Gulab Jamun is one of the most popular Indian desserts. And festivals like Diwali & Holi are incomplete without this special treat. The authentic Indian Gulab Jamuns are made by adding the fried dumplings in a sugar-based syrup.
Gulab Jamun is one dessert that finds its place in almost all Indian restaurants, weddings, party dinners, and festive menus. As Diwali is approaching, I thought of making Gulab Jamun to elevate our moods. These melt-in-mouth sweet dumplings taste amazing, and even their aroma is mouth-watering.
In this blog post, I'll share the authentic Gulab Jamun recipe as well as an instant way to make this delicious sweet treat. There are many varieties of gulab jamun like instant gulab jamun, gulab jamun with khoya, Kala Jamun, etc. I'll try to include tips & tricks to help you make Gulab Jamun at home easily.
WHAT IS GULAB JAMUN?
Gulab Jamun is a small ball-shaped Indian dessert that is made from the dough of flour, khoya, or milk powder. These dough balls are fried and then added to the rose-flavored sugar syrup. Gulab Jamuns are made in 2 different ways:
1. Gulab Jamun with Khoya/Mawa: Originally they made with dough made from flour and khoya. You can make Khoya at home. It is also available in Indian Grocery stores.
2.Gulab Jamun with Milk Powder: You can also make this recipe using Milk Powder. It gives the same taste and flavor.
TIPS TO REMEMBER
- When making the dough, try to make it soft & not hard. The dough needs to be soft but not too soft. Otherwise, the dough breaks when making the balls.
- Try not over-mix the dough, just knead until everything is combined well.
- First mix dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients to make a dough.
- Make the dough balls gently and carefully. If you apply too much pressure then the balls may break or develop cracks.
- Fry the Gulab Jamun balls on medium-low heat so that they get cooked from outside as well as inside.
- The more you fry, the darker your Gulab Jamuns will get.
- When making Sugar Syrup, don't overcook it. Once it comes to a boil then let it cook for 4-5 minutes more so that the syrup gets a little sticky. But don't overcook it. Otherwise, you may end up with string consistency.
- When adding the Gulab Jamuns to the syrup, make sure the syrup is warm and not hot or cold
- MAKE DOUGH: Combine Khoya, Flour, Ghee in a bowl and knead into a soft dough by adding liquid little by little. Once the dough is made, let it rest for a few minutes.
- MAKE THE DUMPLINGS: Make small balls or dumplings. You can also add some stuffing of nuts at the center.
- FRYING: Then fry the balls/dumpling in oil at medium-low heat. You can also air-fry them until they are brown in color. The more you cook, the darker the Jamuns will be.
- MAKE THE SYRUP: Next step is to make the syrup by adding rose water and sugar to the water. Boil it and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes until it gets a little sticky. Don't overcook the syrup otherwise you'll get a string like consistency in the syrup.
- SERVE: Lastly, add the prepared dumplings in the syrup. Just make sure the syrup is warm and not hot. Finally, garnish with some chopped nuts & saffron.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why are my Gulab Jamuns hard?
When the dough is hard then Gulab Jamuns turn up hard too. The dough needs to be soft so that you can easily mold it into balls. But don't make it too soft. Otherwise, the balls will break and will not hold the shape.
Can we make Gulab Jamun Gluten Free?
Gulab Jamun is made with Khoya or Milk Solids. You do need some flour to bind the dough together. You can use All-Purpose Flour in the recipe, or to make it gluten-free, you can use Almond Flour, or any other gluten-free flour in the recipe.
Can we make Gulab Jamun without frying?
Gulab Jamuns get the best color & flavor when you fry them. The more you fry, the darker they will be. But if you don't want to fry, you can also air-fry or bake them. Preheat at 350 degrees and cook till they are golden brown in color. Remember that if you air-fry them, you won't get the same even color that you get when you fry the dumplings.
How to Make Sugar Syrup:
- STOVE-TOP: Add water, sugar, rose water, and cardamom pods to a saucepan and bring it to boil at medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, add lemon juice and let it cook for 4-5 minutes until it gets a little sticky. INSTANT POT: Put water, sugar, cardamom, lemon juice, and rose water in the Instant Pot. Close the lid & pressure cook for 3 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and then open the lid. Saute for 4-5 minutes until the syrup gets a little sticky.
How to Make Dough:
- In a bowl, add flour, Khoya/Milk Powder, Cardamom Powder, Saffron, and Baking Soda. Mix the dry ingredients until well combined.
- Then add ghee and mix with the dry ingredients. Then slowly add milk until the dough starts to form like a dough. Cover the dough and let it rest for a few minutes.
- Then shape the dough into small balls. The dough should be smooth and free of cracks.
How to Make Gulab Jamun:
- Stove-Top: Heat the oil in a kadai or work or in a frying pan at medium-low heat. Once the oil is warm then add the dough balls one by one without crowding it. Cook one side and then flip the other side and continue cooking until they turn golden-brown in color. (Note: Oil should not be too hot, otherwise, the dumplings will not cook properly). Air-Fryer: Spray oil in the air fryer basket and place the prepared balls in the basket. Don't overcrowd, work in batches. Spray oil on the balls and air fry at 350°F for 4-6 minutes.
- Then transfer the fried Jamuns/Dumplings/balls in the prepared syrup. Make sure syrup is not hot but warm. Let it sit for at least 30-40 minutes before serving. Garnish with some pistachios and saffron.