Sunday, 26 May 2013

Gulab Jaman



In my part of the world every celebration is accompanied with a dessert. Be it a wedding, an engagement, a birth, a promotion, a graduation, purchase of a house or a new car or festival of Eid, our happy moments are incomplete without sharing of the traditional desserts or Mithais with our friends and family. And nothing is more loved on such occasions than the humble Gulab Jamans. It is one of my favorite Pakistani dessert.

In Pakistan, Gulab Jaman - a methai (sweets) is never made at home. Specialized methai makers called halwayees make these treasured and celebrated sweets. So while celebrating,  one always buys these sweets from the best halwayee (methai maker) in town. My favorite methai maker has been Nirala sweets since as long as I can remember. No one makes better methai than them. I had to learn how to make Gulab Jamans at home after moving away from Pakistan as I could not buy them in market anymore.

I am sharing the recipe that has knowledge assimilation from various resources. Pakistan has just gone through a historic election and I am celebrating hope for a better Pakistan.  Insha Allah – God Willing. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
For Dough;
Powdered Milk – ½ cup
Yogurt – 2 tbsp
Flour: 2 tbsp
Butter – 1 tbsp (melted)
Baking soda – ¼ tsp
For sugar syrup:
Sugar –  1 cup
Water – 2 cups
Saffron  - 5-6 strands
Rose water – 4 tbsp (I am using Khevra water as I was out of rose water)
Green Cardamom – 6 (crushed)
Oil – for deep frying.


Method:
Step 1 : Make the sugar syrup. Add sugar, water, saffron, green cardamom in a saucepan and bring to boil. Let it simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Keep warm.

Step 2: Make the dough. I use a kneading machine to do that. If you have a stand mixer with hook attachment, that can be used as well. Or else just knead the dough the old fashioned way i.e with hand.
Mix all the ingredients(Dry milk powder, Flour, butter, yogurt, baking soda) in the kneading machine. Knead till the butter comes out. It takes about 5-6 minutes. Let this mixture rest for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Fry the dough. Make small (Maltesers sized) balls of the dough with partially wet fingers. Make sure the dough balls have no cracks on the surface. This dough is enough to make 15 balls.

Step 4 : Frying. Deep fry the dough balls on medium to high heat. They should fry gently and become golden brown. Too hot oil will turn them brown from outside but will leave them uncooked from inside. Be careful with the heat.

Phase 5 : Add Rose water to the warm sugar syrup. Now add the fried dough balls to the warm sugar syrup. Mix and cover. I usually make the gulab jamans overnight and let them soak up sugar syrup through the night. They taste heavenly in the morning.  I decided to roll them in dried coconut, but they can be served with or without dried coconut.