Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ammayee's special - Gulab Jamun Step by step

Every summer vacation when we were kids 2 things were certain on our visits to our grandparents in the village. The minute we got out of the car we ran to the vala bero(netted cupboard) to find a huge dabba (container) of lip smacking gulab jamuns and another big dabba of murukkus waiting. The monsoons may fail but this routine never changed. This visit would not have been any different but I asked grandma to hold off the preparation till we reached there, so I could record the step by step process for posterity.


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The gulab jamun making process takes better part of a day starting with the preparation of the khova to frying up the balls and dunking them in sugar syrup. Grandma had asked the milk man from the farm to bring in 4 litres of milk. 4 litres of milk yeilds 1 Kg of Khova. Without further adieu I present here the step by step process of making gulab jamuns. 7 different people were involved in the process (ammayee, mom,athai, ammayee's helper, DD, DD2 and me) along the way. When there is company even the most arduous task becomes a pleasure.

Gulab Jamun making process in pictures


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1. Start out by setting the milk to boil in a heavy bottomed wide mouthed pan


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Keep stirring as the milk reduces to avoid milk getting burnt - half way stage


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Continue stirring, takes atleast 3-4 hours - almost done


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Stop the heat when the milk solids come together as a mass - khova ready

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Mix half a kilo of maida flour with the khova (in an approximate ratio of khova : maida = 1:3, don't use too much maida just enough to make a pliant dough when mixed with the khova)

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Mix a tbsp of yogurt (curd) mixed with a tsp of baking soda

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Dough incorporated with flour and yougurt

Getting the syrup ready
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Take the required amount of sugar and add enough water to just cover the sugar and bring it to a boil. Squeeze a half of a lemon

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Strain the syrup to remove any impurities

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With the dough make small round balls about 3/4 inches in diameter

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Heat 2 cups of ghee and deep fry the balls

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Soak the balls in sugar syrup

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Ready to enjoy



Gulab Jamun
Ingredients
1. 4 litres whole milk
2. 1/2 kg maida (all purpose flour)
3. 1 tbsp curd (yogurt)
4. 1 tsp baking soda
5. 2 cups ghee
6. 2 litres of sugar
7. 1/2 lemon

Method
To Make Khova
1. In a wide mouthed heavy bottom pan add the milk and heat it in a medium flame. (add a couple of stainless steel spoons into the milk to avoid burning)
2. Reduce the milk for 3-4 hours till the milk solidifies and becomes thick.
3. Whip together yogurt and baking soda
4. To the khova add the flour and yougurt mixture and knead till it forms a pliant dough. (make sure not to add too much flour, just enough flour to make the khova pliant)
4. Make 3/4 inch diameter balls and set aside

Prepare sugar syrup
1. In a pan add the sugar and just enough water to cover the sugar. Heat till it comes to a boil.
2.Squeeze the half of the lemon (this is to avoid sugar crystals). Set aside.

Deep frying
1. Heat the ghee and deep fry the balls, adding a few at a time till golden brown.
2. Cool the balls and soak them in the sugar syrup.
3. Let sit for a few hours.

36 comments:

  1. Looks so delicious. Thanks for the step by step procedure. I'm drooling;-)

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  2. Wow, the true old fashioned way of making jamoons, without short cuts. They must have been little bites of heaven! They sure look that way :)

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  3. lovely, lovely recipe...will try this out soon!

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  4. OMG this involves so much work......but taste will be great I guess not the like the readymade jamuns! Gud that u shared the step by step recipe.

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  5. very nice! i love the step-by-step pictures :)

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  6. Just a few weeks ago, I was discussing this 'vala bero' with a cousin or a friend, don't remember who. We used it for a pot of ghee, setting curds and some odds and ends. On top was a tray for the small spoons and forks, on the side a rack to hold ladles - great memories. It had three shelves, in my house.

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  7. Have never seen a "real" gulab jamun making. We have made it with readymade mix all these years. I bet these would taste definitley more creamy and melt in the mouth. Will make it and get back to you with the results. Hatoff to your amayee and you for having this recorded in the blog!

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  8. Ok Don't publish prev comment

    Who ate the most, these are huge number of gulab jamuns fit for a feast.
    Making Khoya is the hardest, isn't it ?

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  9. Indo,
    This post almost choked me with emotion. It reminded me of my Avva who would just like your Ammayee spend the entire day making snacks and sweets for us. Unfortunately, she's no longer with us. Your post stirred some loving memories. It must have been a memorable experience for DD and DD2 to make these with their great-Ammayee.

    Mamatha

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  10. True guyss the taste is heavenly and nothing can come close. I am so spoilt by this taste that I don't like the mix made gulab jamuns and don't eat them.

    Sra, the vala bero is such a smart idea right. Keeps the critters and creatures out but provides aeration. My ammayee still has a few of them.

    Sandeepa :) I am not going to comment on that question ;) All I will say is ammayee has 2 daughters including my mom, so some of it went to that house and my mama's daughter.

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  11. Thanks Indhu! That looks like a LONG process! Boiling all that milk down for 3-4 hrs! My little one love gulab jamun, & i always resort to gits :-)

    That is a whole lot of gulab jamuns!! like in a halwai!

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  12. Wow - I never even thought that people even today make gulab jamun from scratch - i.e right from making the khoa - you are indeed very lucky!

