Hello all, today’s recipe is a classic Pakistani dessert that is just my absolute favorite and that is Gulab Jamun! “Gulab Jamun” literally translates to “Rose Berry” which is a type of black/red berry found in Pakistan and India or so I’ve heard. I’ve never actually had these so called “rose berries” so I don’t even know of they exist, but for the sake of this recipe I will go along with it. Now, if I were to describe this dessert to someone who had never had it, it would basically be an unsweetened munchkin soaked in a sugar syrup, then again that makes it sound weird so I guess I would never describe it to anyone. I know the description seems a little eh, but trust me this is the most delicious desert you will ever have, okay one of the most delicious desserts you will ever have. Okay, I think that’s enough unnecessary talking on my part, let’s get right to the recipe.
- 1 packet powdered milk (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- heavy cream for mixing, varies
- oil for frying
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cup water
- 3-4 cardamom (optional)
First off we’ll start by making the Gulab Jamun dough, which is rather simple. You want to start by sifting together the powdered milk, flour, and baking powder into a mixing bowl (or just mix it really well with a fork). Then with a fork just combine everything thoroughly, you want to make sure the baking powder is everywhere because that’s what makes the gulab jamun puff up while frying. Then what you want to do is slowly add in the heavy cream. I started with about half a cup and then added more as needed. I mixed the heavy cream in with a fork, but you can use an electric hand/stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. You want your dough to be slightly sticky but still smooth. It’s okay if it’s a little too wet, but you definitely don’t want you dough to be too dry.
After your dough looks mostly like mine, maybe a bit wetter, but still smooth you can start forming them into small dough balls. A little trick my mom taught me is to put a little bit of butter on your hands so that the dough doesn’t stick while your rolling and also it helps to give the gulab jaman their signature deep dark brown color. This recipe made nine but depending on how big or small you make yours there could be more or less. You don’t want them too big though, then they wouldn’t cook all the way through. Here are mine:
Pretty good, huh? I know I’m great. Okay so next we’re going to fry these metaphorical puppies, because who in their right mind would fry a puppy! That’s just awful. To fry fill a pot, pan, or even wok about half the size of a gulab jamun. Start off with heat on high and wait until it’s hot. You can check by putting in a tiny piece of dough and if it bubbles around it then it’s time to add the dough balls. When you put in all the gulab jamun or however many you can fit in the pan, put heat on medium and let them brown on each side. You want to put it on medium so the inside gets cooked in the same time it takes to brown. Waiting for them to brown up nicely takes about 5-10 minutes per side. You can see the ones in the plate are perfect. So when they reach that color just take them out and let them drain on a paper towel. You’ll also notice that they puffed up dramatically so just keep that in mind before you decide to dump them all in the pan.
From this: To this:
Look at that beautiful goldenness, so nice! Now while these are draining you can make the simple sugar syrup. Which is also rather simple. You could also make this in the beginning and just put aside and reheat when you need it. Just combine sugar, water, and the optional cardamom for a little more flavor on medium-high heat and dissolve the sugar in the water. Simply mix every once in awhile and it will slowly become ONE. It’s all very dramatic. So when that happens you can put in the gulab jaman. Let the whole mixture simmer on low so the dough balls can take in as much sugary goodness as they can.
Simmer, simmer, simmer. After about 15-20 minutes or longer (extra time is fine, but under is just sacrilegious. No one wants a dry gulab jamun, the HORROR) you should be ready to eat. To make sure it’s done, just cut one in half and the inside should be soft and there should be no traces of dry gulab jamun. If it isn’t, just let it sit in the warm sugar syrup a little longer. To serve put in any bowl along with all the sugar syrup and to garnish you can put on crushed cashews, almonds, or pistachios. Here you are:
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