Friday, October 11, 2013

Quick Gulab Jamun | Ricotta cheese gulab jamun | Diwali Sweets

A quick gulab jamun recipe using milk powder & ricotta cheese....

Gulab Jamun is a classic & a  traditional Indian sweet/dessert. It is deep fried milk balls soaked in rose essence sugar syrup. The mawa or thickened milk (similar to ricotta cheese) is deep fried in ghee (clarified butter) & dipped in the sugar syrup. If you have mawa (or khova) with you, making the gulab jamun is a breeze. As it is not easy to get mawa here, I always make the gulab jamuns using the milk powder. This time around, I thought of adding ricotta cheese as I had them in my pantry. They were yummy & hence sharing the recipe with you guys.

Why don't you guys give it a try during this Diwali? I'm sure it will be a hit.

gulab jamun

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Resting time: About an hour

quick gulab jamun recipe

Ingredients: (Makes about 30-35 jamun)
For the cheese balls/milk balls/jamun:
Ricotta cheese: 1/4 cup
Mawa powder or Milk powder: 1 cup (refer notes)
AP flour/Maida: 1/4 cup
Baking powder: 1/4 tsp
Ghee: 1 tsp
Water: As needed

About 2 cups of oil for deep frying the jamuns

For the sugar syrup:
Sugar: 1.5 cups
Water: 1.5 cups
Rose essence: few drops
Cardamom powder: a pinch
Lemon juice: 1/4 tsp

spongy julab jamun

Method:
Add all the ingredients mentioned under the cheese ball section (except water) in a bowl & give it a mix.
Slowly add a tbsp of water at a time to make a soft and non sticky dough. You will not need more than 3-4 tbsp of water. Never knead the dough.


gulab_jamun_dough
Keep the dough covered for about 15 mins.
Meantime, prepare the sugar syrup. Add the water & sugar in a sauce pan. Add the lemon juice, rose essence, cardamom powder to the water. Heat on a low-medium heat. Keep stirring to ensure the sugar is dissolved completely.

sugar syrup for jamun

Increase the heat to medium & boil it for 12-15 mins until you get a sticky consistency syrup(1/2 thread consistency).
Remove the syrup from the heat.
sugar syrup ready

Heat the oil in a medium wok.
Make marble sized balls of the dough. Make the balls smooth, else the dough balls will crack while they are getting fried. I got about 28 dough balls.


Add a small pinch of dough to the oil. If the dough settles in the bottom for few seconds only & then rises up, the oil is at right temperature. Oil should not be hot, when we fry these dough balls. They need to get cooked evenly. Add the dough balls to the oil & fry them on low-medium heat for about 5-7 mins. Do not touch the dough balls. Instead keep moving the oil to ensure even cooking & coloring of the balls.

deep frying the dough balls

Once they are golden brown, drain the fried balls on a paper towel & repeat the above procedure with the remaining dough balls.
deep fried gulab jamun
Add the warm deep fried balls to the sugar syrup & cover it with the lid.
Rest it for a minimum of 30 mins. Allow the deep fried balls to soak the sugar syrup.
Serve it warm, cold or hot.


jamun

Notes: 
  • I always use the mava powder or the milk powder available at the Indian stores. You could easily find the mava powder at the Indian stores anywhere. 
  • It is important to shape the dough balls smooth & without any cracks. If there are cracks, then the gulab jamuns will disintegrate in the sugar syrup. 
  • You could smear a drop of ghee to you palm for shaping the dough balls. 
  • I'm repeating again. Do not deep fry the dough balls on high heat & also in very hot oil. The dough balls get browned quickly & is uncooked in the center. They become very hard & the deep fried dough balls will not absorb the sugar syrup. 
  • You should never knead the gulab jamun dough. You need to mix it gently & make a dough. 
  • Traditionally gulab jamuns are deep fried in ghee (clarified butter). If you wish, you could deep fry in ghee too. 
  • I have added water to make the dough. You could replace water with milk. I have made them with milk before. Both taste equally good. 
  • You could replace baking powder with baking soda too. If you are adding baking soda, add less than 1/4th tsp (may be about 1/8th tsp). Do not add too much baking powder or soda. If soda is more, the dough balls will disintegrate in oil. I have made that mistake once & all the efforts went waste.