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I am a professional and a cook,rather a cook by choice and passion.Cooking is something I fantasise about.When I first thought of starting a blog,a thousand ideas coursed through my mind,albeit,none stood the sands of time.Except for the thought of a food blog accompanied by subtle nuances from daily life and from the world around me!



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Monday, December 5, 2011

Homemade Gulab Jamun - sweet warmth to welcome winter!

It has become unusually cold here.Just last week I could stroll about the balcony with a tee on and my fleece jacket pulled tightly around me. But yesterday morning when I tried the same, my feet grew numb out of sheer chill and it took quite some time to stop the shivering,even after I hurried back inside and closed the balcony door.What a ruthless shock early in the morning!
The saving grace was a cup of hot tea that I had with my buttered toast. The Husband had the laugh of his life when he heard of this,and did not waste a moment in berating me afterwards about how I could be so irresponsible!I could have caught a cold,could have been plastered down to the bed complaining of a nagging headache. That he would have to drag himself up Sunday evening to make dinner was a dreaded apprehension left untold!But all the wise wives know!
Well,nothing like that happened and I was hale and hearty all day. What I managed to rustle up in the warm comfort of my home was a hot,comforting and sweet Gulab Jamun. One of my very dear friends Patsy, from Pattycakes in the Kitchen had asked me for a Gulab Jamun recipe a couple of days back. A niece of hers had been to India for some months and she had been greatly taken by the food and people there.She had talked about Gulab Jamun a lot and that had drawn Patsy's interest.So sweet to know this Patsy - made me so happy that a dessert from my country did please her so much:) Gulab Jamun is a very soft,spongy sweet available very popularly in sweet shops throughout the length and breadth of India. In my own Bengali lineage, we have a sister sweet called 'Ledikeni' or more locally put, 'Pantua'. The word 'Ledikeni' is a colloquial distortion of the word 'Lady Canning'! Surprised?!? Yes, this is quite amusing - the legendary Bengali sweetmaker Bhim Nag had come up with the idea of creating this sweet dessert on the occasion of the birthday of Lady Charlotte Canning, wife of the reigning Governor-General Charles Canning in British-ruled India. 'Lady Canning' got famously distorted by word-of-mouth to 'Ledikeni' and the name struck. Even now, in some Kolkata circles, the name 'Ledikeni' ceremoniously lives on as compared to the more oft-used 'Pantua'.
So bearing the weight of all this heavy historical trivia, I set out to make 'Gulab Jamun' in my kitchen. This recipe has two parts to it - one is preparing the sweet dumpling balls and the other is preparing the sweet sugar syrup in which to dip the balls.Here goes my version - and this is for you,Patsy! Enjoy the recipe and take care in the chill!

Sending this recipe to 'Zesty Palette Series #2 - Sinful Delights' at Vardhini's place...
and 'Jingle all the way' at Kavi's beautiful place!

Also sending this to Amy's lovely weekly event 'Midweek Fiesta # 7'!

Homemade Gulab Jamun
You will need:
For the dumpling balls:
Milk powder/Creamer - 1 cup (I would recommend using a very quality milk powder;that really makes a
White All-purpose flour - 4 tablespoons
Baking soda - Half a teaspoon
Milk - 4 tablespoons
Plain Yogurt - 2 tablespoons
Melted Butter - 2 tablespoons
Canola/Vegetable oil - About 2 cups,for deep-frying the dumplings (Don't worry - you can always use this oil for other purposes later since the dumplings are not sweetened!)

For the sugar syrup:
Sugar - 1 measure
Water - 1 measure
(By 'measure' I mean the same cup/utensil/measurer should be used to measure the sugar and the water.In this case, I had used 1 coffee mug of sugar and 1 coffee mug of water. Please note that this measure should be accurate for a perfect sugar syrup.)

How I made it:
1. Start preparing the sugar syrup first. In a deep-bottomed pan, add the water and the sugar and put on the flame. Allow the sugar to caramelize a little and then stir occasionally till the liquid comes to a bubble. Once it starts boiling, bring down the flame and allow the liquid to reduce till it becomes thick and syrupy.

2. In a bowl, take the dry ingredients first - milk powder/creamer, flour and baking soda.Mix well and then start adding the wet ingredients. Add the yogurt and melted butter first and start kneading the dry ingredients into a dough. Gradually add the milk, a little at a time, and keep kneading till a soft,pliable dough is formed.

2. Add as much or as little milk as you need to form a smooth dough.You may not need all of the milk. The dough should be smooth and soft to the touch.

3. Keep the dough aside for 15-20 mins before forming small balls.To form the balls, pinch off marble-sized   balls from the dough and then roll within the palm of your hands to form balls with a smooth surface. 

