Martha Collison's gulab jamun

Sticky, fragrant, syrup-soaked doughnuts sprinkled with pistachios – my take on an Indian delight 

  • Preparation time: 20-25 minutes + soaking
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 35-40 minutes + soaking

Makes: 25

Ingredients

FOR THE SUGAR SYRUP
300g caster sugar
5 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
1 tsp rose water

FOR THE GULAB JAMUN
125g dried skimmed milk powder
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
25g ghee (or butter)
150ml whole milk
Vegetable oil or ghee, to deep fry
Pistachios, chopped, to serve
 

Method

1. Begin by making the sugar syrup. In a small saucepan, combine 150ml cold water with the caster sugar and cardamom pods. Simmer over a low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup looks slightly thicker. Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water, then set aside.

2. Next make the gulab jamun. Combine the milk powder, flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Melt the ghee or butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan, then add to the dry ingredients.

3. Mix the ingredients together, adding the milk a little bit at a time until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms. Leave to stand for 2-3 minutes to firm up before rolling into 25 small round balls with damp hands. If the dough is too dry and starts to crack, add a little more milk to make smooth, round balls.

4. Heat enough oil or ghee in a medium saucepan to come halfway up the pan until it reaches around 150ºC on a thermometer. Try not to let the oil get any hotter than this or the balls won’t be cooked in the centre. Cook them in small batches for 5-7 minutes, stirring often to get an even golden colour on the outside. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a piece of kitchen roll to absorb the excess oil. Cool for 3-4 minutes then place in a deep baking tin (a brownie tin works well).

5. Place the syrup over a low heat and warm gently, then pour the syrup over the gulab jamun. Leave to soak for 1 hour before sprinkling with chopped pistachios. To enjoy them warm, heat with the syrup in the microwave in a non-metallic container for 20 seconds.