Kala Jamun Recipe

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Say hello to the darker, but equally decadent sibling of the ever-favorite gulab jamun – the Kala Jamun. It may also be referred to by many other names in different regions of India. Ask an Indian about their favorite mithai (sweet), more than half the population will give you an answer involving any or both of these sweets. This here, is an easy and lovely Kala Jamun recipe made with paneer (cottage cheese) and khoya (evaporated milk solids). Be it a festival or just any special celebration at home, make it and enjoy with your friends and family.

kala jamun served on a white platter with 2 spoons kept on the left side and text layover.

About Kala Jamun

If you are not well-versed with this famous Indian sweet variant, there are high chances that you might confuse it with a fruit of the same name! However, the similarity ends at just the name and the fact that both the mithai and the fruit are blackish/dark purple in color.

Kala Jamun, the sweet is obviously related to the famous gulab jamun and has nothing to do with the tropical fruit, also known as java plum.

While Kala Jamun recipe does have some similarities with its counterpart, it has other regional names. For instance, kalo jaam or kala jaam. The difference between a Kala Jamun and gulab jamun, primarily, is in the color and texture.

3 kala jamun on a white plate with one cut into half to show the interior texture and the other 2 topped with chopped pistachios.

We all know that gulab jamuns are golden colored and Kala Jamun is essentially dark, just some shades away from black or even dark purple. Hence, ‘kala’ which is a Hindi word for black. This characteristic black color is achieved by frying the jamuns on low heat for a longer time. It is as simple as that.

By frying for a longer time, the exterior not only gets a dark hue, but also gets an almost bittersweet flavor and the texture also changes and becomes thicker as compared to that of a gulab jamun.

Another feature that makes these both distinct in their own is the fact that after you make a Kala Jamun recipe, you usually serve it at room temperature. Whereas, gulab jamuns are technically served hot or warm, and sometime at room temperature as well. But whatever it is, the combination of vanilla ice cream with any of these 2 jamuns is just supreme! Try it too.

More on Kala Jamun

Kala Jamun, gulab jamun, Rasgulla, Coconut Ladoo and Jalebi are a few Indian sweets that are an evergreen hit with me and folks too. I mean, we never really get bored of eating these. And I can say the same for any such person, who’s a sweet tooth, especially with an affinity towards the sweets of India.

Traditionally, khoya or mawa is used in a Kala Jamun recipe, and even to make gulab jamuns. Khoya is basically dried evaporated milk solids. These milk solids are obtained by continuously cooking the milk on a low flame, till most of the moisture evaporates.

I have adapted this Kala Jamun recipe too from my recipe of Gulab Jamun. It is quite simple, if you follow the procedure and the methodology religiously. Although, I have shaped these dark colored jamuns in an oblong form, you can even shape them in a round form.

If you follow this Kala Jamun recipe, you might have some dough left, with which you can also make another variation of this sweet, the Dry Jamun. This particular recipe will give you about 35 to 37 Kala Jamuns.

As obvious with this class of sweets, Kala Jamun too is one of the most favorite choices of sweet during festivals like Diwali, Holi, etc. And not just this, it is just perfect for small parties or get togethers at your home as well.

You can prepare the jamuns a day before and keep them soaking in the sugar syrup in the refrigerator. These Kala Jamun stay well for about a week, when refrigerated.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Kala Jamun

Making dough

1. Take 250 grams of khoya in a plate or bowl. The khoya used for the jamuns is the soft khoya known as daap ka khoya or chikna khoya, which mashes and kneads very well.

soft khoya on a dark plate for kala jamun recipe.

2. Mash the khoya very well with your hands. Keep aside. There should be no lumps or small bits or pieces in the khoya. You can also grate and then mash the khoya. Make sure the mashed khoya does not feel granular to touch.

kneading khoya for kala jamun recipe.

3. Finely grate 100 grams paneer and keep aside. 100 grams paneer yields about ½ cup grated paneer. If you are using freshly made paneer, then make sure it is well strained of the whey.

finely grated paneer in a mixing bowl.

4. Now, add the grated paneer and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (maida) to the khoya.

all-purpose flour and grated paneer added to mashed khoya in a bowl for kala jamun recipe.

5. Add 1 tablespoon milk.

adding milk to the bowl.

6. Gently mix everything very well.

mixing and making kala jamun dough.

