28 Oct 2016

Gulab Jamun

இனிய தீபாவளி நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள் .. Wishing everyone a Very Happy Deepavali .. 

I am sure everyone is busy with Deepavali preparations. I miss Coimbatore especially during festivals - hours of clothes shopping amidst the frantic crowd, matching accessories for the clothes, sweet and savoury preparations, cleaning and decorating the house, early morning oil bath on deepavali, meeting friends, visiting temple and so on..

God ! I miss the excitement.

Preparing sweets and savouries at home is an adventure [to say the least].There are a lot of things that can actually pose a challenge when it comes to home preparation - Space, time, patience,getting the right consistency, storing the eatables and above all the "health of the person" who knows it all ..

Traditionally, most of the sweets and savouries took days of preparation right from soaking the rice to grinding to making the sugar syrup to the final product. Nowadays we can find ready mixes in the super market isle right from jamun to payasam to murukku. It is an easy option out but home-made is the best.

Having said that my favourite sweet shops in Coimbatore are way too many - Sri Krishna Sweets in Ramanathapuram. Their "Mysore-Pak and Badusha" is to die for, A1 chips "Coconut milk Murukku and Oppitu [otherwise known as poli]", Adyar Aanada bhavan "Milk sweets" and Nellai Lala for their "Mixtures and Halwas".

Ever since I stared blogging I try to make sweets at home. Many a times the supposed to be sweets have turned out to be complete diasters but I am getting the hang of it now.

Gulab jamuns are the most easiest of sweets that can be made at home. There are so many variations to make gulab jamun from scratch. I have used milk powder in this recipe but you can also try with koya [milk solids] to make them. If you are one of those who have used the ready-made mix Gulab jamun mix to make these sweet dumplings, you should try making them with milk powder.

They are so soft, soaked in sugar syrup, delicately scented with rose water and cardamoms that they melt in the mouth.

For the sugar syrup
Castor sugar: 2 cups
Water: 1 and 1/2 cup
Cardamom pods: 8-10
Rose water: 2 tsp

In a heavy bottom vessel add sugar, water and cardamom pods. Let this bubble for around 8-10 mins in medium heat until you get a syrup consistency [when you touch the sugar syrup between your index finger and thumb, you will get a sticky consistency]. Be careful not to over boil the syrup to one string consistency. Remove from heat, mix the rose water in the syrup and keep the syrup warm 

For the Gulab Jamun:
Milk powder: 1 cup
Maida: 1/4 cup.
Curd: 2 tbsp
Milk: 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Bicarbonate of soda: 1 small pinch
Salt: 1 pinch
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Oil: for frying

Mix milk powder, maida, salt and bicarbonate of soda. In a small cup mix the milk and curd and set aside. Add the ghee to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly followed by the milk-curd mixture. Bring everything together to a smooth dough. Wet your palms a little with the milk and make small balls from the dough. The surface of the balls should be smooth without any cracks.

Fry the jamuns in small batches of 4-5 until they are golden  brown. Remove them from the oil and immerse them in the sugar syrup immediately. Fry all the dough balls and soak them in sugar syrup. Once done, transfer them into a seperate container and store in a cool dry place.

Getting the syrup consistency is crucial - it should be sticky and not string consistency.
Make the jamun balls of smaller size so that they cook evenly when frying and soak up the syrup completely.
The temperature of the oil should be medium meaning a batch of 4-5 dough balls will approximately take 4-5 minutes to attain golden brown colour.
The dough should be smooth edging on sticky. If required add 1tsp of milk to the dough.

Have a very happy deepavali everyone ..

Happy cooking

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