For this month's Indian Cooking Challenge
, I decided on Gulab Jamun. Deciding on that wasn't very difficult. It is one of those delicious sweets that is so much a part of my childhood. Be it any festival or a birthday at home, Amma for sure makes this the previous night. However late it is, she makes it and only then sleeps.
But she has always made from the ready mix from MTR. I have always remember soft as a cotton, sweet as a sugar and tempting as the devil, if I think of Gulab Jamun. And it is always the same vessel that is used for making this sweet at home. Even if I didn't' know that Amma is making, seeing that vessel, I know immediately that a treat is in waiting. The number of jamuns that disappear thereof, one never knows. Amma never allows us to take it directly from the vessel and pop into our mouth. But I secretly know it is more sweeter when one disobeys. I know Amma doesn't read the blog, but if she gets to know if this secret, then sorry Amma, this is the only mischievous thing I have done..:)
We have always wanted to make it from scratch. And Indian Cooking Challenge present the perfect opportunity for me. I selected three recipes from Indo, Lakshmi and Alka. I tried from Lakshmi. I know for sure it is very tasty as I eat it at her home, when Lathamma had made it. Their blog is a versatile place for many different recipes, only sad that they are not blogging anymore.
I made modification to the measurements, though not the ingredients. The original recipe can be found here
I thought I might as well make this a Step by Step post to make it more clear to all.
You can refer Homemade Khoa
before proceeding to make the jamuns.
After slogging over the stove for over an hour and half, you get soft khova. Don't overcook the khoa, it should not become too dry. Take the sugar required, along with 1 cup of maida. 3 -4 pinches of cooking soda, saffron and whole cardamom.
In a thick bottom pan, take 3 cups of sugar and add 1 cup of water, bring to boil. Sieve for impurities. And put it back to boil, after 1 min, add the cardamom and saffron. Switch off the gas.
While the sugar was getting melted, you take the khova, add soda and knead well. Slowly add the maida and knead well.
I didn't use all the 1 cup of maida, half way through it I felt the thickness was enough. The consistency should be soft and well knead dough.
Pinch out small balls and quickly heat kadai with equal portion of oil and ghee.
Simmer the flame, gently drop in the balls and cook over low flame for the center to get cooked as well. Don't touch the balls, rather stir the oil so that the balls get turned and cooked on all sides.
They swell up after getting cooked.
Once they are golden in colour, immediately drop them in the hot sugar syrup.
When you are done with all the balls, cover the soaking jamuns and leave it aside atleast for half hour to one hour, before succumbing to the tempting of tasting it!
Gulab Jamun Recipe
Makes: around 25 jamuns
Khova – 1 & 1/2 cups
Maida – 1 cup (I used 1/2 cup)
Sugar – 3 cups (if you want excess syrup i.e floating jamuns increase by a cup)
Water – 1 cup (increase if you’re increasing sugar)
Cooking Soda – 3 pinches
Cardamom – 4 pods
Saffron strands – a few
Oil + Ghee – 1 cup (for deep frying)
Rose water - 2 drops
- Combine sugar and water in a thick flat bottomed broad pan and simmer on a low heat until sugar dissolves. Sieve to remove impurities Add cardamom powder, saffron strands and remove from fire. Finally add rose water.
- Knead khova, maida and soda and quickly shape into balls.
- Heat oil and ghee on a medium flame. Fry the jamuns till golden brown over a low to medium flame, keeping oil temperature uniform. Oil should not smoke.
- Drain the jamuns and soak in the warm sugar syrup.
- You will achieve correct consistency for jamun syrup when 3 cups of sugar dissolves 1 cup water over low heat. There is no need to get any thread consistency.
- Only when the syrup is ready, mix the jamun dough. Since the dough has soda, if its kept aside the jamuns will disperse while frying and will not hold well.
- Right temperature of oil of utmost importance to get soft jamuns.
- The khova consistency is also very important. It should not be dry, based on the touch add all the maida mentioned, otherwise little more than half of the maida is enough.
- Never refrigerate jamuns. Jamuns when refrigerated will shrink and become hard. Jamuns will stay fresh for 4 days when stored in air tight containers.
My first attempt gave me little hard ones, I again made khova, this time with more softness, the jamuns were not hard.
To all my ICC members, please link your Gulab Jamun post to Mr. Linky.