Ok, I should stop being so ultra sentimental before I start getting tears in my eyes! So, let's get to the subject of today's post, shall we?
This actually goes back to Deepavali. Somehow, I wasn't able to get my act together and take pictures to post right after Deepavali. Well, better late than never, right? :) I made these gulab jamuns for Deepavali along with carrot halwa (long gone before I could get the camera out), murukku (chakli), and thattai. I was truly lazy about taking pictures and this was the only one that I managed to click some photos of.
I have to say that the gulab jamuns were so much easier to make this time since I had Amma's help! I learned that the dough for the jamuns should be fairly stiff (sort of like poori dough). Also, the jamuns should be fried at medium temp.
If they're fried at too high a temperature, they will brown on the outside before getting cooked on the inside. On the other hand, if they are fried at a very low temperature, they will break apart in the oil! Just great, I thought! The key is to heat the oil at medium to medium low heat and keep the heat at a constant temperature. If you're not sure if the jamuns are cooked, just poke a cooked one with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, they're done!
I've read many, many recipes that say to drop the hot fried jamuns directly into warm syrup. I have to say that every time I've tried it that way, my jamuns wind up blowing up like over inflated balloons and collapse in the syrup. So, I did it Amma's way. I allowed the jamuns to cool until slightly warm before dropping them into warm syrup. I also let the flavors marry in the fridge for a day. The end result was perfectly soft, spongy jamuns!!! All it took was a little patience. Well, that's asking a lot of me (patience is not my forte!), but I finally managed to do it!
Nonfat milk powder - 1 cup
All purpose flour (maida) - 1/2 cup
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Melted butter - 2 tbsp
Salt - pinch
Milk - enough to make a medium stiff dough
Syrup: (make earlier and keep warm)
Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Water - 1 cup
Cardamom - crushed seeds of 2 pods
Oil to fry
1. Combine the sugar and water in a pan. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Then, add crushed cardamom and remove from heat. (The syrup should be slightly warm when adding jamuns.) If you like more syrup, just make 1.5 to 2 times the amount stated in the recipe.
2. Heat oil on medium heat. As the oil heats, combine flour, milk powder, baking soda, salt, and butter. Slowly add milk to make a medium stiff dough. Take small pieces of the dough (about nutmeg sized) and roll into balls. (Note: Keep in mind that the dough will expand and enlarge on hitting the oil, so make the balls smaller than you want the end size to be!) Keep the dough balls aside, covered with a slightly damp cloth to prevent them from drying out.
3. Slowly, slip the balls into the warm oil. You may need to fry them in 2 batches, depending on the size of your pan. Gently and slowly, shake the balls around in the oil to cook them evenly. When they are golden brown and rise to the top of the oil, remove them and allow them to cool until just slightly warm.
4. Add the cooled balls to the warm syrup. Allow the flavors to develop in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving, for best results. Warm jamuns before eating and enjoy every luscious bite!
I know that many of you have passed awards to me in the recent past. I'll post them soon, so please forgive me. I am so grateful for each one! :)