7. Bring this mixture together and form into a dough. Do not knead the dough. Just mix and gather into a ball. If the mixture looks dry and does not cling together, you can add 1 tablespoon more of milk.

kala jamun dough.

Shaping Kala Jamun

8. Now, pinch small marble sized balls from the dough and roll them in a round shape between your palms. Roll lightly and not heavily.

rolling jamun balls by hand.

9. Now, roll the ball again between your palms to give an oblong cylindrical shape.

rolling kala jamuns into oblong shapes.

10. Roll all the jamun this way and keep them covered with a cotton kitchen towel. Note that I used only half of the dough to make Kala Jamun and saved the rest for making dry jamun.

shaped kala jamuns on a steel plate.

Making sugar syrup

11. Take 2 cups sugar in a pan.

sugar added in a pan.

12. Add 1.5 cups water.

water added to sugar.

13. Keep this pan on stovetop on low to medium heat and stir so that the sugar begins to dissolve.

stirring sugar to make it dissolve.

14. When all the sugar is dissolved, add ¼ teaspoon lemon juice, which will prevent the sugar syrup from crystallizing.

adding lemon juice to the sugar syrup.

15. Cook the sugar syrup on low to medium heat till it becomes sticky or you get ½ string consistency.

boiling the sugar syrup.

16. Switch off the heat and add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder and 12 to 15 strands of saffron, crushed. Also, add 1 tablespoon rose water.

flavoring the sugar syrup with cardamom powder, saffron and rose water.

Frying Kala Jamun

17. While the sugar syrup is cooking, begin frying the jamuns. The sugar syrup has to be hot when you add the fried jamuns. Heat oil or ghee in a kadai or deep pan on a low to medium flame for deep frying the jamuns.

heating oil in a kadai for deep frying kala jamun.

18. For testing, slide a tiny dough ball in the hot oil. The ball should slowly rise up and not pop immediately to the surface. This is the temperature at which we will fry the jamun.

frying a test ball to make sure jamun dough is correct and oil is hot enough.

19. Keep the heat to a low and fry the tiny jamun ball.

frying tester ball until golden.

20. Fry your small tester jamun till it becomes golden. If the jamun ball breaks, then add a few teaspoons of flour to the dough and mix well again. I suggest that before you begin shaping the jamuns, you do this test.

frying tester until it gets deeply golden without breaking.

21. Now, working in batches, gently slide the full-sized jamuns into the oil. The heat should be low. Do not crowd the pan.

frying first batch of full-sized jamuns.

22. When you see light golden spots, gently turn over the jamuns. Here I was handling the camera too, so the jamuns got browned more. The jamuns fry very quickly, so be attentive.

frying kala jamuns are starting to take on color.

23. Keep on turning them in the oil, like a gentle swirling with the slotted spoon, so that they brown evenly. While frying, the jamuns should feel light like thermocol balls, and not heavy.

frying kala jamuns are becoming darker.

24. Fry till they turn a shade or two darker than the golden color.

turning jamuns in the oil to get them evenly browned and dark.

25. Place Kala Jamun on paper towels to remove excess oil.

draining fried kala jamun on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

26. Whilst they are still hot from the pan, quickly add Kala Jamun to the sugar syrup. Fry all the jamuns in the same way and then add to the sugar syrup. Note that the sugar syrup has to be hot. To maintain the hot temperature, you can keep the sugar syrup bowl or pan on a hot water bath. Cover and allow the Kala Jamun to soak in the sugar syrup for 3 to 4 hours before serving. Once the sugar syrup cools down, keep the bowl covered in the refrigerator.

soaking fried kala jamun in prepared sugar syrup.

27. Serve Kala Jamun at room temperature or chilled as a dessert. You can garnish with some sliced or chopped pistachios or blanched almonds while serving, or even offer up a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream to accompany your sweets.

oblong serving platter of kala jamun and sugar syrup with a small round plate with 3 pieces of kala jamun on it and text layover.

