The word “gulab” is derived from the Persian words gol (flower) and āb (water), referring to the rose water-scented syrup. “Jamun” or “jaman” is the Hindi word for Syzygium jambolanum, an Indian fruit with a similar size and shape, commonly known as black plum.
Gulab jamun is a milk-solid-based sweet, originating in Medieval Iran, and a type of mithai popular in India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Maldives, and Bangladesh, as well as Myanmar.
It is also common in nations with substantial populations of people with South Asian heritage, such as Mauritius, Fiji, the Malay Peninsula, Great Britian, South Africa, and the Caribbean. It is made mainly from milk solids, traditionally from khoya, which is milk reduced to the consistency of a soft dough. Modern recipes call for dried or powdered milk instead of khoya. It is often garnished with dried nuts such as almonds and cashews to enhance flavour.
- 1/2 Kilogram(kg) full cream milk powder
- 150 Gram(g) plain flour
- 2 Tablespoon(tbsp) semolina
- 1 Tablespoon(tbsp) sugar
- 3 Tablespoon(tbsp) oil
- 1 Teaspoon(tsp) ground cardamom
- 1 Pinch saffron
- 3/4 Cup milk
- 1/2 Teaspoon(tsp) bicarbonate of soda
- Oil for deep frying
- 1/2 Kilogram(kg) sugar
- 3 Cups water
- Mix together milk powder, semolina, flour, cardamom, saffron, sugar and bicarbonate of soda
- Warm 3 tablespoons oil and add to the above mixture
- Mix well and bind with milk into a reasonably soft dough
- Make small balls about 1 inch in diameter
- Fry in deep oil at very low temperature until golden brown
- Drain onto kitchen towel
- Meanwhile make the syrup
- Boil the water and sugar over medium heat for 5 minutes (the syrup must be thin)
- Pour this warm syrup into a bowl and dip the warm jamboos in it to soak for at least 2 hours before serving