This Week's Recipe: Indian Milk Dumplings in Rose Water Syrup (Gulab Jamun)

Why Indian Milk Dumplings?

If you have had time to read about my splendid dining time at Arjuna an Indian restaurant in the Blue Mountains, you will know that I confessed to not being a fan of Indian desserts.

I was, however tempted to try Arjuna's desserts as my meal was so great. I tried their Gulab Jamun and fell in love.

Made from milk powder, flour and cream these cakes are slightly heavier than a donut and alone are not sweet, making them the perfect vehicle to soak up a decadent syrup. The syrup is made from sugar and water and flavoured with cardamon, rose water and sometimes saffron.

Traditionally served at ceremonies or weddings, it is easy to see why they are special. Besides tasting beautiful, there is a balance of delicateness and sweetness with floral rose water and earthy cardamon that send you into a Indian fairytale world of exotic wealths and beauty.

I can confess that I am now a fan of Indian desserts, particularly Gulab Jamun!

3 cups caster sugar
3 cups water
6 green cardamon pods, bruised
2 tablespoons rose water
1 ½ cups (180g) full cream milk powder
¾ cup (115g) plain flour
2/3 cup (160ml) pure cream
vegetable oil


To make the syrup place the sugar and water in a large saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Add the cardamon and rose water and leave to steep while you make the cakes.

To make the cakes combine the milk powder and flour in a bowl. Add the cream and stir until combined. This dough is quite dense and will take some time to form together.

Divide the dough into 20 portions and roll into balls.

Heat the vegetable oil n a large saucepan to 160°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 15 seconds). Deep fry cakes in batches of 6 for 3-6 minutes of until deep golden and cooked in the middle.

Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

Place the cakes in the warm syrup and leave to soak for 30 minutes.

To serve heat for a few minutes and serve with a good spoonful or two of syrup.


Unknown said...

Hi jessica - this sounds lovely but where do you get cardamon pods from? Thx, Keren

Mary James said...

I adore gulab jamon - Indian sweets are incredible. I rekon the packet mixes you get from the supermkt are also great - as it's all about the syrup and rose water.

Jessica said...

Cardamon pods can be found in most supermarkets in the spice and dried herb isle.

I agree also that the syrup is what makes this dessert a knock out.

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Merina said...

To make donuts, you will need the following ingredients:
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of sugar
One teaspoon of salt
Two teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 cup of milk
Two eggs
Two tablespoons of melted butter
Vegetable oil for frying
1. In a mixing bowl, you can combine the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg.
2. In another bowl, mix the eggs and milk, then add the melted butter.
3. Mix the dry ingredients and wet until a soft dough forms.
4. Roll out the dough and cut it into donut shapes.
5. Heat the oil in a deep fryer.
6. Fry the donuts for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
7. Remove from the oil and let them cool on a paper towel-lined plate.
8. Optional: glaze or decorate the donuts as desired. Enjoy your homemade donuts!
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