Gulab Jamun – Fusion Recipe for a traditional dessert.

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“Gulab Jamun is an innocent looking sin” , squealed some of my friends.  Well, they asked for it. They wanted to know what do Indians eat for desserts and I couldn’t help but put my wickedest smile on and tell them, “I shall bring a dessert to the next meet”. So I made a batch of  Gulab Jamuns and watched them eat  until they had their fill (read – they finished it all ) and then told them what all went into making them as heavenly as they were! The squeals followed.. and no surprise there.

My SO is from Gujarat, the region known for its sweet, tart & spicy combination of food. And a sweet dish after a meal is something he ‘needs’.   I don’t have a sweet tooth,  and oh yes!  it’s not even in my DNA (Kashmiris do not traditionally have a “dessert” on the menu ). Since he ‘needs’ dessert, he often makes them – Here is one such recipe from him : His very famous fusion Gulab Jamuns.

Plan :

  • 15 oz pack Ricotta cheese [ I use Frigo ,whole milk Ricotta]
  • Milk Powder [about 200 gms)
  • Ghee/ Oil for frying – 1Cup
  • 1- 2 tbs all purpose flour

Sugar syrup/Chashni

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • a few strands of saffron crushed
  • 1/4 tsp powdered cardamom
Procedure : (sugar syrup)
  • In a heavy pan, put together sugar, water, cardamom powder and the saffron
  • Bring to a boil on high heat. Once it starts boiling, switch to medium heat and let simmer until the syrup thickens – about 15 minutes
  • At this point do a consistency check -What you want is a single  thin string consistency
  • Stir the syrup with a spoon and then lift the spoon up – lift a tiny amount of the syrup with your  forefinger and press the forefinger to your thumb. Now gradually separate the thumb and the forefinger – if the sugar syrup is of ‘one string’ consistency, you should be able to see a single string between your thumb and forefinger. You do not want a thick string for the Gulab Jamun.
  • Once you achieve this consistency, your sugar syrup is ready… Add in three to four Tbs of water to this, bring to a quick boil and keep this warm until further use.
Procedure  : (Gulab Jamun)
  • Take out the Ricotta cheese out of the container and into a strainer. Ensure you drain any excess liquid out.
  • Start by placing the milk powder in a bowl and add in One Tbs flour and mix.  Now Add the cheese a Tbs at a time.
  • You may also add the second TBS of plain white flour. Most of the times I don’t need to, but those of you living in humid climes may need to do this.
  • Stop  adding more ricotta cheese when the dough is soft and springy to touch and not too dry /wet.
  • Knead it all into a ball and let it rest for about 20 – 30 minutes, covered with a plastic wrap.
  • Then divide into 40 equal sized balls for medium sized Gulab jamun. You can vary the size as per your choice.
  • Ensure each of the dough ball you make is similar in shape. I like to make them  sphere shaped.
  • Heat a kadai or a wok with the ghee in it over a medium flame. The shape of the kadai is an enabler for frying in small quantities of ghee. Remember the bigger the wok, the more oil/ghee you need. If you don’t have the kadai or wok , you can use a heavy pan for frying. Ensure that when you put in the dough balls into the oil/ghee they are completely submerged.
  • Now once the ghee heats up – here is how you test the temperature : pinch out a small portion of the dough and add it to the ghee . If it rises up too fast- the ghee  is too hot. If it stays in – the ghee is not yet hot. The ideal temperature is where this piece of dough will slowly rise to the top.
  • Once you are sure that the ghee is at the right temperature, slowly add the dough balls.
  • Do not add more than a few at a time as it will lower the temperature of the ghee. Fry at medium heat until dark brown in color.
  • Strain and drop them into the sugar syrup.
  • Repeat for the rest of the dough balls.
  • Let the Gulab Jamuns soak for at least a couple of hours before you attempt to taste. The soaking process is critical to let the sugar syrup seep into the Jamuns.

Now you can bite into those globes of sin and close your eyes to enjoy a moment of pure bliss. For the Diva dessert touch serve hot Gulab Jamuns with Vanilla Icecream.


Alternately, use a pack of ‘Chitle bandu’ Gulab jamun mix and repeat the whole process. Instead of milk powder and flour, you will be using the prepacked milk powder and flour combo. This is particularly helpful if you have never made Gulab Jamun before.

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Comments 18

  1. Just tried this recipe today and I must begin with “Just Wow!”. The ricotta cheese makes it SO much easier to knead! Your tips and hacks proved SO useful, that I got to make some of the very best jamuns I have ever had! Thanks for that! Lovely recipe❤️?

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  2. I tried making them yesterday, everything is fine except that they are a bit hard even after soaking in sugar syrup for one day. I got messed up with the measurements of the milk powder when I was convertin it into cups. Also I did not add any baking powder. The ricotta was also wet inspite of draining. Any suggestions on making them softer.

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      Jyothi, I am thinking of doing a video on how to make these. I am away till tomorrow, but look for a post by Sunday. There are various factors at work so can’t possibly tell what could have gone wrong. Sorry!!

  3. Hi Ansh,

    Can you please let me know the amount of milk powder in tbsp or cup measurement ? Thanks

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  4. Hi Ansh, I tried making the gulab jamuns today. I did not have the milk powder, so I used only All purpose flour and 1 pinch of baking soda. They fried up beautifully, but shrunk as soon as I put them in sugar syrup 🙁 This has already happened to me when I made them using homemade khoya. Can you guess what went wrong?? Thanks!! btw, your gulab jamuns look out of this world!!

  5. Hi Ansh;
    I did try making the Gulab Jamun on my Hubby’s B’day.. his absolute Fav sweet.. and it was a HIt…Only thing is that it was extremely Humid that day.. so I had to add little All purpose flour and pinch of baking soda to the ricotta and milk powder mixture…and then fry the little balls of heaven…will be making it again soon as the last attempt proved to be just a teaser that left my family hungry for more……
    Love Ash.

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      Thanks Ash! I will post a link to your tips in the recipe post! This will help others who try this recipe 🙂 Appreciate the comments 🙂



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  6. I am really tempted to try this.Where can I get milk powder.I tried in walmart and Safeway but didnt find it.

  7. Gulab Jamun!!! They’ve never been my favorite (I am more of Rasmalai kinda person! I love milky or chocolaty desserts :P) but they still manage to tempt my sweet tooth! To get some ‘Gulab’ flavor (so it lives upto its name!:D) one can add a few drops of rose essence in the sugar syrup or stuff them wit just a tiny bit of ‘gulkand’ (and a tiny piece of kaju!…for a nutty surprise).

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      Of course we can add the Gulab Ark or rose essence. It imparts a distinct rose flavor to the syrup.
      Haven’t tried the gulkand stuffing yet – will surely try it the next time we make it. A friend of mine even suggests to add a “mishri” into the jamun. As the heat melts the mishri, it creates a nice juicy center in the Jamun. My SO usually stuffs them with raisins.

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