer until sugar has dissolved and it has reached a syrupy consistency (5-7 minutes). Keep syrup warm on very low heat.
To prepare the gulab jamun, combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add small chunks of cold butter to the dry mix. Rub butter into dry mixture between your fingers until butter is reduced to small particles. Add ¾ cup whipping cream slowly while mixing with a spatula. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes as it will soak up the liquid and become firmer. Different skim milk powders can require different amounts of cream. Knead mixture by hand adding more cream if needed, until it reaches the consistency of a soft, pliable dough.
Heat the oil in a wok or pan on medium heat until it reaches 230-240°F. Use a candy thermometer as it is very important to maintain this temperature for best results.
Make 1 inch size balls by rolling dough in the palms of your hands until smooth. Place the balls on a greased tray and cover with plastic wrap to keep them moist until ready to fry. Drop the balls slowly into the oil, a few at a time and gently stir with a slotted spoon taking care not to break or dent the dough. As they cook they will rise to the top. You may need to fry them in small batches, to avoid over crowding in the pan. Gulab jamuns turn out best when cooked slowly, stirring constantly to ensure uniform colour. Each batch can take up to 15 mins to cook evenly. When they turn a medium brown color, remove the balls, drain on a paper towel and drop into the warm syrup. The colour will become slightly lighter when soaked in the syrup. The gulab jamuns should soak and rest in the syrup for 3-4 hrs to ensure that it soaks throughout. You may wish to garnish with shredded pistachios, chai masala or silver paper (can be found at Indian grocery stores).
Keep refrigerated for up to one week.
Gulab jamuns can be served cold or re-heated for 10-15 seconds per individual serving in the microwave. If re-heating the whole batch, heat in the syrup in a 350 degree F oven for approx. 10 minutes or to taste.
Makes 25-30 gulab jamuns
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