Thursday, June 5, 2014

Enjoy #cooking with us :-

Gulab Jamun is a traditional dessert that is popular in South Asian countries such as India and Pakistan, as well as Caribbean countries such as Trinidad and Jamaica. In Indian culture, these tasty treats are often made around the holidays, such as Diwali and Ganpati Chaturthi. However, these syrupy doughnut-like dumplings can be made for any occasion. 


A. Dough

1. 1 cup Carnation milk powder
2. 1/2 cup Bisquick (alternative: 1/2 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 tsp. baking soda)
3. 2 tbsp. melted butter
4. 1/4 cup whole milk
5. Vegetable oil for frying

B. Syrup

1. 2 cups sugar
2. 1 cup water
3. 4-5 pods of cardamom
4. 5 tbsp. rosewater
5. Pinch of saffron

C. Garnish

1. Slivers of 5-10 pistachios

Part 1 of 2: Making the Syrup and Dough

1. Heat the sugar, water, cardamom, saffron, and rosewater in a pan for 5 minutes. Stir the ingredients well to combine them. Do not overheat it, or the syrup will turn into caramel. If it does begin to caramelize, though, all you have to do is to add a bit of water, stir the ingredients together, and heat it up again.

2. Turn off the heat. Set the syrup aside -- you'll need it later when you have to soak the dough balls in it. Alternately, you can keep it warm over very low heat.

3. Combine the milk powder, Bisquick, and butter. Stir these ingredients well in a bowl to fully combine them. You should melt the butter a bit first to make it easier to combine. These ingredients will add a unique texture to this tasty dessert.

4. Add the whole milk to the dry ingredients until the dough becomes firm. Continue to stir the ingredients until you create a nice thick and creamy substance. If the dough is still not creamy enough, keep adding a bit more milk until the dough is smooth and creamy.

5. Divide the dough into 20 portions. This doesn't have to be exact, and not every portion has to be identical. Just try to pinch out roughly twenty portions of dough, which you will then roll into balls. Try to make each ball smaller than a small lime. They will become larger when you deep fry them, and you don't want them to be too big.

6. Roll each portion into a ball. Just take each portion and roll it into a ball using one hand to roll it in your other palm, or rolling it on an even surface like a cutting board. Try to make the balls as smooth as possible because cracks will make the jamuns disintegrate when they're soaked in syrup. To make them as smooth as possible, you can grease your palms with oil or ghee while you make the balls. When you've finished, place them on a plate and get ready to fry them.

Part 2 of 2: Frying the Dough

1. Heat the oil on high. When it's hot, reduce the heat to low to medium. You can use regular vegetable oil, or create a 50/50 combination using vegetable oil and ghee. You'll need to keep the heat on low to medium to keep the oil from sputtering too much.

2. Slip the balls one at a time into the hot oil from the side of the pan. Be careful when you're working with hot oil; stand back from the pan to steer clear of sputtering oil. You can use a spatula or a slotted spoon to lower each ball into the oil.

3. Let the dough balls sink to the bottom of the pan. This is a part of the process -- do not try to move them. They will rise to the surface on their own.

4. Fry the dough balls for about three minutes. Keep turning them so they are evenly cooked on all sides. You may not want to cook more than a handful of them at a time; otherwise, they may get crowded, bringing down the temperature of the oil and getting soggy. Make sure that all sides have browned evenly and remove each dough ball from the oil. A slotted spoon is best for this, because it helps get rid of the excess oil.

5. Place the dough balls on a paper towel. This will help absorb the excess oil. You can even gently pat the dough balls with a paper towel.

6. Heat the syrup on low. You can either heat it again, or just have had it heated on low during the whole cooking process.

7. Transfer the warm syrup to a serving bowl. You can use any deep dish, bowl, or tray for this process.

8. Lower the Gulab Jamun into the syrup for at least 1-2 hours. Make sure that the dough balls are completely absorbed in the syrup. Some people even like to let them soak in the syrup overnight to let them fully absorb the syrup.

9. Serve. Once the Gulab Jamun have soaked in the syrup for a long enough time, they are ready to eat. You can add a garnish of slivers of pistachios before you serve them. You can enjoy them on their own or with some vanilla ice cream or yogurt. They are best served warm, though they can be tasty when they're cold, too. If you have any left over, you can let them sit in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for up to a week.

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