Gulab Jamnuns are the quintessential Indian dessert served during celebrations and festivals. They are soft spongy morsels flavoured with cardamom, rose and saffron. I've often asked guests to guess what they are made from and I usually get 'ricotta' as a response. Gulab Jamuns are traditionally made from 'khoya' which is made by simmering full cream milk for several hours till only the milk solids remain.
As 'khoya' is not easily available outside India, we have used milk powder in this recipe. There are three parts to it: making the dumplings (jamuns), deep frying them and then tossing them in a sugar syrup that is flavoured with rose (gulab).
In a heavy bottom pot pour in 350g sugar, 6 green cardamom and 800ml water. Boil to make a syrup. Set your timer for 20 minutes this should be sufficient time to melt the sugar. Turn the heat off then stir in 1 tsp rose essence/water and a small pinch of saffron (optional).
While the syrup is boiling, form a dough with: 150g milk powder, 65g plain flour, 1 level tsp baking powder, 40g melted butter and 3 tbsp yoghurt.
Note, the dough needs to be smooth (no cracks) and pliable so you may need some more yoghurt whilst kneading. Once you have a smooth dough form into 24 balls.
Deep fry, in small batches (about 4 at a time) on a medium low flame, till the jamuns turn a golden brown then drop into the sugar syrup.
Allow them to steep in the syrup for at least 1 hour. Serve chilled or warm.
1) the syrup needs to be warm when you drop the jamuns into it.
2) We use Grapeseed oil for deep- frying as it has a high smoke point and no taste.