Anything edible worth its salt or sugar should I say, is really worth a post on the blog, isn’t it? So, what the heck if it is ‘instant’ and almost every Tom Dick and Harry knows how to make it? After sleeping over it for a whole night (it was indeed difficult), I decided to just go ahead anyways. So, bear with me if it feels like an old wine in a new bottle, well, at least the bottle is new and shiny too.
After several failed attempts to find the right translation for it in English (which I usually do), I just gave up. Honestly, tell me how would you like the sound of “milk dough balls in sugar syrup”?
Somehow it doesn’t do justice to such an elegant sweet, instead, it sounds like that of crashing fine china dropped 10 feet to the ground. So I left it at what sounds sweet in the first place, ‘Gulab Jamun’. And please, call it that way.
In my circle, Gulab Jamun has always been a customary must do for Deepavali (I prefer calling it this way, “Diwali” has an entirely opposite meaning in Kannada).
I remember waking up to warm Gulab Jamuns at wee hours on Deepavali mornings in all my childhood years. Break the overnight fast with a Gulab Jamun plopped in your mouth and only then, you were given a green signal to burst crackers.
Guess what? the custom goes on even today without an iota of resistance from a single soul.
And why not?
It is indeed hard to resist a sweet so velvety soft and fluffy, warm and fuzzy melting in your mouth at the touch of your tongue before your five senses wrap around it. And exactly that very thought got me into making it for this festive season.
I will post the recipe for Gulab Jamun made from scratch some day, but until then, Instant it is.
And if I have managed to indulge you until now, a very Happy Deepavali to you! May the festival of lights brighten up your year ahead in all ways you would ever wish for..
Back to business,
Things you’ll need:
- Instant Gulab Jamun Mix (I have used MTR – 200 gm pack)
- 1/4 cup Non fat milk
- 2 cups Cane Sugar (adjust quantity for white sugar)
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 3-4 Cardamom pods finely powdered (remove the skin)
- A pinch of Saffron
- Oil for frying (I’ve used peanut oil)
How it’s done:
Packet comes with preparation instructions. Here are my 2 cents:
- I have used Non-fat milk in place of water to bind the Gulab Jamun mix into a softer dough. Sprinkle milk a little at a time to mix the dough, instead of pouring all at once.
- Be very gentle to mix the dough with your fingers only (do not use your palm). Baking Soda is part of the Jamun mix and hence, kneading too much will stop the Jamun from fluffing up when fried.
- Do not hesitate to use a spoon or dining knife to scrape the dough stuck on your fingers. It’s quite a lot to just wash away.
- Cover the dough and set aside for 15 mins before rolling them into balls.
- Be very gentle again while rolling into dough balls. Make sure the finished ball does not appear to have cracks or fine lines as it can split open when fried. Fix those cracks with a dab of water or milk.
- Do not let the sugar boil too long. Just bringing it to a rolling boil is enough. Have the sugar syrup ready and warm (not boiling hot) before frying.
- If using rose essence, just add 1-2 drops only. Remember, when it comes to food essence, always less is more.
- Have the kadai/saucepan for deep-frying on medium heat. High heat browns the Jamun on the outside faster, leaving the inside still uncooked.
- Before storing, I prefer to drain the Jamuns once they are fully soaked. I like them to not go over-sweet or disintegrate bathing in the sugar syrup.
- Last but not the least, unlike what you might think, peanut oil does not affect the Jamun flavor at all.
- With sugar syrup drizzled over
- Served warm with vanilla ice cream, as it plays well with the Jamun flavor
- Dry, garnished with slivered pistachio