So it seems that I didn’t quite succeed at staying out of the kitchen on my day off after all. I think I’ve mentioned it before that I am a bit of a perfectionist and so organising “everything” comes naturally to me. I got to organising the kitchen cabinets yesterday and during the process I unearthed a few items, very quickly approaching their expiry dates. Mr. Mazhar’s first instinct was to throw the stuff out anyway but then I reminded him that I had gotten it to make his favorite Pakistani dessert – gulab jamuns. He immediately caved in and asked me to use all the ingredients to make as many gulab jamuns as I could before they expired.
So as a good wife that is exactly what I set about to do. This is something of a family recipe. My aunt, who must have gotten it from my grandmother, passed it on to my cousin, who gave it to my sister, who gave it to me. And here I shall share it with you. It is easy peasy. My only words of caution are that you measure out everything precisely. Otherwise the dumplings tend to become either too soft and break apart as you handle them or they become too hard and remain rather doughy and uncooked in the centre. Both very unpleasant outcomes for the effort that goes into this dessert. So be forewarned.
For the Dumplings
- 1 cup powdered milk (Nido)
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp semolina (sooji)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg, room temperature
For the Syrup
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 cups water
- 2-4 pods of cardamom, gently crushed to let the flavour seep out
- A few strands of saffaron
- Start off by making the syrup in a small saucepan. Add all the ingredients together and place on low heat till the sugar melts. Make sure that when you add the dumplings into the syrup it is warm. I keep mine in the pan on the lowest heat on my stove.
- Mix all the ingredients for the dumpling together. You will get a rather sticky sort of batter. Pat some oil on your palms and take a small portion of the batter, roll it around in your palms till you have a small ball shape. Place it on a clean plate. Work through all the batter to make around 12-15 dumplings.
- Place a lot of oil in a wok or frying pan, enough to deep fry the dumplings. Heat the oil on a high flame but then turn it down before you add the dumplings. Don’t put too many in together unless you have a large spoon to fish them all out of the oil together otherwise they burn very quickly. Be sure to fry them till they turn to a rather deep, dark brown color. Take the dumplings out of the frying oil and drop them very gently into the warm sugar syrup immediately. Once you have made all your dumplings and added them to the syrup, you can take it off the heat and place in dish to cool down. You could garnish them with slivered almonds and pistachios but I didn’t have any at hand, hence the picture without them. Serve at tea or after dinner. Gulab jamuns are a sure hit with everyone who likes desserts.
Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy them.