Gulab Jamun

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One of the Indian sweets I am very fond of. It is milk based sweet, which I usually make from instant Gulab jamun packet available in the market. It is a easy 20 minutes effort, open and mix ingredients, fry it in oil and put in sugar syrup. I am happy to be part of Indian cooking challenge conducted and hosted by Srivalli. This month she has announced Gulab jamun as dish for the cooking challenge. Thanks for selecting this dish. I was happy to take up challenge, but at the same time skeptical about starting from the scratch. As always my dear hubby give me courage, to go ahead, and I decided to make Gulab jamun from scratch.
Srivalli had suggested 3 recipes one from Yum Blog, second from Indo and third from Alka . I followed Alka’s recipe to make Gulab jamun since it uses less quantity of milk, but she has not mentioned about the process of making khova, so I followed Indo’s recipe to make Khova. The final product was amazing and tasty and easily melts in your mouth. Usually hubby comes to home to have lunch, but yesterday he has some important meeting, and did not come for lunch. So I was able to start the preparation around lunch time. I started to boil the milk at 12.35 P.M and it lasted till 3.45 P.M at which point, I was able to get Khova/mawa. I had to do some routine things with my baby and house till 5.30. I again started making Jamuns around 5.45 and was able to fry them and put it sugar syrup by 6.30 P.M. The jamuns were ready enough for tasting around 8.30 P.M. Even though Jamuns are required to be (as the saying goes) in sugar syrup for at least 8 hours, we did not wait that long time for tasting the dish. Thanks to Alka for nice recipe of Gulab jamun.

What You Need: (Measurements from Alka)

For Gulab Jamun:
Whole Milk : 6 cup (to yield 250 gm (about 1 and ½ cup) Khova/Mawa)
Khova/ Unsweetened Mawa: 1 & ½ cup
All purpose flour : 1 & ½ – 2 tsp (I used 2 tsp)
Corn flour : 1 tsp
Green cardamom : 1-2 crushed
Oil for shallow frying

Sugar Syrup:

Sugar : 2 cup (This can be reduced as per taste)
Water : 1 & 1/2 cup (bit more or less) I used 2 cup
Cardamom – 2-3 pods crushed
One spoon of milk (optional, I didn’t used)
Saffron : 2 threads
Rosewater : 2 drops

How I made:
 To make Khova/mawa: Boil 6 cups of whole milk on a medium flame in a thick bottomed vessel with 2-3 stainless spoons in the bottom. The spoons are required to prevent the milk from burning. Once milk has boiled, reduce the flame and stir more often until the whole milk reduces to cottage cheese consistency. It took me around 3 hours to get Khova.

Next to make sugar syrup: Boil one and half cup water with 2 cups of sugar. Add a spoonful of milk to syrup (when it is boiling) to remove the impurities (impurities if any, will form a scum on surface). I did not use this step. Add 2-3 green cardamoms and 2 saffron strings to the syrup for strong flavor. Boil until you get just a tad sticky syrup. Gulab Jamun syrup is slightly dense and not too dilute as in Rasgulla. Strain the syrup, and add 2 drops of rosewater when syrup is slightly cooled. When sugar syrup is ready, we are ready to make Jamuns.


Making the Jamuns: In a bowl mix khova with all-purpose flour, corn flour and crushed cardamoms and knead until mixture form soft textured dough. From the dough, make small round balls which are slightly more than size of pebble (I made size of ping-pong ball). These small round balls will swell up after frying and soaking in syrup. Make sure that the surface of dough balls is really smooth without any cracks. If there is crack slightly wet your palms with water and roll the flour till absolutely smooth.

Now take a little oil (for frying) in preferably flat bottomed pan, and heat the oil. The Gulab jamuns are to be fried on LOW FLAME or else the surface will be browned while the core will remain uncooked.

Fry one or 2 Gulab jamuns at a time and always remember to STIR THE OIL with slotted spoon AND NOT TO TOUCH GULAB JAMUNS, which means keep swirling the oil without tossing or turning Gulab jamun.

Fry till light brown in color is obtained, remove and keep the jamun on tissue paper and repeat the procedure with rest of dough.

Finally soak the jamuns in COOL sugar syrup for a few hours, until they are all swelled up.

These can be stored in the same syrup till consumed.

You can enjoy it hot or cold, either way it is delicious.

Tips: Always remember two things while using rose water, do not add it while syrup is bubbling hot or on fire, and be particular about the quantity mentioned in every recipe, since even few drops of excess rosewater could lend a bitter taste to the final product. In order to prevent center of jamun from not cooking, some prefer to place an unsalted pistachio in the center of every Gulab jamun while making balls, that way the core of Gulab jamun is not left uncooked. If there are cracks in the balls before frying it will burst open while frying, in that case adding a bit of corn flour will surely help.

Preparation Time: 3 hours to make khova and 15 minutes to make jamun and syrup
Yield : 20
Verdict: Good, melt in mouth
Will you make it again: Sure I will make occasionally as time permits?


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  1. says

    Thanks for visiting my blog…..Nice step by step photos of Gulab Jamun here….i guess everybody in the blosphere is making these delicious looking sweets except me…..

  2. says

    WOW,Mouth watering..your gulab jamuns are perfect in shape.Great job swathi.Iam also interested in learning your other authentic kerala recipies.

  3. says

    This is one of my favorite dessert when eating out at Indian restaurants. They look so nice and golden in your pictures.

    I live in a town with large Indian population, and there are several Indian markets where I can buy authentic ingredients.

    My son love the mango lassi but somehow making it at home doesn’t taste the same. Any secret ingredient on it? We use yogurt and mango pulp from the Indian store but we do not know what are we missing.


  4. says

    My mom brought home what seemed like fried dough balls which a friend made. Unfortunately, we lost contact with the friend and no one seems to know what they’re called or how it’s made I was wondering if maybe there was something that you could think of that is similar. I was thinking that maybe it was gulab jamun that wasn’t soaked in syrup

    Also, thanks for posting some of these recipes. I look forward to trying them.

  5. says

    ok, I am not a cook , as MY DEMANDING JOB AND MY LAZY ASS won’t allow me to cook, i prefer ordering in as soon as i reach home.

    i usually check out indian food pics, and i judge the cook by their “GULAB jaman” . You are a PERFECT cook! cooking gravy, baking bread is sometjing that everyone can do – But if you can cook delicate things nicely – YOU ARE THE REAL COOK!

  6. says

    I had something in a Greek restaurant one time that these sweet little beauties remind me of so much. I absolutely loved the ones that I had and I’m quite sure that I would enjoy these, as well. I’m going to be looking for these the next time that I eat at an Indian restaurant. I hope they have them. They look delicious!