gulab jamun recipe, how to make gulab jamun

gulab jamun recipe with step by step photos. there are mainly two ways gulab jamun is made and this post details both the methods. both the gulab jamun recipes are easy and even beginners can make these tried and tested delicious melt in the mouth gulab jamun. you can choose the method depending on the ingredients available in your kitchen.

gulab jamun, gulab jamun recipe

what is gulab jamun ?

gulab jamun is a popular indian sweet made from milk solids traditionally. khoya or mawa is the hindi term for evaporated milk solids.

the word “gulab jamun” means rose berries. in hindi language, the word “gulab” means rose and “jamun” is a darkish purple berry (java plum, black plum) available in india. the sugar syrup made for gulab jamun is flavoured with rose water and the fried dough balls have a size similar to jamun berries – hence the term gulab jamun.

gulab jamun is a favorite indian dessert for many folks. in parties, weddings and even in indian thalis, gulab jamun happens to be one of the desserts served after the meals. these soft sugar syrup soaked balls are a treat always. sometimes to satisfy our sweet cravings, i make gulab jamun.

variations of making gulab jamun

gulab jamun is made with mawa or khoya, milk powder, sweet potatoes (vegan option), paneer, potatoes and bread. however, the best authentic taste comes from gulab jamun made with khoya.

this recipe post has two variations of gulab jamun. the first gulab jamun recipe is made with khoya and the second recipe is made with milk powder. below i have mentioned both the recipes methods.

recipe 1. gulab jamun with khoya (traditional method)

authentically and traditionally gulab jamun is always made with khoya or mawa. khoya is basically dried evaporated milk solids – which is obtained by continuously cooking the milk on a low flame.

you can either make khoya at home or get it from the market. just remember that for making the traditional version of gulab jamun – chikna khoya or dhaap khoya is used. in hindi the name “chikna” means smooth. so thus dhaap ka khoya is a smooth and soft khoya. chikna khoya can be easily made at home. it has more moisture than the other two varieties of khoya viz danedar khoya and batti khoya.

this gulab jamun recipe i have shared is an easy one that yields delicious, soft and tasty gulab jamun. 

this gulab jamun recipe from my home science notes is tried, tested and has never failed. i have made this gulab jamun recipe many times. you will need khoya (mawa or dried evaporated milk solids) and paneer to make the jamun. addition of these two ingredients makes soft, melt in mouth and best gulab jamun.

recipe 2. gulab jamun with milk powder

gulab jamun with milk powder

the gulab jamun recipe made with milk powder is a cheat’s version but tastes equally good. this milk powder gulab jamun recipe comes handy if you don’t have khoya or paneer readily available at home. all you need is milk powder, curd, sugar and water to make a tasty gulab jamun at home.

this version of gulab jamun made with milk powder is soft, melt in the mouth and taste delicious with a milky taste.

i have compiled the below pointers of frequently asked questions based on queries received from the readers in the comments section of this gulab jamun recipe post.

why gulab jamun break on frying ?

  1. if there is too much moisture in the dough, the jamun will break in oil.
  2. more baking powder can also result in the jamun breaking and disintegrating in oil.
  3. when frying the temperature should not be too high or too low. a higher or a too low temperature of oil while frying can also break or crack the gulab jamun.
  4. if the binding ingredients like maida or rava (sooji) are less, then this can also break jamun when frying.
  5. as soon as you add the gulab jamun balls in the oil, then let them become slightly crisp and then only turn them.
  6. when making jamun dough ball, there should be no cracks on it. if you see cracks then add some more milk in the dough mixture. mix and then form the jamun again.

why has gulab jamun become hard ?

  1. if there is less moisture in the jamun, it may become hard.
  2. the gulab jamun dough has to be mixed and not kneaded. if the dough is kneaded then the gulab jamun will become hard. when you knead the dough, gluten strands will form which will make the jamun dense and heavy. even if they are slightly dense they won’t absorb the syrup and thus remain hard. in fact when frying gulab jamun, it should feel like very light spongy balls. you will feel the lightness in them.
  3. for the gulab jamun made with milk powder, it is important to get the right texture in the gulab jamun dough. if you get it right, then making this gulab jamun with milk powder is a cakewalk and you won’t feel like buying them from outside. 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. 

why gulab jamun has become too soft ?

the sugar syrup for gulab jamun should have a sticky consistency. they should not have a watery consistency. if the sugar syrup is watery, then the jamun absorbs more sugar syrup resulting in it being super soft and can even break in the sugar syrup.