Expert Tips

  1. You can try making different shaped Kala Jamuns. I gave them an oblong shape, you can make round ones too.
  2. A special type of soft khoya a.k.a ‘daap ka khoya’ or ‘chikna khoya’ is used to make the Kala Jamun. As it is soft, it mashed and kneads very well.
  3. You will have to mash the khoya so well that there are no lumps or small bits left in it. It should also not feel granular to touch.
  4. If you are opting to use freshly made paneer, make sure to strain the whey well out of it.
  5. While kneading the dough, if the mixture looks dry and doesn’t come together, add 1 tablespoon more milk.
  6. When you are frying the jamuns, ensure they feel light and not heavy. This lightness is similar to the lightness of thermocol balls.  
  7. Make sure that you are adding the fried jamuns in hot sugar syrup. To maintain the hot temperature of the sugar syrup, you can keep the syrup bowl/pan on a hot water bath.
  8. Make stuffed jamuns: Flatten the dough and add a small amount of chopped dried fruits, crushed pistachios with kesar, and/or crushed toasted cashews colored with saffron water for a bit of extra texture. Wrap the dough around the filling, shape, then fry as directed.


Why are my Kala Jamun hard?

Sounds like one of the two things happened. First, if you mix the dough too much, then the jamuns will become hard. Second, the sugar syrup should not have more than 1-string consistency or it will become too thick. Hence, the jamuns will not be able to absorb the sugar syrup and turn dense.  

Why did my Kala Jamun break when I added them to the oil?

I’ve heard of this happening with readers who make their own khoya. If you prefer to make khoya (milk solids) instead of buying it, make sure that it has a fine consistency. It should not be granular or have discernible balls in it, or they will cause the dough to be unstable when it goes in the oil.

Can I make Kala Jamun without paneer?

Absolutely! Just replace it with an equal amount of khoya (and keep the original amount of khoya called for).

Why are my jamuns raw in the center?

Make sure you are frying over medium-low heat for a long time. If you fry it in too hot oil, it will become very dark very quickly, but the center won’t have time to cook properly. Also, be sure to shape your jamuns evenly, so they cook uniformly.

More Diwali Sweets To Try!

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kala jamun

Kala Jamun | Black Gulab Jamun

This is an easy and delicious recipe of kala jamun made with khoya (mawa) and cottage cheese.
4.93 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Cuisine North Indian
Course Desserts
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 17 to 20


for kala jamun balls

  • 250 grams Khoya – soft or 1 cup tightly packed khoya (mawa or dried evaporated milk solids)
  • 100 grams Paneer or ½ cup tightly packed grated paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 3 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • oil or ghee (clarified butter) for deep frying

sugar syrup for kala jamun

  • 300 grams sugar or 2 cups sugar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 12 to 15 strands of saffron


preparation for kala jamun

  • Take 250 grams of khoya in a plate or bowl. The khoya used for kala jamun is the soft khoya also known as hariyali khoya or chikna khoya. This is a soft khoya, so it mashes and kneads very well.
  • Mash the khoya very well with your hands. Keep aside. There should be no lumps or small bits or pieces in the khoya. You can also grate and then mash the khoya.
  • Grate 100 grams paneer and keep aside. 100 grams paneer yields about 1/2 cup grated paneer.

making kala jamun balls

  • Now add the grated paneer and 3 tbsp all purpose flour (maida) to the khoya.
  • Add 1 tbsp milk. gently mix everything very well.
  • Bring together this mixture and form into a dough. Do not knead the dough. Just mix and gather to a dough. If the mixture looks dry and does not cling together to a dough, you can add 1 tbsp more of the milk.
  • Now pinch small marble sized balls from the dough and roll them in a round shape between your palms. Roll lightly and not heavily.
  • Now roll the ball again between your palms to give a oblong cylindrical shape.
  • Roll all the jamun this way and keep them covered with a cotton kitchen towel.

making sugar syrup for kala jamun

  • Take 2 cups sugar in a pan and add 1.5 cups water.
  • Keep this pan on stove top on a low to medium flame and stir so that the sugar begins to dissolve.
  • When all the sugar is dissolved, add 1/4 tsp lemon juice. The lemon juice does not allow the sugar syrup to crystallize.
  • Cook the sugar syrup on a low to medium flame till you get 1/2 string consistency or the syrup becomes sticky.
  • When the sugar syrup is cooking, you can begin frying the kala jamun. As when you add the kala jamun, the sugar syrup has to be hot. Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or deep pan on a low to medium flame.
  • Switch off the flame and add 1/2 tsp cardamom powder and 12 to 15 strands of saffron, crushed. Also add 1 tbsp rose water.

