Sometimes I open a blog post and stare at the screen for a long time, wondering how exactly I should start the post. Of late, I feel very blank. One thing that the current situation has taught is that life is never as per our plan. If it was, the girls would have travelled home on the 30th, just like they had travelled for the past couple of years. They were really excited about going home for the summers. When my parents were here in December last year, they were around only for a couple of weeks and the girls weren’t really happy about it. But then, who thought that the virus would derail plans for a long period of time?
Things have become more relaxed here now – almost all public places have opened up, masjids are also open now Alhamdulillah and there is no applicable curfew. But that doesn’t come with complete freedom. Masks are mandatory till the near future. More than three people are not allowed in a vehicle, unless it is family. Gatherings and events are still out of question. Proper social distancing is to be maintained. We have only been going out for drives, or walks in lone corners around our vicinity. It feels very stressful to move out with the kids otherwise. I hope this situation eases out soon, though looking at the numbers, even though not alarming, is still steady and hasn’t shown a decline yet…
Maybe we can end that talk and come back to something sweet… It took me ages to make this iconic Indian sugar soaked dumplings called Gulab Jamuns. In fact, I had no courage to try it out. This is Azza’s favorite dessert and she can eat five to six at one sitting. Rarely, she eats anything like that! Hehe… This reminds me that Vineetha had posted this sweet as her guest post – can you believe this was done in 2014? Feels like just yesterday! When I had invited her to be my guest, the first question she asked was, “Do you have Gulab Jamun on your blog?” When I said a negative, she said, “You have so many recipes already on the blog, that’s why I asked!” This is one comment I have got from a lot of bloggers when I invite them for a guest post. Somehow I know that my blog misses a lot of recipe posts, that maybe considered normal for others, but I feel intimidated, just like this one. Hehe… It feels funny that I tried the bread jamuns and aloo jamuns before the actual deal… 😉
Gulab Jamuns are usually made with milk solids called ‘khoya’ or ‘mawa’, but due to its difficult availability, milk powder has taken over as its suitable substitute. Even though the dough and the frying may not take time, the soaking in sugar syrup needs a lot of patience. The more it sits, the more soft and sugary it becomes inside. Another matter is to ensure not to over-knead the dough, otherwise the jamuns may become harder. You just knead to play it with very soft hands till you have a smooth dough with no cracks. My jamuns had rested only for an hour so it hadn’t soaked the syrup well. But the ones that we ate at night after almost 8 hours resting were literally melt-in-mouth. Yes, sometimes we run to catch the sunlight that we can’t wait for the food to get done properly. 😉 *Dilemma of a food blogger* hehe… Off to this super simple recipe…
- 1 cup milk powder
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp semolina
- ⅛ tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp ghee
- Milk as needed
- FOR SUGAR SYRUP:
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- 2 strands of saffron crushed
- 1 tsp rosewater
- First prepare the sugar syrup. Add the sugar and water, along with the cardamom and saffron in a saucepan and bring it to boil, swirling in between just for the sugar to mix and melt.
- Boil for around 10 minutes on low flame till the syrup appears thickened. Add the rosewater and switch off. Keep the syrup warm.
- Sift the dry ingredients for the gulab jamun into a bowl. Add the ghee. Add 2 tbsp of milk and slowly bring the dough together. Work softly with your hands to bring the dough together. Add an additional tbsp of milk if necessary, but usually it won't be required.
- Once the dough comes together, give it a light knead. Do not press hard, work softly. Only knead till the dough looks smooth.
- Divide into small dumplings, around 10-15. Keep it small so that it cooks well inside as well. The rounds must be smooth with no lines or cracks.
- Meanwhile, heat oil. Let it get really hot. To test, drop a little of the dough, if it rises, then it is hot.
- Drop the dumplings - do not crowd the pan - and fry till golden brown. Lower the heat and cook for another couple of minutes. This will ensure that the inside is done.
- Drain onto a kitchen towel for a couple of minutes and then dunk into the warm syrup.
- Repeat till all the dumplings are done.
- Let the gulab jamuns soak in the syrup for at least two hours, or even more if possible.
- Serve as is, or with a dollop of ice cream if desired!