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  • Gulab Jamun

    YIELD: 20 pieces
    TOOLS: You’ll need a wide, heavy-bottomed stockpot; a sifter; a shallow bowl; a plate; a small kadhai, wok, or saucepan; a slotted spoon; and a plate lined with paper towels.

    If there’s one dessert that Indians truly love, it’s this one. I dedicate this recipe to my mother, who is known all over the East Coast for making some of the best gulab jamun ever. I also dedicate this recipe to my best childhood friend, Grace, who used to eat these like doughnut holes, popping one after another into her mouth. I wish my metabolism was the same today as it was back in high school! Now, I have to restrict myself to just one.

    • 1 1/2 cups /300 g granulated or raw cane sugar, such as Sucanat
    • 1 1/2 cups /350 mL water
    • 1 pinch saffron (optional)
    • 5 tablespoons /40 g maida (unbleached all-purpose flour)
    • 1 cup /130 g powdered or dry milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1 tablespoon ghee
    • 7 1/2 tablespoons /110 mL heavy whipping cream
    • 2 cups /470 mL vegetable oil, for frying
    1. In a wide, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium–high heat, combine the sugar with the water. Stir well and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until they are completely blended together. Remove from the heat. Add the saffron, if using, and set aside.
    2. Sift the flour into a shallow bowl and add the powdered milk, baking powder, ground cardamom, and ghee. Stir well until all the ingredients come together. Slowly add the cream and stir well, until a dough forms.
    3. Remove 1 teaspoon of dough from the bowl and roll it into a smooth ball. Place the ball on a plate. Repeat until you use all the dough (should yield about 20 balls).
    4. In a kadhai, wok, or saucepan over medium–high heat, warm the oil. I use a small kadhai because I don’t like to use too much oil; the oil should be about 1 inch / 3 cm deep in the deepest part of the kadhai. You’ll know the oil is hot enough when you drop in a tiny ball of dough and it rises to the top immediately. As soon as you see that it is ready, reduce the heat to low. If it starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Just pull the kadhai away from the heat to let the oil cool down a bit.
    5. Slowly add the dough balls, 5 to 10 at a time, to the kadhai and cook, using a slotted spoon to move the balls around as they cook, for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are dark brown all over. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until all the gulab jamun have been fried. Remove from the heat.
    6. Add the dough balls to the stockpot containing the syrup from Step 1. Set aside at room temperature for 3 hours to overnight (overnight is ideal) so that they absorb the syrup and become very soft.
    7. Remove from the stockpot. Serve at room temperature or warm in a small pan over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. You can also warm them for 30 seconds along with a little syrup in the microwave.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

© 2016 Alta Editions LLC.