Sunday 11 August 2013

Gulab Jamun

Gulab jamuns are undoubtedly every Indian's favorite sweet. Of the gulab jamuns I have had, my favorite has been Haldiram. If you know of any other brands or places, let me know! I like them when they are not tooo soggy yet soft, basically, a littleee bit spongy.

This is one of those dishes which I never thought, will get it right in the very first attempt. Well, they look so simple when eating, but require as much caution and care while preparing. Most critical part is making sure, it is not left half cooked in the center, and the second most is the proportion of each of the ingredients you are using for the dough, which obviously gives you the desired texture.

First things first, how to fry them. If you are not new to this then skip it! For me, the initial few jamuns turned out to be disaster, I wasted 5 jamuns before I got the process right. So sharing my experience so you can avoid the wastage.
1)Use the smallest burner of the stove.
2)Always keep the flame lowest.
3)Initially, for heating the oil, put it on high flame.
4)If you are a first timer like me, make small balls. Mine were 3/4th of an inch in diameter. Eventually they turned out to be 11/2 inch. I feel that the smaller the balls, the better are the chances of getting evenly cooked inside out.
5)Make sure the balls are smooth, without any cracks. Keep all the balls ready before frying.
6)Fry 4-5 jamuns at a time.
7)To check if the temperature is right, simmer the flame, make a tiny ball of dough and drop it in oil. It first stays at the bottom of the kadhai and takes at least 3-4 seconds for the ball to come up and float. To turn golden brown, it should take at least 8 seconds. If you feel it is happening too fast then turn off the flame and wait for 2 minutes, then turn it on low flame.  Once it turns golden brown, pick it using a slotted spoon and place it on paper towel. Give it 2 minutes to rest and use a knife to cut in half and check if its evenly cooked. If not, its possible that the temperature was too high and it browned outside too quickly without getting cooked inside. If all goes well, then off you go!

The ingredients
For Jamuns
1 cup skimmed milk powder 
[I used every day milk powder, contains powder and sugar]
2 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp thick yoghurt 
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ghee

For sugar syrup

1 cup sugar
11/2 cup water
Few saffron stands [optional]
2 green cardamoms - take out the seeds inside and slightly crush [optional]

Mix all the dry ingredients for jamun first. Now add 1 tbsp yoghurt at a time till it is sufficient to make smooth non sticky dough. Apply some ghee on your hands and knead the dough till its smooth.

Apply ghee on your hands and make small balls that are smooth without cracks. [Refer to steps mentioned above]

Put sugar and water in a vessel and bring to boil till sugar dissolves completely. Mix saffron stands and cardamom powder. Keep it warm.

Heat oil in kadhai, once hot, simmer the flame and fry 4 jamuns at a time, not more. [Refer to steps mentioned above] Place the jamuns on paper towel for few seconds to remove excess oil and quickly dip them in sugar syrup. If they become cold, they will take long time to absorb the syrup.

Gulab jamuns are ready! Serve hot . For later use, store them in fridge in air tight container and microwave for 30 seconds before serving.

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