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gulab jamun recipe, how to make gulab jamun – easy recipe

by dassana amit updated November 15, 2013

gulab jamun recipe

gulab jamun – a simple recipe of gulab jamun with milk powder. this is an easy way to make gulab jamuns at home but this is not a quick recipe.

this gulab jamun recipe is good if you don’t have khoya (evaporated milk) or paneer (cottage cheese) readily available at home. all you need is milk powder, yogurt, sugar and water to make a basic gulab jamun at home.

gulab jamun literally translates to rose berries. gulab means rose and jamuns are deep purple colored berries available in india. since the syrup made is rose water scented and the deep fried dough balls are the size of the jamun berries, hence the term gulab jamun.

traditionally gulab jamuns are fried in ghee. you can go the traditional way if you want or just fry them in oil like i have done.

i used to make gulab jamun with evaporated milk and cottage cheese. the taste of gulab jamun made with evaporated milk is different than this recipe. this version of gulab jamun is soft, melt in the mouth and taste delicious with a milky taste.

i have even made gulab jamuns with sweet potatoes and these were a vegan version. hopefully i shall be able to post the vegan gulab jamun recipe too.

the whole trick is to get the right consistency in the gulab jamun dough. if you get it right, then making these gulab jamuns are a cakewalk and you won’t feel like buying them from outside….. since then it becomes an easy recipe. please take note of step nos 6,7 and 8. i have mentioned all the tips and suggestions in the steps which can become a bit tricky, if not rightly done. so please take your time to read each step carefully. 

so lets begin the step by step gulab jamun recipe:

1: first stir the sugar, water, cardamom powder and saffron in a pan and keep it on fire. i have kept the cardamoms peels and these can be thrown away when serving the gulab jamuns.

preparing sugar solution for gulab jamun

2: gently bring to a boil and continue to stir occasionally.

preparing sugar solution for gulab jamun

3: add some pistachios in the syrup. an optional step but tastes good.

preparing sugar syrup for gulab jamun recipe

4: make a thick syrup and switch off the fire much before the sugar solution reaches a one thread consistency. on cooling if the sugar syrup crystallizes, then just add 2 to 3 tbsp water and warm the syrup again. it will again return to a liquid state.

5: mix the flour, milk powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl. add oil/ghee and 1 tbsp yogurt.

preparing dough for gulab jamun recipe

6: just mix everything lightly. add little of yogurt if the mixture looks dry. don’t over mix or knead. you don’t want gluten to form, so just mixing well is enough. the all purpose flour is just added to bind the mixture. if gluten forms then the dough balls become dense and won’t absorb any of the sugar syrup and the inside of gulab jamun will not be soft.

slightly knead dough for gulab jamun recipe

7: the mixture will be sticky but smooth. apply some oil on your palms and make small balls from the dough. these gulab jamun balls almost double when frying and also increase when soaked in the sugar syrup. so don’t make large sized balls.

there should be no cracks on the dough balls. they should be smooth. if there are cracks, then just add some 1 or 2 tsp of yogurt or milk to the mixture and continue making the balls. once done, then cover the balls with a kitchen towel.

gulab jamun balls ready for frying

8: heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or a pan. when the oil becomes medium hot, lower the flame. add a small ball in the oil. the ball should slowly rise to the top from the bottom. if it does not rise then, the oil is not hot enough. if it rises quickly and browns also quickly, then the oil is too hot to fry.

if the small ball does not crack or break while frying, you are ok to proceed further. if it cracks, then just add some 1 or 2 tsp flour to the dough and form the balls again. in an ideal case, the gulab jamun ball should not crack and should rise slowly to the top and should not get browned quickly.

frying gulab jamuns

9: when you know the oil is hot enough and on a low flame, then add 3-4 balls or more depending on the capacity of your kadai or pan. the balls have to be stirred with a slotted spoon frequently to get even browning. if there are handles on the pan, you can just lightly shake the pan so that the balls are evenly fried without using the spoon. but take care as hot oil is there in the pan. the gulab jamun balls should also not become browned too soon. they have to be cooked from the insides too.

frying gulab jamun

10: keep on turning the gulab jamuns till they become golden. if the oil becomes cold, then don’t fry the gulab jamun balls. increase the temperature and then fry. otherwise the gulab jamuns would have a hard crisp thick cover when fried in a not so hot oil and they won’t absorb the sugar syrup. plus they would absorb a lot of oil too.