4. In a wok, start heating the cooking oil and when little hot, add one dumpling. The dumpling should initially sink to the bottom of the wok and once fried inside,it will gradually rise to the top on its own.This will tell the correct temperature of the oil.Once the outside is browned, take out the dumpling and dump into the sugar syrup,while still hot. Follow the same procedure for all the dumplings, frying not more than 2-3 dumplings at a time.
5. Allow the dumplings to seep up the liquid for about an hour before serving. Serve as a delectable dessert as it is or serve with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream.Tastes awesome anyway!

22 thoughtful musings left behind...:

Balvinder ( Neetu) said...

These "Kala Gulab Jamuns" were my favourite so far. Unfortunately I have not yet mastered the gluten free recipe. You have literally made me drool.they look so perfect ,Sudha.

faseela said...

feel like having 1 rite now............superb dear

Ambreen said...

Yummy looking gulab jamun, delicious and perfectly made!
Dear, I've shared few awards with you. Please come by and pick it up :)

Coconut Cake & Awards

Sudha said...

Dear Neetu,
So glad for your compliments:)Maybe I can look around for a gluten-free recipe for you and if I find one,I'll send it across!

Hello Faseela,
Pop one straight into your mouth - its all yours,dear:)

Hi Ambreen,
That was so sweet of you:)I'll definitely come over and check them out!Glad that you liked the Gulab Jamuns.

Patsy said...

Sudha, you are such a sweet friend! It is so kind of you to take the time to make and post this! I cannot wait to try them, and share them and the recipe with my niece! Thank you so much!

Shumaila said...

I love kala gulab jamuns! I'm left with only 12 from the initial 40plus I made and my mother insists on saving them for dinner tonight as we have a guest coming. How I want to disobey her and take one out of the refrigerator, heat it and eat it! Dinner seems too long a wait for these beauties! Great work on your Jamuns!

Vardhini said...

I am just drooling at these beauties. Thx for linking to the event Sudha.

Event: Sinful Delights
Event: Stuffed Paratha

Ambreen said...

Thank you so much Sudha for leaving such sweet comment at my blog. I'm flattered by your words :)

Deeksha said...

Home made gulab jamun looks very perfect and delicious.

Sudha said...

Dear Patsy,
The pleasure of sharing this recipe with you is entirely mine:)Glad that you liked it!

Hello Shumaila,
I hope your guests had a lovely time enjoying those delectable Gulab Jamuns!Pity that you had to rein yourself so - you could have attempted a steal though!I'm sure your Mom would love to be blissfully unaware;)Thanks for your sweet words!

Hi Vardhini,
So nice meeting you!It was a pleasure linking up to you event and this is the 2nd one that I'm linking to - had linked to Bake Fest too!Thanks a bunch for following me and hope to see you drop by!

Dear Ambreen,
You deserve all of that,if not more:)Thanks so much for coming dear!

Hello Deeksha,
Thank you for leaving me a sweet comment and really glad that you like my recipe!You too have a lovely place and I'm your newest follower now:)

kitty said...

Sudha, How sweet of you to share this recipe with Patsy, who is a dear friend of mine, too. I know she will love it as she is a wonderful cook!!! They sound delicious!!

Amina said...

wow... gulab jamun looks absolutely delicious... perfect...

Sudha said...

Hello Kitty - the happiness was all mine,believe me:)I'm sure Patsy will try it out and even turn out better Gulab Jamuns than mine!

Dear Amina,
Thanks a bunch for your encouraging words,so glad that you came by:)

Kavi said...

those juicy gulaab jamuns make me drool!

Do go through the rules & link it to my event - Jingle All the Way (link below) if possible :)

Kavi | Edible Entertainment

Ongoing events:
Jingle All The Way &
Microwave Easy Cooking

Sudha said...

Hello Kavi,
Glad that you liked this dish and thanks a bunch for inviting me to join your exciting event!I have linked up to your event - nice meeting you:)

Kavi said...

Hi Sudha,

thanks so much for linking your post to my event! :) But you have uploaded the WRONG LOGO. :D Please go to my page & copy the logo for my event. What you have posted is Winter Carnival's logo..
(Edible Entertainment)
Ongoing events:
Jingle All The Way &
Microwave Easy Cooking
Have a great day!

Sudha said...

Ohh no,that was such a silly thing to do!!Thanks so much for pointing it out,Kavi - have changed it now:)

Recipe world said...

Lovely gulab jamun..wanna taste them now :)

Sudha said...

Thanks a bunch,Vani - great to see you here and so glad that you liked my recipe:)

Amy said...

looks so tasty!!

Kavi said...

Thanks so much for participating in Jingle All The Way. I’ve posted the Roundup here. Do have a look.
Also, I’m hosting Kid's Delight - Something Sweet for Jan 16th-Feb15th 2012. I would love to have your posts linked there. :-)
Kavi (Edible Entertainment)

Manoj Sethi said...

Gulab Jamun is my favorite dish.
gulab jamun

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