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Gulab Jambu


Self-rising flour
¾ bowl
3 tbsp
Baking soda
1 tsp
Black cardamom seeds
1 tsp
Milk powder
1 cup up to 1 ½
for deep fry


2 bowls
2 ½ bowls
Crushed saffron
½ tsp
Black cardamom seeds
1 tsp

Gulab Jambu is quite a famous Indian sweet, you can usually get it in most Indian restaurants. They are the dark spongy balls in a sugar syrup. There are quite a few versions of Gulab Jambu depending on the region.

The measurement I have given is in bowls as it's the easiest way, you can of course use cups instead of bowls! It will just give you a measurement in terms of proportions. In India most people make them out of 'mavo' which is boiled down milk but you can't usually get it here so we can use milk powder instead.

Syrup Method:

Put the sugar and the water in a large pan and heat. Once all the sugar is dissolved keep stirring. The syrup will be done when you can feel it getting sticky and slightly thick. Add the crushed saffron and the cardamom seeds.

Jambu Method:

Mix all the dry ingredients together, and using a light hand start adding the milk and forming a soft dough. Add the milk a little at a time, the dough should be soft and mallable not sticky. Some people say that you should work the dough a good 5/10 minutes and some people say you shouldn't. Choosing the easy method I didn't. Place the oil to heat. Take a small amount in your hand about a heaped teaspoon and form it into a nice round ball. The oil should be hot but not too hot as once we put the little balls in we don't want to burn the outside and leave the inside uncooked. Gently place the ball into the oil and fry, it should puff up and become enlarged. Let it cook for a good 3-4 minutes or so until golden brown. Take out and drain on kitchen paper. Let it cool. To test if the dough is right break the ball in half the inside should be cooked and spongy. If it's not work the dough a little and add a little milk if required.

Once all the balls are fried add them to the syrup and let them soak. You can serve them hot or cold, the longer you leave them in the syrup the more they absorb so when you put it in your mouth you should get a huge squirt of syrup!