Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Gulab Jamun

I remember of a simpler time when there was no flyover on Deccan Gymkhana, no Stock Exchange above the P.M.T bus stop and Chitale Bandhu was just a milkman. That’s right, Chitale bandhu had just a humble little store selling milk and milk products nestled snugly between Hong Kong lane and an HP petrol pump. Living in Pune, Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale is an integral part of life, especially on holidays and during festivals. The smiling face of the 'kobra" Chitale behind the counter is still fresh in my memory. It has been in the family for many generations, but recently they have branched out into franchises. It was inevitable with the vagabond younger generation of Chitales. (They are friends of mine so I can say that).

I remember that the line for sweets would stretch from Chitale all the way up to Lucky restaurant the day before a festival. Young and old alike would stand in the sweltering heat with tins to take home a litre of Basundi. I also remember celebrating the mediocrity of my SSC and HSC results among the local junta with some rather expensive Pedhas from Chitale. Today Chitale is not just the little family owned store, but a big brand. Whenever I go home, I always return to the US with a few staples from Chitale Bandhu. Bakarwadi, Coconut Burfi, Batata Chivda and Pedhas. One of my other favourites from Chitale are the Gulab Jamuns. I have tried to get my California bred girlfriend (and now fiancé) to like Gulab Jamuns. We have tried many varieties and different restaurants all over New York, but so far the appeal of a calorie filled, deep fried ball of fat has eluded her. But I won't give up till she finally gets on board with these red balls of goodness.

1lb Khoa
(Make Khoa by kneading evapourated milk and dry whole milk powder in a 2:1 ratio till it is a stiff mixture. Wrap khoa in Muslin and steam for a few minutes. Allow to cool and sour for a few hours. However, if you live in India, this can be purchased at most sweet stores or a dairy)

3/4 cup Maida (All Purpose Flour)
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
4 tbsp Milk
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
Few Strands of Saffron
2 Cups Sugar
Ghee for deep frying

Make thick sugar syrup with sugar and water.
The syrup should make strings (dhaga) when a dipped spoon is removed

Crumble and mix Khoa, flour, baking soda, cardamom, saffron and knead it in to a dough using milk to soften it.
Make little balls about 1” in diameter and keep aside
Heat the ghee and reduce to a low flame
Start frying the balls till they become reddish brown evenly
Drop the balls in the sugar syrup while it is still somewhat warm

Allow the syrup to soak in the Jamuns. These do not need to be frozen.
Microwave 5-6 in a bowl for 30 sec before serving.


evolvingtastes said...

You made those? And the chakli and the sabudana wada? Too much only happened. (farach jhala)

TheCooker said...

Oh yes, I do remember standing in those long lines for chakka and their typical tirsat-pana.

Congrats on the promotion boyfriend-->fiance!

easycrafts said...

perfectly shaped and brown in colour...not even a single crack on it...great job

Adhi Potoba said...

Yes, made the chakli and gulab jamun under the watchful eye of my Aai.

Richa said...

wow! those look so good, very tempting!
congrats on the engagement!

Happy cook said...

They just look so perfect

Suganya said...

Gulab jamun looks professional. They look too good to eat.

Rina said...

Hi Adhi, good to discover your blog... Well I had too! after I read your post title, who can resist Julab Jamoon... India'a King in Desserts. Your receipe is bookmarked. Jamoons look gr8 and yummy.
Nice reading your post and good luck in your new role. Hope you get another promotion soon.

Shella said...

You know what, you make me crave those thingies in this freezing Delhi winter. Its absolutely cold here today, n I would love to nibble on one hoot gulab jamun.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is very good !

I have a question regarding freezing gulabjams.. Do they freeze well for say a week ( along with the syrup ) after a good soak in the syrup ? Please let me know. I intend to try this soon :)


Adhi Potoba said...

You can definitely freeze the gulab jams. The problem is that they become extremely solid in the fridge and have to be either thawed out by leaving them out for a while or putting the container in a bigger pot of hot water.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response.. I am from Pune and really liked your blog. I intend to try out some recipies for my son :-) Will keep you posted on how they turn out..

I do have a question though.. If I make gulab jam and masoor amti/daal etc 5-6 days in advance of a big party do I really need to freeze it ( I am worried it will spoil the taste and texture on thawing ..) ..I was told it should stay good in the fridge in airtight containers. Please let me know.

Adhi Potoba said...

The gulab jam doesn't need to be frozen. Just refrigerate it. The masoor would taste good if you do it a day before, and get stronger the next day. But after that it only tastes stale even if you refrigerate it.