Certain treats are associated with our loved ones and for me 'Gulab Jamun' is the sweet treat @ Periamma's. She makes them for every occasion - from Birthdays to Diwali, engagements to wedding celebrations, etc, etc.; and Naga Achi's favourite is 'Kala Jamun'. But this time when we met up for Saraswati Pooja, she came with a box full of Gulab Jamuns. I tasted one - divine.
It was a busy morning with preparations for the evening pooja underway; and at lunch time there were only a couple left in the box. I had to hide them while cajoling my son to catch them on his camera. Looks like I did not do a good job as I see only one in front of me!
Khova - 1/4 Kg
Maida - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1 Tbsp, warmed
Soda - 2 pinches
Milk - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1.5 cups
Water - 1.5 cups
Rose Water - 1/2 tsp
Ghee for deep frying
Take a flat bottomed vessel (broad based). Mix sugar and water in it and stir cook until sugar dissolves. Strain and return to pan (clean and dry the pan first). Add rose water to the syrup. Make sure that the syrup is warm until you drop the entire lot of Jamuns in.
Generally our Gas stoves have 2 burners side by side. So, we keep syrup on one burner and use the other burner to fry the Jamuns. This way the syrup is close enough to drop the fried Jamuns.
Take maida in a shallow bowl and add in the warm ghee. Rub in till it is distributed evenly.
Mix the soda into the milk. Add into the maida-ghee mixture, along with khoa and knead well until smooth.
Divide into small balls and roll. They should be real smooth. Otherwise it will crack in the oil. Be gentle while making the balls.
Heat ghee (or a mix of oil + ghee) in a small Iron Kadai (we do not want to waste. Yes?).
Drop in 2 to 3 balls at a time into medium hot oil and fry until golden all over.
Manage the flame (by reducing or increasing the flame as is necessary) so that the oil does not get too hot; if that happens the center portion will remain un-cooked.
Drain well and drop them directly into the sugar syrup.
Keep aside to cool well (4 hours at least).
Place a Sugar candy (makhanas) or Raisin in the centre of each Jamun, while rolling.
Store in a shallow covered container for 4 days.
If stored in the refrigerator, it will keep well for upto a week. Warm up before serving.
Come Celebrate - Indian Sweets
*Tip - My friend Sowmya once told me to mix in a little Khoa with the Mix available in the market for fluffy, soft and tasty Gulab Jamuns. The taste is almost close to the ones made with fresh Khoa.