SOUTH AFRICAN GULAB JAMUN
This Recipe Serves 2-3
South African Gulab Jamun are mostly found in the shape of logs & often coated in desiccated coconut after it has been soaked in syrup – although this is optional. In India you will find most of these treat served in a syrup & their shapes are round like balls.
Gulab Jamun (also spelled as Gulaab Jamun) is a sweet South Asian treat. It originated in North India.
In Nepal it is referred to as Lal Mohan. Pakistan, Bangladesh & some South Africans refer to this treat as Gulab Jam.
“Gulab” is off the Persian words gol (flower) and āb (water), alluding to the rose water-scented syrup. “Jamun” or “jaman” is the Hindi-Urdu word for Syzygium jambolanum, an Indian fruit with a comparative size and shape, ordinarily known as black plum.
In South Africa, Gulab Jamuns are also made during a prayer by most of the Indian community as this is part of their offering to God.
This recipe was given to me by my mum. She makes thee best Gulab Jamuns that I’ve ever tasted.
South African Gulab Jamun Ingredients:
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon rose essence
- 1 elachie pod (cardamom)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground elachie (cardamom)
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons condensed milk
- ¾ cup vegetable oil for deep frying
- desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Firstly begin by preparing the syrup. In a small pot/saucepan add in the castor sugar.
- Pour in the water.
- Add in the elachie pod (cardamom) & the rose essence.
- Place on a stove-top on medium high heat & stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil.
- Thereafter, turn down the heat to low & allow the syrup to simmer until slightly thickened.
- Whilst the syrup is simmering, being preparing the dough.
- Add the flour to a mixing bowl.
- Thereafter, add in the baking powder, ground elachie (cardamom) & ground nutmeg.
- Next add in the sugar. I used brown sugar but you may use white sugar if desired.
- Mix the dry ingredients together.
- Add in the butter.
- Rub the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Next, add in the condensed milk.
- Mix using your hands to form a soft dough.
- Pinch off little pieces of dough at a time.
- Next, roll the piece of dough in the palm of your hands into a log shape.
- Continue this process until all the dough is finished.
- They can also be rolled into balls if preferred, as they would in India.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a pot & fry the gulab jamuns until lightly browned.
- Remove & drain on paper towels.
- Turn off the heat for the syrup & place the fried gulab jamuns into the syrup whilst warm, Allow them to soak for 3-4 minutes.
- Once their done soaking, roll them into desiccated coconut. This step may be omitted if you’re not a coconut lover.
- This is what they would look like if they were rolled into balls.
- The South African Gulab Jamun are ready to be plated & served.
- Can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week – although they are best eaten fresh.
- These South African Gulab Jamun are mostly prepared for auspicious days such as Varalakshmi Vratham, Sri Ganesh Chaturti, Purattasi , Pithar Paksh, Navaratri & many others.