how to perfectly fry gulab jamun ? (frying tips)

  • first the oil has to be heated till its medium hot. then reduce flame to a medium-low or low and wait for a minute. then gently place the gulab jamun dough balls in the oil. once the jamun dough balls start to have tiny light golden spots on them, then keep on rotating them with a slotted spoon in the oil often. this way the gulab jamun will have an even golden color.
  • also do note that if the oil is on the cooler side, then the jamun will absorb more oil and can crack or break too.
  • if the oil is very hot, then the gulab jamun will get browned quickly with the inside portion being uncooked and raw.
  • traditionally gulab jamun are fried in ghee. you can go the traditional way if you want or just fry them in oil as i have done.

few more sweets recipes  you may like are:

gulab jamun

4.85 from 39 votes
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:35 mins
Cook Time:10 mins
Total Time:45 mins
Course:desserts,sweets
Cuisine:north indian
Calories: 153kcal
Servings (change the number to scale):20 gulab jamun
gulab jamun recipe, easy gulab jamun recipe
two easy and tasty recipes of gulab jamun are shared in this post. both the gulab jamun recipes are detailed with step by step pics. the first delicious gulab jamun recipe is made with khoya (mawa) and the second tasty gulab jamun recipe is made with milk powder. 

INGREDIENTS FOR gulab jamun

(1 CUP = 250 ML)

for gulab jamun

  • 1 cup khoya (mawa or dried evaporated milk solids) OR 200 grams khoya
  • ¾ cup grated paneer OR 100 grams of paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 3 tablespoon maida (all purpose flour)
  • 2 tablespoon fine sooji (rava or semolina)
  • 4 green cardamoms (choti elaichi) - powdered in a mortar-pestle or ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk or add as required
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • oil for deep frying the gulab jamun

for sugar syrup

  • 250 grams sugar OR about 1.75 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 tablespoon milk (optional) - read notes

HOW TO MAKE gulab jamun

making gulab jamun balls

  • take khoya (mawa or evaporated milk) in a bowl. mash it very well. there should be no lumps. you can also grate and then mash the khoya.
  • then add grated paneer, rava (sooji), all purpose flour (maida), baking powder and cardamom powder to the mashed khoya. there should be no lumps in both the mawa and paneer.
  • as if they are there, then you will find the texture of the gulab jamun not so good. the bits and pieces of mava or paneer will give a bite in the mouth, when you have the gulab jamun. they won't be smooth.
  • mix well. add milk and gather together to form a dough with milk. don't knead.
  • just gently mix. if you are unable to form balls or if the mixture appears dry, then add a few teaspoons of milk. cover the dough and keep aside for 30 mins.
  • make small balls from the dough. cover the balls and keep aside.

making sugar syrup for gulab jamun

  • dissolve sugar in water. heat the sugar solution till it become sticky. you just need to switch off the fire before the syrup reaches a one thread consistency.
  • add rose water and stir. keep the sugar solution aside. 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.

frying gulab jamun

  • meanwhile, while the sugar syrup is cooking, heat oil till its medium hot. lower the flame and wait for a minute. then gently place the gulab jamun in the oil.
  • once they start to have tiny golden spots, keep on rotating them in the oil, so that the gulab jamun are evenly browned.
  • remove the gulab jamun and then drain them on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.

making gulab jamun

  • then place the hot gulab jamun in the sugar syrup. continue frying the gulab jamun this way in batches.
  • when all the gulab jamun are placed in the sugar syrup, then keep the whole pan with the sugar syrup and gulab jamun, on a low flame for 1 to 2 minutes till the jamun become soft.
  • heating helps the gulab jamun to absorb the syrup and become soft. the jamun increase a bit in size. don't overcook as then the jamun can break.
  • use a large pan, so that the gulab jamun are not overcrowded and you can easily stir them gently while they are simmering.
  • serve gulab jamun warm or at room temperature. you can also chill the gulab jamun and serve them cold. garnish the gulab jamun with rose petals or almond slivers.

