Gulab Jamun (from Curried Favors)

Serves 8

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • ¾ cup nonfat dry milk
  • ¼ cup all-purpose (plain) flour, plus
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 to ½ cup heavy cream, as needed
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • In a 4-quart saucepan prepare a syrup by stirring sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Transfer one third of syrup to a wide pan (where balls will soak when done) and set aside to cool. Keep remaining syrup in saucepan and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine nonfat dry milk, ¼ flour, and baking powder. Add the heavy cream in small increments – stirring to keep mixture well blended – until smooth dough is formed. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times. Form the dough into 24 smooth, seamless 1-inch balls; if the seams cannot be smoothed over, batter needs a little more cream.
  • Heat larger amount of reserved syrup in its saucepan until simmering. Keep over low heat.
  • In a wok or deep saucepan heat oil to 325 F. Fry 5 or 6 balls at a time until they turn reddish-brown color, about 3 minutes. If heat is too high, they will brown quickly on the outside and remain uncooked within.
  • Drain balls briefly on paper towels, then transfer to simmering syrup, keeping heat high enough to maintain a slow boil. Boil each group as they are fried and drained for about 1 to 2 minutes until they expand somewhat and feel spongy to the touch. Transfer to cooked syrup in the wide pan.
  • When all balls are cooked, remove simmering syrup from heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. (If syrup gets very thick, thin it with a small amount of hot water.) Stir in the cardamom and add syrup to the soaking balls. Set aside for 2 hours before serving. The balls should have a soft, porous texture. Serve in pairs with a small amount of syrup.
  • Note:The balls will keep refrigerated in their syrup for days. Warm them up slightly before serving; if syrup is too thick, thin it with a little hot water.


From the award-winning cookbook Curried Favors


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