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January 4, 2012

Gulab Jamun Recipe | Gulab Jamuns with Khoya | Diwali Sweets Recipe

Gulab Jamun is arguably one of the most popular Indian sweets that's made pretty much through the year in the country. Since Gulab Jamuns are easy to make in larger quantities, it's a popular dessert served warm with a scoop of ice cream at weddings, parties, festivals, etc.

I really can' think of a better day to share this delicious Gulab Jamun recipe using Khoya (or Mawa) than to start off a brand new year 2012.

One of the most common question I get when discussing Indian Sweets is "what's that soft brown ball that's very sweet and soaked in sugar syrup?". Probably because gulab jamuns are served at practically all Indian buffets, it's not hard to guess which sweet they are talking about!

Gulab Jamun | Khoya Jamun Sweet Recipe

For all the cooking that I do, I had never tried to make gulab jamuns at home, not even with the readymade boxed mix. Amma has mentioned how her mom, my aatha, makes gulab jamun with fresh, homemade khoya (mawa) and since then, I've wanted to try it the same way.


Gulab Jamun | Khoya Jamun Sweet Recipe
Khoya / Mawa

I realised that if I waited to make my own khoya, the gulab jamuns will never happen so I used store-bought khoya. It's usually kept frozen so make sure to bring to room temperature before using.

PS: Khoya smells amazing. Go ahead and sniff it while it defrosts.

Gulab Jamun Recipe | Gulab Jamuns with Khoya | Diwali Sweets Recipe

Gulab Jamun Recipe | Khoya Jamun Recipe
Makes 25-30 jamuns

Ingredients:
For the jamuns:
1 cup grated khoya / mawa
1/3 cup plain flour / maida
~ 1/2 cup water
A pinch of salt
Oil or ghee to deep fry
For the sugar syrup:
2.5 cups sugar
1 cup water
3-4 pods of cardamom, crushed
2 drops of rose water (optional, although the name of this sweet has "rose / gulab" in it)
A few strands of saffron (optional)

How to Make Gulab Jamuns with Khoya:

1. Mix the grated khoya with the flour and salt. If using store-bought khoya, this mixture will be quite dry. If using fresh, homemade khoya, it will be moist so you need less water for the next step.

Gulab Jamun | Khoya Jamun Sweet Recipe

2. Add sufficient water (I used around 1/2 cup) and form a stiff dough. It shouldn't be sticky. If it is, add a bit more flour and incorporate without kneading too much.

Gulab Jamun | Khoya Jamun Sweet Recipe

3. Make into small marble-sized balls. Remember to start small because the jamuns will expand on frying and further on soaking in the sugar syrup. You don't have to make the balls super smooth, just into small circles of even sizes.

Gulab Jamun | Khoya Jamun Sweet Recipe

4. Heat oil to just short of smoking point and add the dough balls one by one gently. Don't overcrowd the dough balls, fry a few at a time. This also ensures that the oil temperature doesn't drop too much while frying.

Gulab Jamun | Khoya Jamun Sweet Recipe

5. Fry all the jamuns until golden brown on medium heat, remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Gulab Jamun | Khoya Jamun Sweet Recipe

6. To make the sugar syrup, mix the water and sugar and set on a medium-low flame. Stir until the sugar has disssolved completely and the mixture comes to a slow boil. Add the crushed cardamom pods, saffron and rose water if using.

Gulab Jamun | Khoya Jamun Sweet Recipe

7. Let the sugar syrup cool for about 5 mins only and then dunk in the fried jamuns.

Gulab Jamun | Khoya Jamun Sweet Recipe

8. Partially close the pan and let the jamuns soak in the sugar syrup for atleast 3-4 hours before serving.

Gulab Jamun | Khoya Jamun Sweet Recipe

Some of the sugar syrup gets absorbed by the jamuns but most of it remains as is so if you have any suggestions on how to use up leftover sugar syrup, please let me know. For now, I can only think of using it up for sweet godumai adai, substituting jaggery with the sugar syrup.

Gulab Jamun Recipe | Gulab Jamuns with Khoya | Diwali Sweets Recipe

In other updates, I have wrapped up Project 365 for 2011 and won't be continuing the project in 2012. I have received a lot of feedback and emails suggesting that I post a picture whenever I feel like so may do that instead of trying to post every single day. That was mighty challenging, I must say!