NOTES

1. if the sugar syrup has impurities, then add milk and simmer. a layer of scum will be formed. remove this layer with a spoon.
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recipe 1 – making gulab jamun with khoya (traditional method)

1. take 1 cup khoya or mawa (200 grams) in a bowl. soft khoya also known as ‘daap ka khoya’ or ‘chikna khoya’ is used for making gulab jamun. this is a soft khoya, so it mashes and kneads very well.

khoya for making gulab jamun

2. mash it very well. there should be no lumps or small bits or pieces in the khoya. you can also grate and then mash the khoya. do not mash too much. just mash and proceed with the next step.

mash khoya - making gulab jamun

3. then add ¾ cup or 100 grams grated paneer, fine rava (sooji), 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (maida), ¼ teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon cardamom powder to the mashed khoya. there should be no lumps in both the mawa and paneer. if there are lumps, then the texture of the gulab jamun is not even and smooth. the bits and pieces of mawa or paneer give a bite while eating the gulab jamun.

mix gulab jamun ingredients

4. mix well.

mix gulab jamun ingredients

5. add 1 tablespoon milk and gather together to form a dough with milk. don’t knead. just gently mix. if you are unable to form balls or if the mixture appears dry, then add a few teaspoons of milk and mix again. cover the dough and keep aside for 30 minutes.

mix gulab jamun ingredients and milk

making sugar solution for gulab jamun

6. mix 1.75 cups (250 grams) sugar in 1 cup water.

sugar solution for making gulab jamun

7. on a medium-low flame, heat the sugar solution till it becomes sticky. you just need to switch off the fire before the syrup reaches a one thread consistency. the syrup should be sticky and not watery. you can even cook the sugar syrup till it reaches a half-string consistency.

sugar solution for making gulab jamun

8. add rose water and stir. keep the sugar solution aside. on cooling, if the sugar syrup crystallizes, then just add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and warm the syrup again. stir while warming the syrup. the sugar crystals will disappear.

sugar solution for making gulab jamun

9. make small balls from the dough without cracks. cover the gulab jamun balls and keep aside.

make gulab jamun balls

frying gulab jamun

10. heat oil until it is medium hot. lower the flame to a medium-low or low and wait for a minute. then gently place the gulab jamun balls in the oil. if in case, the gulab jamun is breaking while being fried, then add some more maida (about 1 to 2 tablespoons) in it. mix gently again. keep aside for fifteen minutes. then later fry. you can also check one small piece before frying the rest. if it breaks, then use the tip mentioned above.

fry the gulab jamuns

11. once they start to have tiny golden spots, keep on rotating them in the oil, so that the jamun are evenly browned. since i was taking pics, i browned a few of them more.

remove fried gulab jamuns

12. remove the fried gulab jamun balls and then drain them on kitchen paper towels to remove extra oil.

fried gulab jamuns

adding gulab jamun to sugar syrup

13. then place the hot gulab jamun in the sugar syrup. then continue frying the gulab jamun this way in batches.

add gulab jamuns to sugar syrup

14. when all the gulab jamun are placed in the sugar syrup, then keep the whole pan on a low flame for 1 to 2 minutes, till the gulab jamun become soft. heating helps the jamun to absorb the syrup and become soft. the gulab jamun increase a bit in size. don’t overcook as then the gulab jamun can break. use a large pan, so that the fried jamun balls are not overcrowded and you can easily stir them gently while they are simmering.

gulab jamun recipe with khoya

15. serve gulab jamun warm or at room temperature. you can also chill the gulab jamun and serve them cold. garnish the gulab jamun with rose petals or almond slivers.

gulab jamun recipe with khoya

recipe 2 – making gulab jamun with milk powder

ingredients required

for the jamun

  • 1 cup milk powder
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour or maida
  • 1 teaspoon oil OR ½ teaspoon ghee
  • a pinch of salt (optional)
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon fresh curd (yogurt or dahi)
  • a few blanched pistachios (pista) or almond slices (badam) for garnishing

for the sugar syrup

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3 to 4 green cardamoms – husked and crushed or powdered (choti elaichi) or ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • a pinch of saffron (kesar) – optional
  • 1 teaspoon rose water – optional

how to make gulab jamun

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 discarded when serving the gulab jamun.

sugar solution for gulab jamun recipe

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

sugar solution for gulab jamun recipe

3. add some pistachios in the syrup. an optional step but tastes good. make a thick syrup and switch off the fire much before the sugar solution reaches a one thread consistency. you can cook the sugar syrup till it reaches a half string consistency. on cooling, if the sugar syrup crystallizes, then just add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and warm the syrup again. it will again return to a liquid state.

preparing sugar syrup for gulab jamun recipe

4. mix the 1 cup milk powder, ¼ cup all-purpose flour or maida, a pinch of baking soda, a pinch of salt (optional) in a mixing bowl. add 1 teaspoon oil OR ½ teaspoon ghee and 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh curd or yogurt.

