gulab jamun recipe with step by step photos. this gulab jamun recipe is a tried, tested and easy recipe to make delicious melt in the mouth gulab jamun with khoya and paneer (cottage cheese). this gulab jamun recipe is easy for beginners too and they can also make these soft and tasty gulab jamun.
what is gulab jamun ?
gulab jamun is a sweet made from milk solids. 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 “jamuns” are darkish purple berries (java plum, black plum). 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.
there are some variations of making gulab jamun. authentically and traditionally they are always made with khoya or mawa. khoya is basically dried evaporated milk. they are milk solids which are obtained by continuously cooking the milk on a low flame.
making khoya at home takes time. but you can easily make instant khoya and then make gulab jamun with it. i have already posted both the long method and the instant method of making khoya.
when i have less time, i make instant khoya. you can check both the recipes of making khoya in the links given below:
gulab jamun recipes can also made from milk powder, sweet potatoes (vegan option), paneer, potatoes and bread. however, the best authentic taste comes from gulab jamun made with khoya.
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 ?
- if there is too much moisture in the dough, the jamuns will break in oil.
- more baking powder can also result in the jamuns breaking and disintegrating in oil.
- 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.
- if the binding ingredients like maida or rava (sooji) are less, then this can also break jamun when frying.
- as soon as you add the jamun balls in the oil, then let them become slightly crisp and then only turn them.
- when making jamun dough balls, there should be no cracks. if you see cracks then add some more milk. mix and then form the jamun again.
why has gulab jamun become hard ?
- if there is less moisture in the jamuns, they may become hard.
- 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 jamuns dense and heavy. even if they are slightly dense they won’t absorb the syrup and thus remain hard. in fact when frying jamuns, they should feel like very light spongy balls. you will feel the lightness in them.
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 jamuns absorb more sugar syrup resulting in them being super soft and they 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 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 jamuns will absorb more oil and can crack or break too.
- if the oil is very hot, then the jamuns will get browned quickly with the inside portion being uncooked and raw.
type of khoya to be used for making gulab jamun
for making gulab jamun the type of khoya that is used is called as chikna khoya or dhaap khoya. 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.
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.
this gulab jamun recipe from my home science notes is tried, tested and has never failed. i have made these gulab jamun many times. you will need khoya (mawa or dried evaporated milk solids) and paneer to make the jamuns. addition of these two ingredients make soft, melt in mouth best gulab jamun.
few more diwali sweet recipes you may like are:
ingredients (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
- 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 jamuns. 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 jamuns become soft.
heating helps the gulab jamun to absorb the syrup and become soft. the jamuns increase a bit in size. don't over cook as then the jamuns 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.
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how to make gulab jamun recipe
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.
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.
3. 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. 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.
4. mix well.
5. 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 and mix again. cover the dough and keep aside for 30 mins.
making sugar solution for gulab jamun
6. dissolve sugar in water.
7. heat the sugar solution till it becomes sticky. you just need to switch off the fire before the syrup reaches a one thread consistency.
8. 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.
9. make small balls from the dough without cracks. cover the gulab jamun balls and keep aside.
frying gulab jamun
10. heat oil till its medium hot. lower the flame and wait for a minute. then gently place the gulab jamuns in the oil. if in case, the jamuns are breaking while being fried, then add some more maida/all purpose flour (about 1 to 2 tbsp) in it. keep aside for 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.
11. once they start to have tiny golden spots, keep on rotating them in the oil, so that the jamuns are evenly browned. since i was taking pics, i browned a few of them extra.
12. remove the fried gulab jamuns and then drain them on kitchen paper towels to remove extra oil.
making gulab jamun
13. then place the hot gulab jamun in the sugar syrup. then continue frying the gulab jamun this way in batches.
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 jamuns to absorb the syrup and become soft. the gulab jamun increase a bit in size. don’t over cook as then the gulab jamun can break. use a large pan, so that the jamuns are not overcrowded and you can easily stir them gently while they are simmering.
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.