Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

Soft cheesy doughnuts, soaked in cardamom saffron syrup - the ultimate decadent Indian dessert! Home made Gulab Jamuns are easier than you think and taste great. The secret to soft, spongy gulab jamuns is to have a soft and slightly sticky dough, roll them into smooth dough balls with no cracks and fry over low heat so that they get cooked through. Then let them have a good long soak in the sugar syrup, and they will be meltingly soft and delicious!
For more Indian desserts, try Mango Kulfi!

1 cup each, crumbled: paneer, *khoya (thickened milk solids, see note below)    or use  2 cups crumbled khoya

2 tbsp each: all purpose flour, milk

1/4 tsp each: baking soda, ground cardamom

1 1/2 cups oil for frying

3 cups sugar

3 cups water

A pinch of saffron

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

2 tbsp chopped pistachios for garnish

Place paneer and khoya in food processor and process until finely crumbled and well blended.

Transfer to a deep bowl and add flour, milk, 1/4 tsp ground cardamom and baking soda. Knead with your palms until smooth. If dough is too dry, add a few more teaspoons of milk. Knead for a few minutes until soft, smooth and slightly sticky. Let rest 10 min.

Lightly grease your hands with oil and shape dough into small balls, the size of a walnut. Roll them in your palms until dough balls are very smooth with no cracks.

Warm oil for frying (preferably in wok), set over medium low heat. Once the oil is heated, add 2-3 dough balls first to make sure they hold their shape.  Gently spoon some oil over them to seal. Let them brown lightly and expand, before turning them over gently to cook evenly. Once they are golden brown in colour all over (this should take about 10-12 min), remove them to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Reserve.

Bring sugar and water to a boil in broad bottomed saucepan, over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 min. Remove from heat, cool 10 min, then add saffron, cardamom and reserved gulab jamuns. Stir gently to mix. Make sure all the gulab jamuns are submerged in the syrup in a single layer. Cover and let Jamuns soak for at least 8 hours or longer, shaking pan occasionally and turning them over gently to coat with syrup.

Warm them gently before serving and garnish with chopped pistachios.

Makes 14 - 16 Gulab Jamuns

* Note: Packaged khoya is available in Indian stores. It is usually kept near the paneer in the refrigerator section. Leftover khoya can be frozen.

Mango Crème Caramel


Cooking spray
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 can (370 ml) evaporated milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup canned sweetened mango pulp
2 tbsp finely chopped unsalted raw pistachios, optional

Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly spray 8 medium ramekins with cooking spray. Place on rimmed baking tray.
Place sugar in medium heavy bottomed saucepan over medium low heat. Let sugar begin to melt, then swirl pan around a few times every so often. Don’t let sugar boil or bubble and don't use a stirring spoon. Keep swirling till all the sugar has melted and turned darker in colour, about 3-4 min. Switch off stove and let saucepan sit on warm stove another 2 min to darken further without risk of burning.
Pour caramel mixture evenly into prepared ramekins. Let rest 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, lightly warm evaporated milk and cream in small saucepan for 1 min. Add mango pulp.
Combine eggs and yolks in deep mixing bowl, using whisk. Add evaporated milk mixture, whisking gently until well combined.
Pour into prepared ramekins, filling them to about 2/3 to the top.
Place tray in oven, then gently pour in hot tap water into tray till it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until center is just firm. Do not over-bake. Check for doneness after about 45 minutes or so by gently shaking the ramekins. If the center wiggles, give them some more time.
Remove from oven and place ramekins on counter to cool. When they are down to room temperature, loosen edges by running a sharp knife around the edges of the custards.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours. To unmold, dip bottoms of ramekins into very hot water for about 1 min to loosen the caramel. Hold a plate over each ramekin and turn upside down. The custard will settle onto the plate with the caramel pooling around it.  Garnish tops of each with chopped pistachios (if using).
Serves eight