Gulab jamun is a milk solid based sweet from the country of India. Gulab Jamun is very popular in the country of Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Although it is also spreading to Mauritius, Fiji, South Africa, Caribbean countries, and even to a lot of Western countries. It’s a very easy recipe because you only require very few ingredients and the process is very easy too. So let’s move ahead with gulab jamun recipe and let’s get to know more about gulab jamun together. I am also really excited for you to know that this is a gulab jamun recipe without milk powder!
Gulab Jamun History
It was first prepared in mediaeval India. Gulab Jamun was derived from a fritter that Central Asian Turkic invaders brought to India. There are some other theories as well. One of them is that it was accidentally prepared by a chef who worked for Shah Jahan.
The word Gulab is derived from a Persian word which literally means rose water. And Jamun is an Indian word which is used for an Indian fruit with a similar size and shape. The fruit is commonly also known as Black plum. You might find a lot of desserts similar to Gulab Jamun like the Arab desert Luqmat Al-Qadi. That is the basic history of Gulab Jamun and how it came into existence. Gulab Jamun Recipe isn’t one of the historical dishes for sure. But it is definitely one of the most versatile sweets in India.
Variations in Gulab Jamun
When it comes to gulab jamun there are only two main variants. The first one is the Indian gulab jamun and the second one is the Bangladeshi one. I wouldn’t go too deep into it. But I’ll just tell you guys what’s the basic difference and that’s about it.
When it comes to Indian Gulab Jamun Recipe you will find the variations in colour. That is black which is called Kala jam and the brown one which is normally called gulab jamun.
The recipe is the same for both of them it’s just the shape that differs. Kala Jamun is normally oval in shape and gulab jamun is round. And Kala jaam gets the colour because of frying for more time and getting a more caramelized outer skin. Whereas we just get a very brownish colour on gulab jamun.
The main ingredients involved are powdered milk, little all-purpose flour which is always optional, baking powder and clarified butter which is ghee. Knead it into a dough and form into small balls. Now fry them till brown in colour and then simmer in sugar syrup.
There is another variant which we normally find in West Bengal known as Pantua. Ledikeni is another variation to Pantua. The only difference being is khoya is used instead of milk powder in Bengali gulab jamun.
Then come Jhurre Ka Rasgulla and this particular Gulab Jamun Recipe belongs to Jabalpur which has been prepared for the past hundred years there. It is much bigger than gulab jamun and prepared in clarified local butter.
In Rajasthan instead of cooking the gulab jamun balls in sugar syrup, they are simmered in a gravy made up of nuts and tomato. It is known as gulab jamun ki sabzi. Well, being honest I can’t imagine having gulab jamun in a savoury dish.
In Bangladesh just like West Bengal Pantua is available almost everywhere throughout the country. As we already know that it is the Bengali variation of Gulab Jamun Recipe. And earlier we had talked about Kala Jamun, eve that is very famous in the country but it is known as Kalo Jam.
Preparation of Gulab Jamun Recipe
As I have already mentioned above that it is made up of milk solids normally and gulab jamun ingredients are easily available as well. But when I talk about milk solids it can be either milk powder, khoya, and cheese solids. Today we will be making a gulab jamun recipe with khoya. So normally khoya is mixed with a little amount of refined flour and some places even rice flour is used. They both of different properties so depends on what kind of gulab jamun you are looking for.
Although rice flour is better in various ways. Since you are not consuming any gluten and it also acts as a binding agent. And then later on in the stage when you simmer it in the sugar syrup it tends to expand the size. Once khoya, baking powder, and refined flour or rice flour are kneaded together properly. Now its time to shape it into small balls without any cracks. Now dry in clarified butter that is ghee at about the temperature of 150 degree Celsius. Fry them until golden brown in colour or light brown in colour.
Always remember that frying gulab jamun on a low heat of about 150-degree Celsius is very important since you want them to be cooked thoroughly and not raw inside.
Then the fried gulab jamun balls are simmered in sugar syrup flavoured with green cardamom or rosewater even saffron is used sometimes. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes and then keep until it comes to room temperature.