gulab jamun recipe, how to make gulab jamun recipe

gulab jamun recipe

gulab jamun recipe with step by step photos – 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 and still make gulab jamun with khoya or evaporated milk and cottage cheese. the taste of gulab jamun made with khoya/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, kaju katli, boondi ladoo and seviyan kheer.

gulab jamun recipe details below:

4.5 from 15 reviews
gulab jamun - makes 10-12 medium gulab jamuns
gulab jamun - a popular indian dessert of fried dumplings in rose scented sugar syrup.
RECIPE TYPE: dessert, sweets
CUISINE: north indian
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
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/kesar (optional)
  • 1 tsp rose water (optional)
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.
for tips and suggestions, please read the step by step recipe.

{ 139 Responses }

  1. Sudipta says

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe. How long I should fry the jamuns in ghee/oil? What is the normal time? I am using induction cook top and thickness of my pan is very less. When temperature was little high then it was burning but if temperature was low then it was taking too much time to cook and outer layer was becoming hard. Now in this situation what I should do to get the perfect result. Should I use pan with good thickness or should I use gas oven instead of induction cook top? Please help. Thanks once again in advance for your valuable suggestions.

    • says

      welcome sudipta. the temperature of the oil should be on the medium side. meaning not too hot nor too low. since i have not used induction cook top, i have no clue how it works. what i suggest is use a thick bottomed pan on the induction cook top and fry on the little high flame that you have mentioned in the comment.

  2. Mayura says

    Hi, I have tried gulab jamun for the first time and they came out perfect. Thank u for sharing this recipe. Can we use the left over syrup for other gulab jamuns. But should we heat the syrup again and for how much time. Thank Once again.

    • says

      thanks mayura. yes you can use the leftover syrup for other gulab jamuns. don’t heat too much as the consistency will change. just heat lightly by adding some water. it should be just warm or hot.

  3. Aya says

    what’s wrong with my dough if it’s not smooth enough? when i roll it in balls, the balls are craky and doesn\t look as sticky as yours. any help?

    • says

      try adding some moisture in the dough like milk. if there are cracks, when frying there will be cracks on the jamuns too and absorb too much oil.

  4. gopi says

    Hi, the outer layer of my jamun turned hard and difficult to cut, and the whole jamun turned like rubbery (chewy) and porus from inside. Can u give any suggestion on that?

    • says

      the outer crust becomes hard if the dough is mixed too much or kneaded. also frying for a longer time on a low temperature can make the outer crust become hard. the whole mixture just has to be mixed and then shaped in balls.

  5. Nora says

    I want to thank you for your recipes. I want to know is it really a 1/4 a cup all purpose flour and 1 cup milk powder?? and if I want to make it double the quantity should I double the ingredients?

  6. MSV says


    I saw most of your recipes… and they are so good and easy steps mentioned… thanks for that..

    i tried preparing gulab jamuns using MTr mixtures.. it comes great… but the problem is that they are hard in the core.. i dont know what to do… could u plz help me out…

  7. Pashnijko says


    Is it OK to use something other than all purpose flour? As far as I know, in my country it does not really exist. The places I’ve found it is Indian/Pakistani grocery stores in the UK who also ship worldwide, but shipping is 40£, and that is very steep price for 2KG of all purpose flour.


      • Pashnijko says

        Many are, but almost all are strictly for bread making and are very coarse. Maybe Wheat flour is fine for Gulab Jamun?

        • says

          pashnijko, try with wheat flour. you might have to increase the proportion of liquids. don’t knead the mixture just mix it. because gluten might get formed if you knead.

    • Michele says

      Just look at the table of nutritional values. Bread flour will have around 12g of protein (gluten), whereas all-purpose flour should be around 9-10

  8. Devika says

    What will be the ingredients measurements for 10 people to make this yammy gulab jamun..plz reply me.thnx in adv.

  9. Reema says

    Hi, could you please let me know if i can use skimmed milk powder instead of carnation milk powder and can self raising flower be used instead of maida?

    Thanking you in advance

  10. Ekta says

    Everything went well the gulabjamuns were yummy only one thing wen i was frying them they were sticking to the bottom if pan can u tell me why dis it happen . Thanks in advance

    • says

      welcome ekta. use a seasoned kadai or pan, meaning it has been used quite often for frying. secondly, use a thick bottomed kadai/pan. oil should also be hot enough to fry.

  11. Rashmi says


    I tried this recipe step by step and without kneading the dough, it came out really well including structure and taste except one thing, after soaking in the sugar syrup, the top layer was little hard to cut, however insider was smooth and had good structure like store bought ones. Please suggest how can I improve. I think this is the easiest recipe for gulab jamun and I would like to try and do my best next time.

    • says

      thanks rashmi. its because the sugar syrup had crystallized. when you add the gulab jamun then the sugar syrup should not be crystallized. just add a little bit of water and warm the crystallized sugar syrup.

  12. Mohini verlekar says

    Hi Dassana all went well wth jamuns but it didnt absorb sugar syrup, hence was not soft specially in centre. One thing i noted intially the dough was soft enough but gradually while making balls it became a bit hard. Pls advice. Thks!

