gulab jamuns

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

gulab jamuns

I’m going to be honest.  I have no idea how “gulab jamuns” are properly pronounced, but I will say that if you’re me, you might find yourself dancing around the kitchen replacing all of the “shamoes” in MJ’s “Bad” with the way you imagine gulab jamuns might be pronounced.

In addition to being delicious (and really.  they’re doughnuts soaked in simple syrup, so why wouldn’t they be?), these little guys also make me think of all the lunch hours I’ve spent with dear friends (Kim, Aine, Alison) at the Bombay Bistro, stuffing my face with sticky little doughnuts of awesome, and all of the afternoons following those lunch hours during which i tried valiantly to fight off the food coma.

anyway, this is an indian dessert staple, or at least, that’s what the nice lady over at manjula’s kitchen says (from whom i stole the recipe).  so, here we go:

the stuff:

1 cup nonfat milk powder (yes, I know. just work with me here).

1/4 cup All Purpose flour
3 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
1/4 cup room temperature whole milk
Pinch of baking soda
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water
4 coarsely grounded cardamom seeds (I mortar and pestle’d them)
pistacios for sprinkling when you serve
vegetable oil for frying

the how-to:

Syrup:

In a large pan, add water, sugar, and ground cardamom seeds and bring it to a boil.
Let the syrup boil for a minute, remove from the heat, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Do not over-boil or you will make caramel.  you do not want to make caramel.
Cover and set aside (preferably near the heat to keep it more or less warm).

Gulab Jamun:

In a bowl, mix milk powder, flour and baking soda.
Add the butter and mix well.  probably with your hands.  that seemed to work better.
Now add milk to make soft dough. The dough will be sticky.
Let the dough sit for a few minutes. The milk powder will absorb the extra milk. If the dough is dry, add more milk, as the dough should be soft. (I did have to add a few more splashes of milk).
Knead the dough. Grease your hands with butter before working with the dough.  (really, though. that stuff was hella sticky).
Divide the dough into about 20 equal portions and roll them into round balls.
Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat. The frying pan should have at least 1 ½ inch of oil. To test if the oil is the right temperature, place a small piece of dough into the oil; it should take a minute to rise. If dough rises faster, oil is too hot; if dough just sits without rising, oil is not hot enough.
Place the gulab jamuns in the frying pan. Note: remember gulab jamuns will expand in double the volume, so give them enough space.
It should take about 7 minutes to fry the gulab jamuns. While frying keep rolling the gulab jamuns around so they are evenly browned (really. right away or you’ll end up with silly brown spots). Fry until the gulab jamuns become dark brown.
Let the gulab jamuns cool off for a few minutes (on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil) before placing in the still warm and hopefully even still a little hot syrup. (don’t be in a rush to get them in the syrup.  apparently they get gross and chewy if they’re put in the syrup without being given enough time to cool down).

manjula seems to think that the gulab jamuns only need to sit in the hot syrup for 20 minutes.  but the rest of the internet disagrees and says that no self-respecting gulab jamun would sit in the simple syrup for anything less than an overnight.  so that’s what i did (in the fridge), and it worked out really well.

to serve, i just reheated the gulab jamuns in the simple syrup, and plated with some vanilla ice cream and pistachios for sprinkling.

manjula claims that the little guys will keep at room temperature for about a week and up to a month in the fridge.  they can also be frozen “for months.”  that relayed, i’m not sure whether that means in or out of the simple syrup.  if anyone figures it out, let me know.

you know i’m bad, i’m bad, gulab! jamuns!

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