frying – making black gulab jamun

  • For testing, slid a tiny dough ball in the hot oil.
  • The ball should come up slowly and not quickly. This is the temperature at which we will fry the jamuns.
  • Keep the flame to a low and fry this small jamun till it becomes golden.
  • Now gently slid the kala jamun. Do not crowd and add the jamuns as per the size of the pan.
  • When you see faint golden spots, turn over the jamun gently.
  • Keep on turning them in the oil, like a gentle swirling with the slotted spoon, so that they brown evenly. When frying the jamun have to feel light and not heavy.
  • Fry till they turn a shade or two darker than the golden fried color.
  • Place them on paper towels.
  • Whilst they are hot, quickly add them to the sugar syrup.
  • Fry all the kala jamun in the same way and add them to the sugar syrup.
  • Cover and allow them to soak in the sugar syrup. Once the sugar syrup cools down, keep the bowl covered in the fridge.
  • Serve kala jamun at room temperature or chilled as a dessert or sweet.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Kala Jamun | Black Gulab Jamun
Amount Per Serving
Calories 136 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 42mg2%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 65IU1%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 130mg13%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Kala Jamun Recipe from the archives was first published in April 2015. It has been updated and republished in March 2024.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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  1. Can I stuff dry fruits inside the jamuns and make in round shape instead of cylindrical shape5 stars

  2. Hello,

    I made eggless choclate cake following your recipe it turned out superb.here I want to ask that if I use only 250gms of khoya then how much maida and milk should I add.

    1. thanks gurpreet for the feedback on eggless chocolate cake recipe. you mean you don’t want to add paneer? then just add half tablespoon maida and about 2 to 3 teaspoons milk.

  3. hello; I made kala jamun according to your recipe it’s done very tasty but it’s too hard pz reply me

    1. if you mix dough too much, then the jamuns will become hard. also the sugar syrup should not should not have more than 1 string consistency or become too thick. then the jamuns cannot absorb the sugar syrup and will be dense. hope this helps.

  4. You are recipe are very easy how to make kala jamun I will try for making this desert

    1. surely try monu and do share your views on kala jamun, thanks for positive views.

  5. Hello mam,
    I am a big fan of your recipes I never showed interest in cooking and knew about its importance…. but when I started experimenting your recipes it came so well….just loved to make them really tons of thanks to u….I have a question to u….when I made Kala jamun balls they were hard but when I dropped them in oil it broke into pieces I made home made khova and with equal proportions as you mentioned…. where did I go wrong……blessings from mom greetings from my sis.

    1. thanks a lot pratibha. please do convey my regards to your mom and sis. since you mention that the dough balls were hard, could be that the khova had small tiny balls like granular consistency. the khova/khoya has to have a fine consistency. and this can also be the reason, that after adding them in oil, the jamuns broke.

  6. Hi Dasanna,

    Your kala jamun recipe is copied with image and is shining on another blog. Pls check it…There may be many more from your blog.

    1. thanks latha for letting me know. i checked the website and will see what i can do. this person has taken some other recipes as well. its very difficult in cases like these as there is no way you can contact the owner of the website. sometimes the web hosting company also does not respond. i have removed the link and saved it.

      1. Hi mam,

        I felt really bad after reading that someone copied your hard work. I would suggest to watermark all your pics with your name/sitename. So that even if someone copies, the original watermark will be there. Just a suggestion

  7. i love the way the recipe is shown with pics.i would suggest u should add the tips also which should be avoided or done compulsorily along with the recipe. or alternatives of the ingredients if possible.Thanks for this lovely n usefull site.

    1. thanks richa. usually i add the tips in the steps and things that can be avoided in most of my recipes.

  8. Hi, quick question, can we skip paneer?? any alternative for that?? I have khoya but not paneer readily available…

  9. Hi dassana

    I tried this recepie for the first time and it turned out good. I wish I could send u the pic to elaborate ;), however I have certain queries, if you could help to make it even more perfect for Diwali :-

    a) The cylindrical shape results in non uniformity while frying. Even though I stirred the oil constantly still some of the jamuns turned out to be non uniform in texture. I would like all my jamuns to be similar in texture. Pls advise…
    b) what is the perfect stuffing for the jamuns.? I stuffed them with pistachio & kesar.
    c) do we need to continuously stir the sugar while preparing the syrup to prevent it from caromalising?
    d) I have refrigerated the leftover syrup. Can I use it for next time also while prepring fresh syrup ?
    e) what effect it would have on texture if you add sooji too in the dough. Will it darken?
    f) you have not used baking soda whole preparing. Adding a pinch of baking soda and making it react with a lil lemon juice makes it more fluffy . 🙂

    1. hi karan, your queries answered below. wish you a happy diwali.

