Diwali is just a few days away and I jumped onto this opportunity to kickstart my Indian cuisine endeavour. Just like the fall of 2018, I wanna showcase a cuisine which few people know of. You might be wondering why am I saying that only a few people know of Indian cuisine; there are thousands upon thousands of Indian dishes recipes online. Am I delusional?
The word curry is what the English use to name any sauces or gravies they found in India during their colonization. There are thousands upon thousands of different "curries" in India. You cannot find the same food in every mile of the Indian streets; every dish has many different variations and each has it's own unique taste. It is really that complex. Tikka Masala was not even founded in India, it is invented by the English. Naan is from Persia. Even tea was introduced by the English, Indians' main cup of beverages are milk or spiced water. Indian cuisine has suffered a huge misconception.
When you are googling about Indian cuisine, your results will be curries, tikka masala and naan! But authentic Indian dishes are more than just that. Take this dessert for instance. I have never heard or seen of this dish before my research. This is a milk-based dough, fried and bathe in saffron syrup. It sounded so elegant and yet only a few people (outside of India) knows about it.
This is actually my 2nd attempt. I screwed up during my 1st attempt when I was frying them. The 1st mistake was that I used a wok rather than a proper dutch oven. The jamun dough balls stuck to the bottom and I tried to move them panically. The jamun immediately broke apart into pieces. I learnt that by stirring the oil gently with a wooden chopstick helps. Do take note on the frying step. Enuff of my ranting, anyway, I really hope you will give this recipe a try. Here I wish all Hindus a very Happy Diwali.
Granulated Sugar, 200g
Green Cardamon Pods, 4
Rose Water, 2 TBSP
Fresh Lemon Juice, 1/2 Lemon
Mawa / Khoa:
Ghee, 1 TBSP
Whole Milk, 180g
Good Quality Milk Powder, 128g
Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 78g
Baking Soda, Pinch
Whole Milk, 2 TBSP
Rose Water, 1 TBSP
Canola / Peanut / Grapeseed / Vegetable Oil, For Frying
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Prepare the syrup.
In a sauce pot over medium heat, add all the ingredients.
Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Bring it up to a simmer.
Once the syrup coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat.
Transfer into a large shallow bowl.
You should have a clear yellowish color.
Prepare the mawa or khoa.
Add ghee and milk into a skillet.
Stir to combine well.
Turn the heat up tp medium.
Add in the milk powder and stir to combine well.
Break up large lumps with the back of a spatula.
Keep stirring until it pulls away from the sides of the skillet and comes together into a dough.
*You have to keep stirring to prevent any burning.*
Remove from heat and transfer into a large bowl.
Prepare the jamun dough.
*The dough has to be prepared while the mawa or khoa is still warm.*
Break the dough into crumbly bits with a fork.
Add in flour, baking soda, milk and rose water.
Combine together into a dough with your hand.
*Do not knead or work the dough.*
Set aside for 10 mins.
Weigh and divide into 12 equal dough balls.
Shape each dough balls tightly into smooth balls making sure no large cracks.
In a dutch oven, add about 4 inches of oil.
Turn the heat up to low.
When a wooden chopstick is inserted into the oil, there should be little bubbling.
Gently drop in all the jamun.
Using that wooden chopstick, gently and carefully stir the oil in a circular motion without touching the jamun.
*This is a very crucial step, because once you touch the jamun, it will break apart and create a mess.*
Keep stirring gently until the jamun float to the surface.
Roll the jamun to allow even browning.
Once the jamun are dark brown in color, fish them out of the oil with a spider.
Drain off excess oil with the spider.
Immediately add them into the syrup.
Make sure the jamun are spaced out from one another, as they will expand even more.
Allow the jamun to soak in the syrup for 2 hrs.
The jamun should expand and become plump.
Ladle the syrup onto serving plate.
Transfer the jamun onto the syrup.