This spongy and THE perfect gulab jamun recipe will take your festive celebrations to another level. These gulab jamun are so easily made with milk powder, cardamom and rose water. Serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to heighten the deliciousness.
What are Gulab Jamuns are made from?
Gulab jamun recipe is traditionally made with khoya (milk solids), a pinch of all-purpose flour/refined wheat flour/ wheat flour (optional), baking powder and clarified butter (ghee); milk kneaded to form a dough, molded into balls, deep fried and dropped into simmering sugar syrup.
I have perfected this Gulab Jamun recipe by using milk powder instead of khoya, since khoya isn’t readily available. And believe me, milk powder gives you the same exact texture as khoya gulab jamuns. And milk powder is easy to handle too.
Why is it called Gulab Jamun?
The word “Gulab” is derived from the Persian words ‘gol’ meaning flower and ‘ab’ meaning water, referring to the rose water-scented syrup. “Jamun” is the Hindi word for an Indian fruit with a similar size and shape. So there you go!!
What does Gulab Jamuns taste like?
My non-Indian friends fondly call these Indian donuts and you know what, there is some truth to it. Just that, these gulab jamuns are way softer than a donut hole dipped in sugar syrup. As they melt in your mouth you are hit with the sweet flavor of milk and sugar and a hint of the rose and cardamom in the sugar syrup.
Main ingredients for Milk Powder Gulab Jamun Recipe
Milk Powder (if you live in the USA, use Red Mill milk powder. Its fine in texture and make good gulab jamuns. You can use Nestle brand too)
Rose Water – This gives a nice floral flavor to the sugar syrup. And again, how can you not add rose water to a dessert that has rose/gulab on its name. 🙂
Cardamom powder – again, this is added to flavor the syrup. (Cardamom powder is available almost everywhere)
Yogurt – You need yogurt or milk curdled with lemon water as your wet ingredient. Yogurt and baking soda make the milk powder gulab jamuns very light and airy.
Flour – All purpose flour or maida works as a binding agent.
Method for making Gulab Jamun with milk powder
Step 1 – Sugar syrup for the Gulab Jamun
Add 1 and 1/2 cup sugar, 1 and 1/2 cup water, 1 tea spoon cardamom powder in a deep pot.
Simmer in low heat till the sugar dissolves.
Keep stirring till it becomes a little thick. To check if the sugar cardamom syrup is of right consistency, take a little bit of syrup in a spoon. Wait till it becomes warm and then take the syrup with your forefinger and thumb. It should feel thick but it should not make a string.
Add 1 tea spoon rose water and turn off the heat.
Step 2 – Making Gulab Jamun dough
In a bowl, take 1 cup milk powder, 1/4 cup maida or all purpose flour and a pinch of soda.
Add 1 table spoon ghee
Mix well. Make sure there are no lumps.
Add about 2 table spoons milk to this mixture.
Mix the mixture without kneading to make a soft and pliable dough. If the dough is dry then add a little bit of milk. If the dough feels sticky then add a bit of flour.
Its important that the dough shouldn’t be sticky.
Step 3 – Shaping the milk powder Gulab Jamun
Divide the dough into 16 or 18 portions.
With greased palm, shape them into balls without any cracks.
Make sure to handle the dough gently.
Once the gulab jamun dough balls are ready, check the sugar syrup. If its cooled down then warm up the syrup.
Step 4 – Frying the milk powder gulab jamun
In a deep kadhai or pot, take oil. You can use ghee as well.
Heat the oil in medium flame. To test the right temperature of ghee, add a small ball of dough into it. It should slowly rise up to the surface from the bottom of the pan with a touch of a spoon.
NOTE – if it doesn’t rise up to the surface slowly, then the oil/ghee needs to be heated more.
If it rises too fast to the surface and changes color then the oil is too hot. The ghee/oil needs to cool down a bit. Lower the flame.
Add the gulab jamun dough balls at the right temperature of oil/ghee
Take a tall round sieved spoon and turn the balls by rotating the bottom edged of the spoon against the top of the balls. Keep rotating till the gulab jamuns are light golden in color.
Remove, Drain and add to the sugar syrup
Let the gulab jamuns soak in the warm syrup for few hours before serving them.
Important Tips on making Gulab Jamun with milk powder recipe
Gulab Jamun Dough softness – To get soft Gulab Jamuns, the dough needs to be really soft. Do not knead the dough after mixing the wet with dry ingredients. Kneading will make the gulab jamuns hard.
Usage of yogurt in Milk Powder Jamuns – Yogurt and baking soda make the milk powder gulab jamuns extra soft and light.
No Cracks – Make sure there are no cracks, or else they will disintegrate when you add them to the sugar syrup.
Sugar Syrup consistency – The sugar syrup needs to be sticky and not reach the one string consistency. Its important to keep an eye on the syrup. Because, if the syrup goes beyond the sticky stage, then the gulab jamuns won’t soak the syrup.
Milk Powder – The milk powder must be fine to get a smooth texture.
Other festive desserts to try –
Gulab Jamun Recipe with Milk Powder
For Gulab Jamun Dough
- 1 cup 240 g milk powder (I used Bob’s Red Mill).
- 1/4 cup 30g all-purpose flour or maida
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp yogurt or 2 tbsp milk mixed with lemon juice
Sugar Rose water Syrup
- 1.5 cups 300 g sugar
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 tsp rose water
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- Oil/ghee for deep frying
- Sieve milk powder, flour, baking powder into a bowl.
- Add the yogurt and mix into a soft non sticky dough ( do not over knead)
- Form 16/18 crack free balls (use greased palm)
- In a deep kadhai or pot, take oil. You can use ghee as well
- Heat the oil in medium flame. To test the right temperature of ghee, add a small ball of dough into it. It should slowly rise up to the surface from the bottom of the pan with a touch of a spoon.
- NOTE – if it doesn’t rise up to the surface slowly, then the oil/ghee needs to be heated more.
- If it rises too fast to the surface and changes color then the oil is too hot. The ghee/oil needs to cool down a bit. Lower the flame.
- Add the gulab jamun dough balls at the right temperature of oil/ghee Take a tall round sieved spoon and turn the balls by rotating the bottom edged of the spoon against the top of the balls.
- Keep rotating till the gulab jamuns are light golden in color.
- Remove, Drain and add to the sugar syrup
- Let the gulab jamuns soak in the warm syrup for few hours before serving them.