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  13. My favorite jamuns. I learnt the recipe from my Mother-in-Law. You have given a detailed step by step procedure.

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  14. Word ammayee, vala bero made me nostalgic!! Great pictures!

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  15. My goodness, ISG! So many thanks due to your ammayee and all your family for so many great recipes from your trip -- but this one takes the cake (or rather, the khova).

    And big thanks to you for the wonderful photos. I wouldn't have believed milk could boil down to look like that. I suppose it's alot to do with the quality -- so fresh to begin.

    Just lovely and so worthy of two cups of ghee to fry :)

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  16. OMG, I m drooling. This is the best way I have ever seen. The authentic Gulab jamun looks so good. Hat's off to ammayee too.

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  17. Hi I came to know of some plagiarism post through Malar Gandhi of Kitchen Tantra..Same time I saw this pic.
    Please chk the link below...
    http://www.samayalblog.com/index.php/veg/chutney/kollu-thuvaiyal
    Looks like ur snap. TC..

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  18. Linda, oh and the smell is amazing. This is the method to make paalkhova too. But I am just thinking in all those years we have never eaten them as paalkhova only as gulab jamuns. 2 cups of ghee :) All folks in my ammayee's generation made gulab jamuns this way. There was plenty of milk and many many mouths to feed.

    Viki thanks.

    Anon, thanks for pointing. May be all of us visiting to check out a plagiarism site is most certainly what the person wants.

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  19. Indo,
    I'm assuming the milk you used is straight from the cow. I have raw milk at home and it tends to split when heated, especially after storing it in the fridge for a few days. Any tips on how to cook the milk so as not to split it? The khova picture makes me want to make it right away.

    Mamatha

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  20. Mamtha, back home everybody invariably uses raw milk. This is what I know is done. Buy the raw milk, heat it till scalding (the point where the milk starts to boil over) cool and then refrigerate.

    Milk splits only when it comes in contact with something sour. Milk should not split or curdle othewise.

    You need to heat the milk for consuming right so what do you do?

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  21. Looks fabulous Indo..loved the traditional method!

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  22. Thanks for the info Indo. That's what I do too. But the first 2-3 days, when it's heated on low-flame, it seems to do ok, but after 4-5 days of refrigeration, it tends to split, perhaps it has naturally soured by then, I don't know. Sometimes I drink it cold or if I'm using it for coffee or for making yoghurt, I warm it just enough (120 degrees or so). I so want to make the khova. May be a really heavy bottom saucepan will help.

    Mamatha

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  23. Delicious, step by step pic are really helpful!

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  24. Gulab Jamuns are such a favourite with most people. You have documented the steps so nicely. Love your grandmom's brass vessels. The gulab jamunn look mouthwatering and perfect!

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  25. Mamta, the milk we buy here in the US is pasteurized so it lasts longer whereas the raw milk can't last that long. Back home the milk is consumed in 2 days max so there is no spoilage, maybe that's what you ought to do. And you are right after 4 days the milk probably naturally sours due to bacterial action.

    Let me know how your gulab jamuns came out.

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  26. My goodness I can imagine the amount of work involved. Frankly I did not know that it was so tedious, blame it on the MTR ready made mix. Kudos to your Ammayee for this!

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  27. RC, if you ask ammayee and my athai, who make this once every two months or so they consider this sweet to be the easiest. The only time consuming process in their minds in the Khova and requires a dedicated person.

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  28. OMG Indo! Thank you so much for this! I am so going to try making the gulab jamoon again and this time, with the khova! I'm not going to make that many. I'll try a little batch first.

    Thank you and thank your grandma for this stunning demo!

    I'm grinning from ear to ear :)

    Tell me something, is the khova something that I can make and refrigerate? Also can you suggest other things I can make with it and use it? The khova that is.

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  29. Cynthia, I am just excited from your excitement. A small batch is a good idea.

    Ofcourse the khova can be refrigerated for use later. You might want to bring it to room temperature before mixing with the maida. The khova can be used for making palkhova (doodh peda), milk burfi and I am sure there are many more.

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  30. Indo, this is awesome,I am trying to imagine how this gulab jamun must have tasted. With khoa from scratch, fried in ghee ,yum ! Lucky you, you actually got to have it, I have to be content with the pictures I guess...sigh :-(

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  31. Wow! That was really from scratch, thanks for this post. I use the Gits ready mix and always wanted to try to make it from scratch. Thanks again.

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  32. I have never seen a vala bero until I got married and went to inlaws place.. All I saw was closed dabbas in there and it didn't really make sense. After reading your post and comments on setting curd, ghee, aeration etc, it makes sense now. :)

    The gulab jamuns and the memories both sound wonderful!

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  33. looks so nice step by step guidance also good.

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  34. Love the group effort! The jamuns look great!!

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  35. Very easy way of making gulab jamooons at our home itself,,, easy version tooo. Thanks for sharing dear.Take Care n Keep Smiling.I like ur blog very much dear....

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  36. Mom used to cook it the same way when we were kids particularly on our birthday's. However she used to cook it on a pan due to which jamuns had crispy outer core and made it in rectangular shape.They are much more tastier than the one's made by using readymade powders and it used to take two days to complete the perocess of heating milk to make khova and fry the GJ

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