gulab jamuns

11: when the gulab jamuns are evenly golden and browned, remove from the slotted spoon and add them directly into the sugar syrup. keep the gulab jamuns in the sugar syrup for atleast 1-2 hours before serving. this is done so that the gulab jamun soaks up the sugar syrup which will make the insides soft and sweet. thats why in the sweet shops, the gulab jamun are always soaked in sugar syrup.

if you feel the gulab jamuns are not soaking in the sugar syrup, then warm the whole gulab jamuns along with the sugar syrup on stove top or in the microwave. cover and keep aside. just warm them, don’t heat.

gulab jamun recipe

12: gulab jamuns can be served warm or cold. if they are at room temperature, then warm in the microwave and serve the gulab jamun topped with sugar syrup and garnished with pistachios or almond slices.

gulab jamun recipe

if you are looking for more sweets recipes then do check rava kesari, gajar halwa, coconut ladoo and seviyan kheer.

gulab jamun recipe details below:

4.6 from 5 reviews
gulab jamun - makes 10-12 medium gulab jamuns
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
gulab jamun - a popular indian dessert of fried dumplings in rose scented sugar syrup.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert, sweets
Cuisine: north indian
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
for the gulab jamuns:
  • 1 cup milk powder
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour or maida
  • 1 tsp oil or ½ tsp ghee
  • a pinch of salt (optional)
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • 1 to 2 tbsp yogurt
  • a few blanched pistachio or almond slices for garnishing
for the sugar syrup:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3-4 green cardamoms, husked & crushed or powdered
  • a pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 1 tsp rose water (optional)
Instructions
preparing the sugar solution:
  1. mix water, sugar, cardamom and saffron.
  2. keep this sugar solution on fire and cook till you get a syrup consistency.
  3. there should be no thread formation in the sugar solution.
  4. stir in the rose water and keep aside.
preparing the jamuns:
  1. first mix the milk powder, all purpose flour, soda in a bowl.
  2. add oil or ghee and just 1 tbsp of yogurt.
  3. mix and keep on adding little of the yogurt to get a soft sticky mixture.
  4. the dough should not be crumbly or dry. if it is then add some yogurt.
  5. make smooth small balls from the dough.
  6. heat the oil and the reduce the flame to low.
  7. add the balls and fry them stirring often to get even color.
  8. when they become golden, remove from a slotted spoon and add them to the sugar syrup.
  9. let them soak in the sugar syrup for atleast 1-2 hours.
  10. gulab jamuns can be served warm or cold. if they are at room temperature, then warm in the microwave and serve gulab jamun topped with sugar syrup.
Notes
for tips and suggestions, please read the step by step recipe.


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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Kausha March 20, 2014 1

Can I use eno as a substitute for baking soda?

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dassana amit March 20, 2014 2

no. eno is more reactive than baking soda. it might break the jamuns.

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Kausha March 20, 2014 3

Amazing gulab jamuns!!! So soft n spongy..thanks for the recipe:)))

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anu February 21, 2014 4

mine when soaked in sugar syrup for few minutes starts breaking from its round shape,like its too soaked, is it cause of less consistency of sugar syrup that i made????

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dassana amit February 22, 2014 5

possible, this can be the reason.

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Sheeja February 15, 2014 6

Nice recipe.. Today was my 3rd attempt after 2 failures. This is my hubby’s fav sweet. So I thought of making this on this valentines day. After tasting this, he liked it so much. It’s so soft, sweet and delicious. Thank you so much of this wonderful recipe. Happy Valentine Everybody.

Note: I added some milk to make the dough.

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dassana amit February 16, 2014 7

thanks sheeja for your feedback. appreciated :-)
milk can be added to the dough.

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shehla February 5, 2014 8

thanks for the recipe it is the best recipe i hav ever tried and my family loved it…i request you to plz upload the recipe of rusmalai aswel..thankx again

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dassana amit February 7, 2014 9

thanks shehla for the feedback. i already have requests for rasmalai and will add the recipe in future.

