I have loved Indian Cuisine since I was very young, living in England. We were in London and chanced upon Veeraswamy’s Restaurant. It became a regular place to go for my parents. And for me, if I was lucky. But it wasn’t until a many many years later that I discovered the joys of a very simple and very sweet Indian treat – GULAB JAMUN.


“You could call them fried milk balls in syrup” is how Jaffrey describes them in The Madjur Jaffrey Cookbook. And that is exactly what they are. A mix of powdered milk, whole milk with a little flour thrown in. A cross between a doughnut hole and an Æbleskiver. Kinda! After frying it is ‘syruped’ and then soaked in a cardamom syrup. Eaten warm – YUM YUM!!


      2 lbs granulated sugar
      3 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
      1 3.4 pints water

Combine water, syrup and cardamom pods in a 3-qt pot. Simmer until sugar has dissolved. DO NOT STIR!! Pour 1/2 of the syrup into a serving bowl (about 2 qt). Leave remainder in the pot with the pods.

    Milk Balls:
      6 oz powdered milk
      3 oz AP flour
      4 fl oz veggie oil or ghee
      4 fl oz milk
      veggie oil for frying

Make a soft dough with the powdered milk, flour, oil and milk in a bowl. Make small, smooth 1″ balls out of the dough.


Heat the oil in a deep frying pan (about 3″ of oil) over a LOW flame. The jamun need to be fried slowly.
Test the oil by putting one jamun in the oil. If it browns too quickly it is TOO HOT. If it fries too slowly, turn the heat up. The jamun should end up a golden brown.


Don’t fry more than aoub 5 or 6 at a time. When they are done lift them from th oil and put them to simmer in the syrup for about 5 minutes. It takes about 5 minutes to fry a batch, so while one batch is frying, one batch is ‘syruping’. After 5 minutes or so place them in the fresh syrup in the serving bowl. Repeat until all the balls are fried, syruped and in the serving bowl. Cool, cover the bowl and refrigerate. Discard the syrup in the pot.


These can be served cold, at room temp or slightly warmed – the way I like them. When served, only the jamun should be served, not the syrup.

I had promised myself I would make these for the last PL with Donna Hay’s 6 month run. My first batches were a little too brown. It wasn’t until the last 10 that they finally turned out just right.
The recipe makes at least 24. I made 1/2 of the recipe and ended up with 14.

This is potluck week for I Heart Cooking Club. The recipe is on page 839 of Madjur’s book.