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Soaked in sweet syrup, these Indian-style doughnuts can be enjoyed warm, hot or cold!

Gulab Jamun


  • 1 cup powdered milk

  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 3 tablespoons milk

  • Ghee, to grease your hands

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon rose essence (or 1 teaspoon rose water)

  • A pinch of saffron

  • Oil for frying (canola/begetable)


  1. Combine powdered milk, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.

  2. Add melted butter and add milk, and gently stir until all ingredients are incorporated and form a thick dough. Allow formed dough to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to slightly firm up.

  3. Prepare syrup by heating water and sugar, and simmer for 5 minutes until sugar has dissolved and slightly thickened. Add rose essence and saffron.

  4. Grease hands with ghee. Gently form small balls with dough (approximately 1-1 1/2 inches in diameter), making sure not to overwork the dough. (This can lead to a tough Gulab Jamun, so be careful.)

  5. Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a deep pan on medium heat. Add balls, and cook for 5-7 minutes until dark brown in color.

  6. Immerse the hot Gulab Jamun balls immediately into the syrup, and allow to soak for a minimum of 10 minutes. The Gulab Jamun will puff up as they soak.

  7. Serve warm, hot, cold - whichever way you like!

Gulab Jamun




Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox


- This, my friends, is gulab jamun and it is India's answer to the doughnut. It's custardy, it's tender, and it's one of the most popular desserts that you can have in India. Let me show you how to make it. Okay so let's make the dough for the gulab jamun fritter. So I'm starting off with some everyday plain white flour and this you guys, is dried milk powder. And what it is is it's milk and they've sucked all the moisture out of it so you're left with the milky rich goodness without all the liquid and that's gonna add a really custardy touch to these fritters. As well as some baking powder because you want these to be puffy and light. A little pinch of salt, I'm just gonna quickly mix these so they're nice and incorporated. Now onto the wet ingredients, I have a little bit of whole milk. This is some melted butter, it's gonna add a ton of richness to the dough. And then you're just gonna gently mix, starting in the middle and then gently pulling in the dry ingredients from the outside. And you want this to be nice and thick. Okay so, I've been stirring it and you really want this to be a dough, not a batter, so you want it to be firm so that it's firm enough so that you can roll it into balls. So while that hangs out and rests for a bit, let's work on the syrup. So to make the syrup, a whole ton of sugar, not literally a ton but you know what I mean. Some water and I'm just gonna bring this up to simmer, all the sugar should dissolve and should be slightly syrupy. Alright, so gulab jamun when you literally translate it, it means rose berries, so like when you think about it, the fritter's kind of like a delicate rose that kind of looks like a berry, I don't know. But it's kind of cool sounding, right? So my sugar has nicely dissolved. It's still like very thin, the syrup, but it's slightly sticky which is what you're looking for and now it's time to flavor it. So I have saffron, which is the most expensive spice in the entire world and what it is is it's the stamen of the crocus flower and it has this beautiful perfumy aroma. So a little bit of saffron, as well as rose water and rose water is again, very perfumy, has the flavor of rose and little bit goes a long way so don't go too crazy, and that's it, that's all you need. Oh and it smells amazing already. Let's get working on those fritters. My dough has rested, its firmed up considerably and now it's time to roll them into balls. So before we do that, I'm gonna grease my hands with a little bit of ghee and all that ghee is is clarified butter. If you don't have ghee, just go ahead and use melted butter, that's totally cool as well. And then you just wanna pinch off bits of dough, like this, and then roll them into balls. And you wanna be very delicate because you don't wanna overwork them because that makes for a tough gulab jamun and let me tell you, my mom, she would not approve of a tough gulab jamun. So I have some oil, it's not super hot, so we're not talking 350, it's around 300 because you wanna cook these nice and low and slow because you want that center to be cooked all the way through the middle. So give it one more roll like this and then just gently drop it in, bloop. And if you feel uncomfortable getting so close to the oil, you can always put it in a spider and then just drop it in like that. And then they're just gonna gently cook for a few minutes, they're gonna turn this beautiful caramely brown color. At this point you might look at them and say hey, those look good, I'm gonna pull them out but you shouldn't and I'll tell you exactly why. The center is still raw and you want to gently cook that so that center gets nice and light and fluffy as well. These are looking a little dark but you want them to get a little dark because what happens is when you put the gulab jamun into the syrup, they're gonna lighten up, right? So you want to get that dark color ahead of time so that once you put them into the syrup, they get the right color which is that blushing, caramelized brown. And now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna drop them directly into the syrup. And this is where the fun bit happens, oh a little sizzle action. Now you're gonna let this hang out in the syrup for a few minutes or so because you want them to puff up, to suck up all that beautiful rose and saffron flavored syrup and that literally happens in a few minutes. So our gulab jamun has had a chance to soak up all that gorgeous syrup and check out their color, remember how dark they were before? And now they've lightened up, they're nice and golden. A little bit of that syrup is cascading over the top. And now, I get to try it. I'm so excited, okay, and you know what? I think these are tiny enough that I can pop an entire one in one go. Shall we see if that works out? Let's see. There's a reason why this is such a popular Indian dessert, it's super creamy and custardy in the center and then soaked in that saffron rose syrup, it's sensational, you guys. There's a reason why I loved this growing up and I'm sure you guys are gonna love it too.