preparing dough for gulab jamun recipe

5. just mix everything lightly. add some more curd 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 gulab jamun will not be soft.

dough for gulab jamun recipe

6. 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 teaspoons of curd 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

frying gulab jamun

7. 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 alright to proceed further. if it cracks, then just add some 1 or 2 teaspoons 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

8. when you know the oil is hot enough and on a low flame or medium-low flame, then add 3 to 4 balls or more depending on the capacity of your kadai or pan. the gulab jamun 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

9. keep on turning the gulab jamun 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 jamun would have a hard crisp thick cover when fried in not so hot oil and they won’t absorb the sugar syrup. plus they would absorb a lot of oil too.

gulab jamuns

adding gulab jamun to sugar syrup

10. when the gulab jamun balls are evenly golden and browned, remove from the slotted spoon and add them directly into the sugar syrup. keep the gulab jamun in the sugar syrup for at least 1 to 2 hours before serving. this is done so that the gulab jamun soaks up the sugar syrup which will make them soft and sweet. that’s why in the mithai shops, the gulab jamun are always soaked in sugar syrup.

if you feel the gulab jamun is not soaking in the sugar syrup, then warm the whole gulab jamun for a couple of minutes 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

11. gulab jamun 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

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dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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150 comments/reviews

  1. Hi Dassana
    I wanted to inquire about doubling the recipe. How would I go about with the amount of flour and Sooji. I did 6 Tablespoons of Maida and 4 Tablespoons of Sooji and ended up with polka dot Gulab Jamuns that resembled strawberries 😃 So I guess 3 Tablespoons of Sooji would be sufficient?5 stars

    • radha, whenever sooji is used, one has to be careful. firstly too much of sooji can make the dish hard or dense. and when sooji is added it absorbs moe moisture or water content from the mixture or batter. so here in this case, some more liquid ingredients like milk or water can be added, so that the sooji softens and does not remain crisp – nor you can see the fine dots of sooji in the dish. in this recipe, 4 tablespoons sooji will be more. so just 2.5 to 3 tablespoons. your guess is right 🙂

  2. Hi Dassana, Your recipes are wonderful and so spot on. I have been meaning to say this on so many posts of yours that I try- but today I am posting this as I have run into an issue and I am hoping you might be able to tell me why.
    The first time I made your Gulab jamun they were just fabulous. Then the second time ( I bought a different Khoya- this was softer) and made it and all the dumplings when I put them in the sugar syrup went in , in the middle. I had half that Khoya still- saved it up and made it again today and this happened with some and not all.
    What am I doing wrong- did I put in the dumplings too hot into the sugar syrup?
    Your recipes are so very good.. thank you for sharing them.5 stars

    • thanks meena. i have also used softer khoya in the recipe. gulab jamuns have to be hot when adding sugar syrup. could be that the sugar syrup was either not a perfect one string consistency or the khoya must be more on softer side. what you can do is do not heat up the sugar syrup once you add them in it. just let them soak in the syrup. hope this helps.

  3. Hi Ms. Dassana,

    I have tried several recipes from your website and others but the measurements that you give are absolutely perfect. Gulab jamuns i used to make had some or the other problem but with your recipe turned great.

    Thank you for your marvellous recipes.5 stars

  4. Ms Dasana, Hi!
    I do make gulab jamuns at home and they usually come out well. Your recipe with measurement along with people’s encouraging comments seems too helpful as my method is how I had seen my mom prepare when i was a child.
    Here i would like to clear a doubt. You said in one of the replies above that Baking soda can be replaced with Baking powder. But is it true? They have a different composition, aren’t they?5 stars

    • thanks sona. glad to know. in this recipe both baking soda or baking powder can be used. does not make much of a difference as small amount is used. they do have different compositions but for recipes like gulab jamuns, pakoras, koftas etc, they can be substituted with each other.

  5. Hii, i was just having one qwery… Can baking powder be replaced with baking soda?? If not then what else can be used… I m huge fans of yours and ur dishes..

  6. I don’t know if this has been answered before.. but, what exactly is the purpose for the paneer? I have seen some other recipes with khoya which don’t add paneer.
    I made your recipe yesterday and it was amazing! I guess my Gulab Jamuns were too soft because after soaking in the syrup. They started breaking whenever I touched them with a spoon. I’ll just have to try again next month.5 stars

    • radha, paneer gives a softer texture. the sugar syrup has to be sticky and about 1/2 string consistency. if the sugar syrup is watery, then the jamuns will break. hope this helps.

