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Gulab Jamun Recipe

Gulab jamun are a favourite Indian dessert - they're like super-soft donut holes made with powdered milk and soaked in cardamom syrup.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 10 gulab jamun
Author: Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD


For cardamom syrup:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 cardamom pods

For gulab jamun

  • 1 cup skim or full-cream milk powder
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • oil for frying


  • To make the cardamom syrup, combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Crush cardamom pods by pressing on them with the flat side of a chef's knife, and add them to the saucepan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, then boil for one minute and turn off the heat.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together milk powder, flour and baking powder. Add butter and use your fingers to work it into the dry mixture until well incorporated. Add milk, using a very light hand, stir until just combined.  Let mixture stand 10-15 minutes (it will thicken up).
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a shallow saucepan to a depth of 1" over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add a drop of batter to the oil to test to see if it is the right temperature - if it sizzles but doesn't immediately change colour, it's ready.  If it floats and starts to brown immediately, it's too hot (remove from burner for a minute and reduce the heat; test again before proceeding).  If it sinks and doesn't sizzle, it is not hot enough.
  • Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil, cooking about 5 at a time. Using a slotted spoon, turn gulab jamun frequently until well browned and doubled in size, 4-6 minutes.  Remove gulab jamun as they are reading, letting excess oil drip back into saucepan. Add immediately to syrup.  Let stand in syrup until ready to serve.  Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Best served warm (you can rewarm them gently over low heat in the syrup).