Gulab Jamun: Oodles of Sweetness!

Gulab JamunGulab Jamun- Photo Credit Durfishan Batool

Be it be Eid, Diwali or Christmas no celebration goes without the sweetness of traditional sweets (mithai)  in the subcontinent. Sweetness has its own religion, full of love that can make anyone go weak in the knees. Sinful, small fried balls of condensed milk dipped in caramel syrup, gulab jamuns are ubiquitous in Pakistan and India — no traditional confectionary is complete without the presence of gulab jamun.

The perfect gulab jamun calls for meticulously measured ingredients and a practiced technique. I have seen my mother make them on almost all festive days. Made with khoya (milk powder) and kneaded with flour and egg, balls of dough are fried till they turn that elusive rosy shade between gold and brown. After the heated oil works its magic, the crystallised sugar in the batter creates a slightly grainy crust while the jamun‘s white heart remains silky smooth.


Gulab jamun was first prepared in medieval India, derived from a fritter that Central Asian Turkic invaders brought to India. ... 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-Urdu word for Syzygium jambolanum, an Indian fruit with a similar size and shape.


This diwali if you are away from home and missing the sweetness of gulab jamuns. You can try to make some for yourself by following the recipe.


For Dough:

  • Milk powder 1 cup
  • All purpose flour ¼ cup
  • Milk 2 tbsp
  • Yogurt 1 tbsp
  • Baking soda ⅛ tsp
  • Ghee / oil 1 tbsp


For Sugar syrup

  • Green Cardamom pods 2-3
  • Sugar 1 cup
  • Water 1 ½ cup


Preparation of Sugar syrup


  • Mix together all three ingredients mentioned above in a pod on medium flame.
  • Boil the syrup until it goes to 1 string consistency. (keep it at low flame to keep it hot while you fry the gulab jamuns in another pan)

Preparation of Dough balls

  • Sieve together, milk powder, flour and baking soda in a bowl.
  • Add ghee and mix it well.
  • Add milk and yogurt and to the mixture and knead it all well. If the dough is too dry add little more milk.
  • Once the dough is ready, grease your hands and start making small size balls.
  • Deep fry them at medium temperature. As the start turning golden brown shift them directly into the hot sugar syrup for 10 - 15 minutes.


Serve them hot on this Diwali with a cup of tea.

Saadia Farooq


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Muslim World Today.

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