Monday, August 29, 2011

Multicultural Monday!!!! A Taste of the East

My first MM post is going to be dedicated to my very favourite sweet originating from India; GULAB mouth waters just saying it. It is pretty much a round ball of milk dough deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup. I'll simplify that for you....milk, deep fried, sugar syrup. Too good to be true right?

According to Wikipedia, which obviously is the most reliable and truthful source of any piece of information, the name gulab jamun comes from the Persian word gulab which means rose water and the Hindustani word jamun which is a South Asian fruit about the same size and shape as the sweet.

Gulab Jamun is made with milk products. This includes milk powder and whole milk as well as cream and condensed milk depending on the recipe. So if your looking for an excuse to eat gulab jamuns, they're awesome calcium supplements....but I don't think you'll need an excuse :)

The best part of gulab jamun is the sugary syrup. No wait...its the rich sweet wait its the soft but crispy exterior...okay I can't choose!!!

The first time I made Gulab Jamun, which I shamefully admit was the only time, I made it out of a box. I know this is cheating. Please don't hate me. I promise I turned over a new leaf since. I had no idea how to make it from scratch and I was much younger at the time. Most Eastern/ Indian grocery stores have box mixes. Throw some milk or water into the batter, form little balls out of it and deep fry them until a little darker than golden brown. I didn't know that the balls would expand once you soak them in the syrup...I doubted the instructions the whole time but stuck to it, and boy was I glad. I left them to soak and came back in an hour to find the bowl brimming full with round juicy sweet balls of bliss....okay that sounded a little dirty....

If you want to try to make it from scratch theres a recipe here or here and even here. All of them are slightly different but very comprehensive recipes. You can also watch a video tutorial here. The recipe from scratch seems simple enough but you would probably have to play around with a few different ones before you settle on one that works for you. 

Dress them up with sweetened coconut shreds or serve with ice cream...or just gobble them up as is! Hope you try it out and let me know how it goes!!

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