This dish of deep fried dough balls soaked in fragrant syrup is an Indian sweet often served at weddings and special family occasions. Traditionally made with an Indian milk product called kyoha, this version uses dried skimmed milk powder instead. The sweet aromatic syrup is flavoured with cardamom and rose flower water and it’s essential to allow time for it to slowly soak into the dough balls making them deliciously sweet and sticky. Serve with natural yoghurt or single cream, if liked.
- 250g granulated sugar
- 6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 450ml water
- Few drops rose flower water
- 175g dried skimmed milk powder
- 2tsp baking powder
- 55g self-raising flour
- Approx 150ml milk
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
To make the syrup, place the sugar, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and water in a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly for 3-4 mins until syrupy, then remove from the heat, stir in the rose flower water and set aside.
Mix the dried milk powder, baking powder and flour in a bowl and gradually stir in the milk to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Leave to rest for 20 mins – the dough should be less sticky after resting but if it’s too sticky to handle add a little more flour.
With lightly greased hands divide the dough into 24 even pieces and roll into smooth balls. Keep the balls covered with cling film to prevent the dough drying out.
Half fill a deep frying pan with vegetable oil and heat until a tiny piece of the dough dropped in the hot oil sinks to the bottom then slowly rises to the top. Deep fry the dough balls, in batches for 2-3 mins, turning all the time, until golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Transfer to a serving dish and pour over the warm syrup, stirring the fried balls gently to coat thoroughly in the syrup. Leave to soak for at least 1hr before serving.
Top tip for making Gulab jamun
This sweet dessert will keep for 3-4 days covered in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature for about 30 mins before serving.