Gulab Jamuns remind me of my childhood and special holidays. My mother would make them for Diwali (I was born on this holiday) and every other major religious or family gathering. They are soft, pillowy fried balls that are soaked in lightly scented sweet syrup. I love these treats. Many Indian restaurants tend to add way too much sugar to the syrup, making it overly sweet but I prefer just a hint of sweetness with a mixture of honey and sugar. You can also use this recipe to make simple doughnut holes for your family.
1 cup milk powder
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons, room temperature
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
4 cups oil for frying
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
4-5 whole cardamom pods
2-4 tablespoons of rose water (this can be left out if desired)
Combine together the syrup ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil, stir to ensure it does not burn. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and set aside.
Sift together the milk powder, flour, baking soda, sugar and salt.
Add the softened butter and mix.
Add the milk and mix the dough and set aside. The milk powder will absorb the excess liquid.
Grease your fingers with butter or oil to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers. It should be very soft and similar to pizza dough which is sticky but soft.
Form the dough into 20-25 small balls, keep in mind that the balls will double in size when you fry them. I like to roll them so they have a one inch diameter.
Heat the oil to medium heat test a small piece of dough to see if it rises to the top within a minute and browns. You don’t want the dough to fall to the bottom and stay there or to cook immediately where the exterior will burn and the interior remains uncooked.
Fry a few of the doughnuts at a time, overcrowding the pan will drop the temperature of the oil so keep your eye on the temperature.
The doughnuts will take 3-4 minutes on each side with a total cooking time of 6-8 minutes, move the doughnuts around to ensure they brown evenly on all sides. You are looking for a beautiful golden brown found with cake doughnuts. Once cooked, remove and drain on paper towels or a cooling rack until they have fully cooled. Complete this process with the remaining dough.
Soak the doughnuts in the syrup for a minimum of 30 minutes to ensure they absorb all of the syrup.
Serve at room temperature or cold.