  7. Its a perfect recipe, never goes wrong, so many times i have made it, but forgot to thank you, so thanks a lot for such a sure shot recipe, i wish i could share pics of my beautiful gulab jamuns5 stars

  8. Hi Dassana, I want to try this recipe but have a quick question….Can i use frozen khoya? We only get frozen khoya here in NZ. I will thaw it and bring it to room temperature before using. This will be the first time i’m making gulab jamuns from scratch..i’ve always bought the ready mix..so just wanted to make sure i get it right. Thank you!

  9. Hi mam..h r u? U r really great and tried ur most of ur recipes everything turned out excellent.. Tried this way of making jamuns three to four times..it turned out well..but last tym my jamuns outer layer was crispy but didn’t break anywhere.. Soaked in syrup..but I didn’t get round shapes for some of the jamuns..but while trying previous tym and all it turned very perfect..this tym ly the shape made me disappointed.. But melted in mouth..don’t know where I went wrong? It puffed up while frying with round shape and while taking from the oil the shape got changed..otherwise everything was OK and too good..thank you..

    • thanks radhi. firstly the jamuns need to be fried in small batches. this depends on the size of the kadai. if they are fried in large numbers, the shape changes. also when soaking, there should be enough room for expansion. if the bowl size is small, the jamuns will not have a round shape. other than these, i don’t see any reason for the shape getting changed as you have mentioned that the taste and texture was good.

  10. Thank you for the awesome recipe. I followed your directions, doubled the recipe and added another tablespoon of milk. It was fantastic. I used the rosewater and it really made a huge difference.

    To anyone trying this recipe, please follow the directions. Especially on the part where you do not knead the dough. Only mix it and when forming the balls pack it in carefully.5 stars

  11. Such a perfect recipe it is..‼ …yummm gulab jamuns dat got over in no time…also noone could make out dat they r home made….can’t thank u enough mam…☺5 stars

  12. i tried ur recipe and it turned out fantastic…
    i never had such soft and melt in mouth gulab jamuns…
    bt i want to make them a bit tight… as they are served in shops… mine were very soft… taste was awesome bt plzz suggest if there is a way to make them a bit tight so that they will retain their round circular shape…
    thanks fr posting and sharing..
    i hv also made paneer and khoya at home… and the paneer was soooooo delicious…

    • thats great kavita and thanks for this feedback. for a firm gulab jamuns, fry them a little more and also do not heat the syrup after you keep them in it.

  13. Hi Dassana,
    I would like to let u know that I am an absolute fan of your blog .Whenever i decide to try some things new I always stick to your directions and the result is amazing as always .So thankyou so much and keep up the good work.I had made Gulab Jamuns with khoya and paneer on this Karvachauth for thr first time and they came out perfect.Even got compliments from hubby ?

    Thanks so much ?4 stars

  14. awesome recipe.. have u posted the recipe of paasta if yes than plz share and if not than plzz update..

  15. Hi..i have bought lasa khoya(which is specially used to make gulab jaman) so can i make gulab jaman using that lasa khoya and remainig ingrediants according to ur recipie?

  16. Thanks for the recipe. But I have a problem. My gulab jamun were soft n good to taste but were not spongy…… The syrup didn’t enter the balls well. I took 1 cup each of mashed mava and grated paneer. 1/2 cup maida and 1/4 cup sooji n added baking powder. I don’t understand what went wrong? I think I added less sooji. Why is the sooji added anyways. Help me out. I want to make it for diwali.

    • you have a taken more of the maida and sooji. the maida is used for binding and half a cup is too much. sooji is also used for binding but also as it makes the jamuns soft. thus the jamun balls have become hard. just follow the recipe. in this recipe, you can even skip the sooji.

  17. Hi Amit,
    I tried this Gulab jamun recipe… And it was yummy… I had also tried gravy manchurian that was amazing too… Thanks for the detailed explanation about cooking with important notes…
    Well i read in comments that some people are getting problem when balls are spreading while it was deep fried… Same thing happened with me too… And to make the dough fine again i mixed some more maida(2tbsp) in it and kept it aside for fifteen minutes and then the balls got fried perfectly without spreading at all in the pan…
    Thanks again keep cooking and sharing the delicious…5 stars