Gulab Jamun is a popular Indian sweet made with khoya (mawa) and sugar syrup. This is a tried and true Gulab Jamun recipe with khoya that always yields a mouth-melting result. They are a perfect sweet treat for any celebratory occasion or festivals like Diwali, Eid, or Raksha Bandhan.
Making Gulab Jamuns at home requires a lot of time and patience. But the homemade ones are just divine. There are unprecedented joy and satisfaction in making a favorite family sweet from scratch.
The smile these sweets bring on the faces of loved ones, and the pleasure of sharing a bowl full of homemade goodness with friends is exquisite.
That is the only reason, every year around the festive season; I make a large batch of khoya gulab jamun. And every time I fall in love with this gulab jamun recipe once again.
How to Make The Best Melt-In-Mouth Gulab Jamun?
Correct measurement: While adding ingredients to prepare the dough make sure they are correctly measured. An approximate or vague quantity of ingredients never yields perfect gulab jamuns. Hence, use measuring cups and spoons for the purpose.
Kneading the dough: The dough has to be smooth, non-sticky, and 100% lump-free. That is the reason a kneading of 10 – 15 minutes using the pressure of palm is required to form a perfect dough for the gulab jamuns. There aren’t any shortcuts for this process.
Handling the dough: At times due to the heat of the palm and hot/humid weather, the dough might become too sticky. Do not panic. After kneading, keep it in the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes. Later, wash your hands with cold water and grease your palms with ghee (clarified butter) to shape the balls. This trick has always worked for me.
Slow frying: For perfect color and even cooking, the khoya balls are always fried at low to medium heat. Keep turning them regularly while frying for even browning. The balls fried at high temperatures turn dark brown from outside and uncooked from inside. So it is essential to moderate the heat while frying the gulab jamuns.
Sugar Syrup: The thread consistency of sugar syrup is not required for gulab jamuns. Once the syrup has a stickiness to it and thickens a bit, turn off the heat. But always remember, the sugar syrup becomes thicker once it cools down a bit. So adjust the consistency initially accordingly.
The aromatics like cardamom powder, saffron, or kewra essence are added to enhance the flavor of the syrup and give it a rich taste. It has nothing to do with the consistency or texture of the syrup.
Soaking: It is one of the key steps in making mouth-melting gulab jamuns. Make sure the khoya balls are warm but not piping hot while adding in the sugar syrup. And the syrup also has to be simmering.
After adding khoya balls, turn off the heat, cover the pan with a lid and allow the gulab jamuns to sit in sugar syrup for at least 1 – 2 hours. I usually, do this process 2 – 3 hours before serving time. Just before serving simply heat the sweet in a microwave for 2 – 5 minutes.
FAQ’s Related To Gulab Jamun
Can I keep the dough of Gulab Jamun for later use?
Yes, it can be stored in the fridge in an air-tight container. But try using it within the next 2 – 3 days. The khoya (dried milk) has a very short shelf life and get spoilt quickly.
The best way to store gulab jamuns for a longer duration is not to soak the entire batch in sugar syrup. Keep the fried khoya balls in the fridge.
How do I reheat Gulab Jamun?
I usually stick to the microwave for reheating the gulab jamuns along with sugar syrup. They get perfectly soft and spongy. Transfer the sweet in a wide microwave-safe bowl and heat for 5 – 10 minutes at high power.
Otherwise, bring them out of the fridge, allow to sit at room temperature, and then transfer to a saucepan along with sugar syrup. Cover the pan with a lid and reheat them at low flame for 5 – 10 minutes. But keep checking them while reheating to avoid burning.
Why are my gulab jamuns hard?
There are only two reasons for the same:
dough not kneaded properly and left with tiny, uneven lumps of paneer or khoya. It should be smooth, even and without any lumps.
fried at very high heat
Why are my gulab jamuns too soft?
Ingredients are not measured correctly or added too much baking soda. Keep the dough in the refrigerator and try making gulab jamuns the next day or after few hours.
Why are my gulab jaumns not cooked from inside?
If fried at very high heat, the khoya balls remain uncooked from inside and crisp from outside.
Gulab Jamuns did not soak the sugar syrup
Sugar syrup should be sticky and have one string consistency. If it is too thin, then gulab jamuns will not absorb the syrup.
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Gulab Jamun Recipe
- Deep Frying Pan
Ingredients For Gulab Jamun:
- 200 gram khoya (mawa)
- 1/3 Cup semolina (rava/sooji)
- 1/4 Cup paneer (cottage cheese), crumbled
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 Cup water
- 4 Cup Ghee/Refined Oil for deep frying
Ingredients For Sugar Syrup:
- 2 Cup sugar
- 2 Cup water
- 1 teaspoon green cardamom powder
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron
How To Make Gulab Jamuns With Khoya:
- Grate khoya in a clean bowl. Please note that for soft Gulab Jamun it is necessary to grate khoya and not to crumble it with fingers. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl add sooji and pour 1/4 Cup of water over it to moisten and soften sooji. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes so that water is absorbed by sooji. This helps in mixing it well in the dough. Do not get carried away and add too much water.
- To make a dough, combine grated khoya, softened sooji, crumbled paneer, baking soda, and cardamom powder. Knead well for 5 – 10 minutes or until smooth, soft and firm dough is formed.
- Let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes in the fridge while you heat oil for deep frying.
- To shape Gulab Jamuns, pinch a small portion from the dough and shape it round rolling between your palms. Similarly, shape rest of the gulab jamun.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
- Deep fry the khoya balls in small batches over low heat until dark brown on both sides. Keep the flame low to medium while deep frying for even cooking.
- Drain fried balls on a kitchen towel while you prepare sugar syrup.
How To Make Sugar Syrup:
- Once sugar is dissolved add cardamom powder and saffron. Stir to combine. The sugar syrup is ready for gulab jamun once it stickiness and thickens a bit.
- Add warm jamun to the sugar syrup. Stir nicely. Cover and set aside for 1 – 2 hour before serving.
- Serve Gulab Jamuns warm.
- To make soft Gulab Jamuns, knead the dough very well so that no lumps remain.
- If the dough seems too sticky to shape the balls, keep it in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Always deep-fry jamun over a low to medium heat for even browning and cooking.
- Gulab Jamun increases considerably in size after absorbing the sugar syrup. Hence, shape them accordingly.
- It is important that gulab jamuns are warm and not at room temperature while adding in the hot sugar syrup. If required, microwave fried gulab jamun for 5 minutes before soaking in sugar syrup.
- Let gulab jamun rest in sugar syrup for 1 – 2 hours to get soft and spongy.
- If you do not want to use all the fried balls at a time. Store half of them in the fridge in an air-tight container. Whenever required, make sugar syrup, microwave fried balls, and soak in syrup.