    • says

      welcome mohini. roll the gulab jamun balls with light hands. not like the way we roll chappati/roti ka atta (peda). another way is to keep the gulab jamun balls in the sugar syrup and just heat it slightly. so that they absorb more sugar syrup.

  13. Mohini verlekar says

    Hi! hv just tryd the milk powder gulab jamuns and soaked them in the sugar syrup so far so good wll let knw the final results. Thks!

  14. Surya says

    Is yogurt essential? Is it used to activate the baking soda? I’ve tried a version without yogurt, but, the results were not how its supposed to be. The jamuns had little bubbles in them and they became porous once immersed in syrup. It wasn’t all that good. I thought it was something to do with baking soda. In one of the sites, baking powder was used. Can it be exchanged for baking soda?

    Your jamuns look awesome! I hope mine turns out the same way. :)

    P.S: It would be nice if you can show the cross section of the jamun too.


    • says

      the acidity of the yogurt helps. baking soda gets activated in any acidic medium and so it is with yogurt. baking powder also can be used. bubbles should not come on the jamuns. something has gone wrong with the proportions or with the mixing of the dough. you can add two pinches of baking powder in this recipe. i will add the cross section pic when i make these next time. i should remember to take the pic :-)

  15. Richa says

    Hi Dassana
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe.. I ve an unusual question. :)
    I ve lactogen that my daughter won’t have. Can I use it instead of milk powder? Do I adjust the recipe if I use it..

    Thanks a ton.. Will def make these :)

  16. Aayushi says

    Hii.. I’m going to try this but I have that ready to eat mixture of gulab jamun.. Will it be ok if I made it from it..

    • says

      the oil was too hot and thats why this happened. if you would have reduced the flame and brought down the temperature, then the jamuns would have cooked properly.

  17. hammad says

    Thank u so much today I tried This recipe nd it turned out extremely well.. Soft mouth watering… Actually I had a cooking day in my college I made live gulaab jamun There … Every one was like oh my God… <3 thank u so much

  18. Susmita Chakraborty says

    I want to try this recipe today.But I don’t have curd.If I avoid adding curd then will it be okay?pls rply.

  19. Huda ali says

    I had try many of ur recipes .i really like them even ma family tthnx for sharing
    I m even gona try gulab jamun on coming weekend

  20. Mindy says

    Hi, I am going to try your recipe, but don’t have home made yogurt. Can I use plain store bought plain yogurt ?

  21. Mehzabi Alam says

    Thank u soo much for the recipe…i tried n it came out soo nice except for its hardness…i followed each steps..but still it was hard…pls reply

  22. Amrita says

    Hi Dassana ,

    I love you guys .
    My mother used to cook a lot of things at home .. your blog helps me recreate my childhood :)

    Today while I’m spending Diwali away from home , came across this gulab jamun and tried it out . They’ve turned out very nice :)
    Thanks for the perfect and simple instructions. I too tried out steps 6 and 7 very cautiously.
    No other blog thinks so much about the readers before putting up the recipes.
    Thanks a lot .
    Keep posting more such recipes :)

  23. Saleena says

    I tried ur gulab jamuns. It was yummmmmmyyy. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe. The step by step instructions and ur tips was of great help. Thanks once again.

  24. Tanya says

    Can I leave them in the syrup in the fridge until they are all eaten. Although I don’t think they will be hanging around for very long.

  25. Priyanka says

    Thanks for this yummy and easy recipe.. but if yogurt is not avaiable, should I use milk as a substitude???

    Please let me know soon, so that I may stole my hubby dil again… Smiles

    • Priyanka says

      HHHHaaaapppppyyy Happpy,

      You wouldn’t beleive but it worked. I was able to made so yummmyyy and super tasty gulab jamuns with your help….. thank you so much.. Me n my habby both loved them alot and now its time to follow and try all ur awsome recipes…

      Thaknd again,,,, smiles

  26. nisha says

    Thank u dear , I tried this today … I made yummy gulab jamun and every one in my family liked it very much. thank u very for this recipe

  27. Aditi Kohli says

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I am crazy about gulab jamuns and I attempted this recipe yesterday and they turned out just superb! Your step by step guide is of great help. Can’t wait to explore more of your recipes. Thanks a lot once again.

  28. vaishu says

    Can I knead the jamuna using instant jamun dough powder? Can I use milk to knead them?

  29. Neetu says

    Hiiii…i tired the recipe and follow step by step but i don’t know why they are hard…..waiting for your suggestion

    • says

      did you knead the dough or made the mixture like a dough? possibly thats the cause. just mixing is required till you get smooth round jamun balls.

  30. anu says

    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????

  31. Sheeja says

    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.

  32. shehla says

    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

  33. saba says

    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. …:-)

    • says

      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

  34. Archana kamath says

    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 ?

    • says

      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.

  35. swathi says

    hi dassana

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

  36. Farzana says

    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. . .

    • says

      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.

  37. Farzana says

    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)

    • says

      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.

  38. swathi says

    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…

    • says

      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.

  39. parul gupta says

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

    • says

      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.