Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. ~Ernestine Ulmer
Gulab Jamuns have always been a very very common yet very delicate dessert. It can be paired with Vanilla Ice Cream for a great summer time dessert for weddings and parties. Gulab Jamuns are a definite addition to our Diwali Day breakfasts along with all the other sweets and savories that Madurai Amma makes…Gulab Jamuns were always made by me. It was not very easy for her to bequeath her right in the kitchen to me. When such opportunities presented themselves, I would take them up with elan and come up to speed. She would be pleased I presume, but she would never articulate her feelings.It would be an awesome feeling, to get up, have oil bath, wear new clothes and burst firecrackers on Diwali morning. The next best thing was of course the breakfast – It was always hot steaming idlis, hot steel tumbler filled to the brim with coffee and a plate full of Diwali Sweets and savories made at home.
I had always managed to pull in customs from both families to add to my own, and I enjoyed doing that a lot. I would try to recreate the dishes staple in my husband`s home for numerous occasions, during his childhood days. Sometimes I brought customs from my own childhood all the while telling stories to the kids, about anecdotes and incidents during those times. It always managed to comfort me…This time around, I wanted to make the Dry Jamun version which my kiddo, and my nephew loves. Hope you try it and like them too! The ingredients are few and minimalistic and the procedure is also very simple. This is inspired by Nisha Madhulika`s version, with a few adaptations of my own.
For Making Khoya/ Mawa:
1/4 Cup Butter.
1/2 Cup Milk.
1 Cup Non Fat Dry Milk Powder/ Full Fat Dry Milk Powder/ Milk Mawa Powder.
4 Tsp Maida/ All Purpose Flour.
Pinch of Baking Soda.
3-4 Tsp Milk.
For the Sugar Syrup:
1 1/2 Cups Sugar.
3/4 Cup Water.
1/2 Tsp Cardamom Powder.
A few drops of rose essence.
- The first part of the process is to make Mawa which is the base for the Gulab Jamun. Add butter to a pan and switch on the stove on medium heat.
- Pour in the milk and whisk it gently. Once its mixed well, slowly add the milk powder and whisk to bring them together. Keep the flame on medium low and keep mixing it now and then. It should NEVER catch the bottom, so this is possible only if you continue to mix on medium flame. The runny mixture will slowly start getting together until it pulls away from the sides of the pan. Switch off the flame and transfer to an air tight container. This is the base for the Gulab Jamun. It will be a mass that holds together.
- Prepare the Sugar Solution as per the directions below. Set aside.
- Take a large bowl, topple in the prepared mawa, add about 4 tsp of All Purpose Flour, a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of baking soda. Knead the dough by pressing with your palm and mixing it all in. The Mawa gets crumbly but because the oil content in it, the warmth from your hands allow it to soften and bend easily. Keep kneading and if required add a few tsp of milk, a Tsp at a time. Once the dough is smooth and without any cracks keep covered for about ten to twenty minutes.
- Pour out enough ghee/ oil (enough to completely submerge the jamuns ) in a heavy bottomed kadai.
- Keep the flame strictly on medium and allow it to get hot enough.
- Start rolling out smooth balls and slowly drop them in to the kadai. Keep the rest of the dough covered with a moist kitchen cloth. Keep moving the jamuns on medium heat untitl they are uniformly fried on all sides, almost to a dark brown. Drain out the oil and place the jamuns in a dry bowl lined with paper towels.
- After a few minutes, add it slowly to the sugar solution.
- Continue and complete all the prepared dough and allow the jamuns to soak for about twenty minutes.
- Take a dry plate and spread granulated white sugar.
- Take the jamuns one at a time, roll completely in the sugar and place on a parchment sheet. The residual syrup o n the jamuns help in the sugar coating, Allow to dry.
- Garnish with silver varq and store in a dry air tight container in the fridge.
Preparation of Sugar Solution:
- Take 1 1/2 Cups of sugar in a heavy bottomed vessel and add half the water. Keep stirring on medium flame until the sugar is completely dissolved and it gets slightly syrupy. When you drop the syrup with the ladle, it will slightly fall in a stringy line…but still stay watery. It does NOT need to become one string consistency. Flavor with cardamom powder and rose essence and still aside.