Gulab Jamun (Indian doughtnuts soaked in Old Monk)
Prep time
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The perfect and most favorite sweet of all Indians, these gulab jamun are basically doughnuts made of dried milk, that have been fried in ghee and soaked in a sugar syrup of saffron, rose water and old monk for a contemporary twist! Served here with pistachio ice cream and pistachio praline.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
For the Gulab Jamun:
  • Khoya ( dried milk ) -250gms
  • All purpose flour - ½ cup (about 3 tbsp)
  • Paneer or cottage cheese - 50 gms
  • Cardamom - 4, crushed with mortar pestle
  • Pistachios crushed - 2 tbsp ( to stuff the dumplings)
  • Warm Milk - 1 tbsp
  • 4-5 strands of saffron, dissolved in the above mentioned warm milk.
  • Baking powder - ½ tsp
For the Old Monk Sugar syrup:
  • Sugar - 250 gms
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Rose water 1 tbsp
  • Saffron few strands
  • Old Monk 2 tbsp
  • Milk 1 tbsp
For the Gulab Jamun:
  1. Start with measuring everything and keeping things ready.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the khoya first and mash it thoroughly till smooth. There should be absolutely no lumps left.
  3. Once you are sure its smooth,add the crumbled paneer (make sure its soft before you start making it. If its in fridge, soak in warm water for 30 minutes. Remove and let the water drain by squeezing gently between your palms, then crumble).
  4. Mix it with the khoya.
  5. Now add the all purpose flour/maida, baking powder and cardamom powder to the mashed khoya paneer mix. Please ensure there are no lumps. If there are lumps, you end up with the horrid jamuns that have a hard centre. Completely unappetising.
  6. This may take time, but do it thoroughly. No short cuts.
  7. Next, add a few strands of saffron dissolved in 1 tbsp milk and simply bring the dough together like you would for a pie crust.
  9. Cover the dough with a wet tea towel and keep aside for 30 mins.
  10. Make small balls from the dough. Stuff a little chopped pistachio inside each ball. Reshape again till smooth and creaseless. V V important!
  11. The size depends on how you want it. I usually start with 1 inch ones and make tiny ones of the leftover dough. Cover and keep aside for frying.
  12. But before that, start the syrup.
for the sugar syrup:
  1. Make a simple sugar syrup by dissolving sugar in water. Heat the sugar solution till it becomes sticky. Typically we need a ek taar (one thread) consistency for the syrup. If you take a drop of syrup on your index finger and press your thumb against it, when you pull the fingers apart, the syrup should have one thread, not two.
  2. Add the old monk and saffron to it and let it simmer for a bit. 2 mins.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of milk and let it simmer. A layer of scum will form on top. remove that with a spoon.
  4. Remove from flame and add rose water , stir well.
  5. Keep the sugar solution aside.
  6. If the sugar syrup crystallizes on cooling, simply reheat by adding 2 tbsp of water.
For frying the gulab jamun:
  1. While you simmer the syrup, heat oil to fry them
  2. The oil should be medium hot. Lower the flame and wait for a minute. then gently place a little piece in the oil. It should come up to the surface quickly without browning immediately. If it browns too quickly, let the oil cool down. If it doesnt come up early or breaks, add a little flour (or a tbsp of semoline or sooji, mix and wait for 10 mins before trying again).
  3. Once the test piece is perfect, gently add the gulab jamun into the oil. Keep the flame on low.
  4. As soon as you see spots appear on them, start rotating the jamuns to ensure equal browning.
  5. Once they reach a deep brown color , remove and drain on a kitchen towel for 2 mins.
  6. Then place the hot gulab jamuns in the sugar syrup.
  7. Now place this pot with the jamuns and sugar syrup on simmer for 2-3 mins. This helps the gulab jamuns to absorb the syrup and it becomes soft and tender. Do not overcook or they will break!!
  8. Serve hot or let it cool to room temperature and chill!
Recipe by La Petit Chef at