      1. the oblong shape has to be uniform. after you roll into a oblong or cylindrical shape, then press the top and bottom sides to flatten them a bit, so that they don’t taper. when frying, sometimes, since the jamuns are light, even after frying them, they resume to the original position. with a slotted spoon they have to be turned over so that the other side gets fried. you have to use keep on rotatating, swirling and turning over the jamuns often to get a uniform color and texture.
      2. pistachios and kesar are good enough.
      3. just stir in the beginning to melt the sugar. once the sugar is melted, than stir occasionally.
      4. yes you can. just add it to the fresh syrup once the fresh syrup is done.
      5. sooji can be added. it will help in giving a soft texture.
      6. i know about the baking soda. wanted to share a recipe that everyone can make with the ingredients easily available 🙂

  10. Hi…..Your recipes are awesome..I. made kalajamun today….but somehow it was bit salty……I used store bought paneer.What could be the reason.?

    1. did you also use store brough khoya. sometimes store brought khoya has a bit of salt in it. salt can also be in paneer. could be this is the reason why the jamuns were tasting salty.

      1. Hmm…..yeah khoya was also from outside…Next time will try with home made paneer.Anyways thanks a lot for your wonderful recipes..They are given in a detailed way..Hats off to your patience.Now a days your website is a big addiction for me..Keep it up..,

        1. thankyou pavani 🙂 for your kind and positive words. glad to know you liked the kala jamuns. pleased to know this and god bless you.

  11. Hi Dassana,
    Ever since the first dish I made turned out to be a big hit I have made a lot of dishes seeing your recipes, and every single dish has come out really great. A Big Thank you for all the simple,yet awesome recipes.
    Diwali is coming soon, so I decided to try make these Kala Jamuns today. Made the khoya, as specified in this site, and then used it to make the Jamuns which turned out really Yumm 🙂 Although since in our home we don’t use maida, I decided to use a mixture of 2tbsp whole wheat flour + 1tbsp ground cashew + 1tbsp oat flour. It turned out really well and it’s a really good substitute for maida. My family said these were the best Jamuns they ever had.
    I must again Thank you for your great efforts and tips, You and my family made my day 🙂
    PS – Your recipes have become such an inspiration for me that, almost every morning I go like “which Dassana recipe should I try and do today?” and my family members started asking me why I became suddenly interested in cooking,( I am 22 and didn’t enter the kitchen much during my studies lol) and I answer them Dassana’s Vegrecipesofindia. 🙂5 stars

    1. thank you very much reshma. i feel so good after reading your feedback. in fact for the binding, traditionally maida is used, but also flours like barnyard millet flour, amaranth flour, oats flour can be used. the combination of flours you used is good and innovative.

      your family must be happy that you are taking interest in cooking. thanks a lot again and i wish you all the best for your future.

  12. Hello,
    Firstly congratulations for such a lovely website, when ever I want to know how to cook a new dish I jus check in to yours n get the superb answer.
    I jus tried out kala Jamun recipe on this karvachauth n it jus turned out so yummy n Owsome..
    Thanks a million for your such efforts.
    Keep it up n make more new dishes.

    With loads warm wishes
    Ankita…5 stars

    1. firstly a big thankyou dr ankita for your kind and positive words 🙂 pleased to know you liked the kala jamuns. you are always welcome.

  13. Thanks for the great recipe:)…I’m a big fan of all your website!!…Very helpful!

  14. Today I read your recipe kala jamun .are so easy make in home…thanks &god bless you

  15. Very yummy…but whenever i make gulabjamun or kalajamun,i always find a small raw part in d middle of d jamun…do u have any solutions?

    1. they have to be fried on a low temperature for some time. if the oil is hot, then the outside gets browned quickly and the inside remains raw. so the oil should not be very hot.

  16. Your dishes rly nyc…..i’ll surely make a dish frm myself thnk u so mch for ur recipes…..

  17. Hi Dassana,
    Always been a big fan of your site. Really love your recipes.
    It is as if this site is like my teacher. It teaches me a lot of recipes, and that too, whichever I want, I search it here and mostly I get them.5 stars

    1. pleased to know this nazo 🙂 looking forward for more feedback from you and thankyou so much for your kind words.