Recipe – Gulab Jamuns

Gulab Jamuns
Many years ago a friend’s parents owned an Indian restaurant in Parramatta. His Dad did most of the cooking, but it was his Mum who taught me to make the classic Indian sweet gulab jamuns. This is very close to the recipe Mrs D’Souza gave me, though the addition of pomegranate is my idea … I like the colour the jewel-like seeds add. The best way to check that the oil is the right temperature is to fry one ball first – it should take about 3 minutes to turn dark golden brown. You can store the dumplings refrigerated in their syrup for several days and gently reheat before serving. Matching a wine with such a sweet dessert can be a challenge, so I tried a fruit liqueur that we brought back from Emilia-Romagna, Bargolino from Liquorifico Colombo (made from tiny prunes), and the higher alcohol cut through the sweetness perfectly.

Serves 4 (makes about 15 balls)

Ingredients
  • 2 cups full-cream milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons fine semolina flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 100ml milk, plus extra if needed
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded 

Rosewater & Cardamom Syrup

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
Method
  1. Sift milk powder, self-raising flour, semolina flour and baking powder into a bowl.
  2. Stir in ghee and milk, adding a little more milk if needed to form a firm dough.
  3. Form dough into a ball, cover and set aside.
  4. Make Rosewater & Cardamom Syrup: combine sugar, water and cardamom in a small saucepan over high heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Boil for 8-10 minutes to form a light syrup, remove from heat, stir in rosewater and set aside.
  5. Knead dough for a minute or 2, until smooth, then roll into walnut-sized balls.
  6. Heat oil in a saucepan or deep-fryer.
  7. Fry balls for 3-4 minutes, working in batches if necessary, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown all over.
  8. Remove from oil, drain on paper towel, add to syrup and set aside for at least 1 hour.
  9. Reheat gently and serve warm, scattered with pomegranate seeds. 

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