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saba January 24, 2014 10

Hey dassana,
Is it ok to use thickened milk instead of milk powder. ..? Plz reply soon I’m dying to make these mouth watering gulab jamun. …:-)

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dassana amit January 24, 2014 11

saba, you can use condensed milk but the recipe will change a bit. you may have to add some paneer or khoya to it. you can try. but i am not sure how the result will be. i will be adding khoya or paneer gulab jamun recipe soon

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Pravina Parikh January 19, 2014 12

Looks yummy thank you for posting

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dassana amit January 19, 2014 13

welcome pravina

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Archana kamath January 14, 2014 14

Hi.. Tried this today !! The gulab jamuns dint soak well. The jamuns were a little harder. The dough I feel was done well but I put the jamuns in syrup after they were cold !! :( cud that b the reason ?

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dassana amit January 15, 2014 15

the jamuns have to be added directly after frying in the sugar syrup. the sugar syrup also has to hot or more than a warm temperature. this helps the jamuns to soak the syrup. the hot jamuns soak the syrup very well than jamuns which are cold.

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swathi December 11, 2013 16

hi dassana

thankyou so much for your prompt reply…im sorry im seeing it only now…ill try it again…thanks once again

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dassana amit December 11, 2013 17

welcome swathi.

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Farzana December 3, 2013 18

This is the part where its very confusing for me. I mean, how long should I boil it for?? When its thicker, its already at least one thread. This is at about 20 minutes. So I GUESS I could try boiling it for 10 minutes. I dont know. . .

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dassana December 4, 2013 19

when the sugar syrup starts becoming thick, there is no thread. if you cook more, first half thread consistency is reached and then one thread consistency is reached. mostly sugar syrups used for flavored fruit syrups like rose syrup etc are just cooked till thick. they do not have any consistency. the timing depends on the pan that you use and on which flame (low, medium etc) you are cooking the syrup. actually when you feel the syrup with your fingers, it should feels sticky without any thread formation. here you can stop the cooking. i hope this helps.

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Farzana November 30, 2013 20

I would love to try this weekend! These look so delicious and I love the pictures and the fact you have made it step by step with clear instructions. Only thing I am confused about is the sugar syrup. You say to boil it until its thick but no thread. The problem is when it slightly cools, it always thickens up MORE. Roughly, how many minutes did it take you? I am dying to make these LOL. Also for the dough, so you just mix it until it combines? Absolutely no kneading, right? How long did it take for you to mix it? (Roughly of course)

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dassana December 1, 2013 21

no need to boil till any thread consistency. usually you stop before the sugar syrup reaches the one thread consistency. it will thicken up. but if you cook it till one thread, it will thicken up more. i don’t remember the minutes. the dough you just mix. don’t knead. i also don’t remember the mixing in minutes. its a matter of experience so i don’t count the minutes. just mix everything and make balls. there should be no cracks. if there are cracks on the balls, then mix again. make the balls again. the dough is sticky so apply some oil or ghee on your hands when making the balls.

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swathi November 7, 2013 22

Hi Dassana

I tried out this recipe for Diwali, it turned out very yummy…but the jamuns were not very soft, were a little on the harder side even after soaking them in the sugar syrup, moreover I guess I was too scared to be easy on the soda and added very little….I made sure of the temperature too but I wonder what went wrong…

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dassana November 8, 2013 23

hi swathi, the jamuns getting on the harder side, can be only in case the mixture has been over mixed or kneaded. in fact when making the jamun balls from the dough, you will come to know if the jamuns will become hard. they should feel very light to you. if when rolling the balls, they feel heavy, then it means that the dough is over mixed.

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parul gupta October 28, 2013 24

Hi dassana…lovely recipe…I m excited to make it…l want to ask, how should I preserve them and for how many days??

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dassana November 2, 2013 25

in the refrigerator, the gulab jamuns soaked completely in the syrup will stays for about a week.

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Zaynab October 21, 2013 26

I have khoya/mava powder do / can
I substitute it for milk powder ?

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dassana October 21, 2013 27

you can substitute khoya or mava for milk powder. in this case for 1 cup of crumbled khoya use 2-3 tbsp of maida or all purpose flour. no need to add yogurt then.

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more sayali October 7, 2013 28

yummmy gulab jamuns…………

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PRIYAV September 27, 2013 29

lovely, and easy. nice one

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nags September 26, 2013 30

love this post, love how the jamuns look!

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Manjula Bharath September 26, 2013 31

wow super spongy and delicious gulab jamun :) well made dear !!

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Familycook September 26, 2013 32

Lovely pic and easy recipe this is, Dassana:)

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Divya Jany September 25, 2013 33

Yummy Jamun… My favorite…

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