Gulab jamun recipe

How to make Gulab jamun recipe

Gulab jamun is a popular traditional Indian dessert made by using khoya, chena (or paneer) and maida as main ingredients. Deep fried and soaked in light sticky flavoured sugar syrup. Gulab jamun come under hot category desserts and generally served hot topping with some nuts or pistachios. You can served them at room temperature as well but they are rarely served cold.

It is one of the few desserts which is hugely popular in festival seasons like Diwali, Ganpati festival and raksha bandhan . It is also a top demanded wedding ceremony dessert. 
This gulab jamun recipe is without milk powder. It is a pure traditional gulab jamun recipe with khoya made by halwai. Learn this gulab jamun from scratch with step by steps.

Serving gulab jamun with nuts for gulab jamun recipe

Who invented gulab jamun?

According to a popular story, Gulab jamun was invented by Bhim Chandra Nag when Lady Canning wife of then Governer Lord Charles Canning visited india in the late 1850s. In gulab jamun, gulab translates to rose flower and jamun to black berry. Thus you can define it as berry size balls dunked in rose flavoured syrup.

For perfect gulab jamun recipe you need khoya, chena, maida, corn flour and elaichi powder or nutmeg powder. Below I am sharing the perfect and best gulab jamun recipe from scratch.

Types of gulab jamun

Among the types of gulab jamun, the most popular one is kala jamun. Others are bread gulab jamun, gulab jamun with khoya, paneer gulab jamun and gulab jamun with milk powder.

If you love gulab jamun recipe I am sure you would love the jalebi recipe and rasmalai as well.

You can read some more popular recipes to make/cook for today's meal

 Step by step method for the recipe

Gulab jamun recipe with khoya

1. Making Sugar syrup for gulab jamun

The consistency of sugar syrup for gulab jamun is light sticky without any string.  Take sugar and water in al large pan and heat on slow flame. Stir continuously untill the sugar dissolves. You can add cardamom pods while cooking the sugar syrup.

Cook the sugar syrup till it become light thick and sticky without any string. If it become more sticky then add water and cook further. Remove the sugar syrup and keep aside to cool down. You can even add  rose water for flavour it. 

You can add 1 or 2 teaspoon milk while boiling the sugar syrup to remove impurities from it. Always cook sugar syrup in slow flame heat. For gulab jamun the temperature of the sugar syrup should be low. You can even dip the gulab jamun in cold sugar syrup but never dip them in hot sugar syrup. Otherwise the resulting gulab jamun become odd shaped.

Gulab jamun dipped in sugar syrup for gulab jamun recipe

The temperature of sugar syrup is important for a perfect gulab jamun recipe.  The idle temperature for sugar syrup should be very light hot. If the temperature is high hot then the resulting gulab jamun become odd shaped.  It is okay if the sugar syrup is cold while dipping the gulab jamun. We can heat them after sometime. There will be no issue with that.

2. Dough for gulab jamun

You can make gulab jamun recipe either by following given methods

  • Gulab jamun recipe with khoya
  • Gulab jamun recipe with instant mix 
  • Gulab jamun recipe with milk powder

If using ready made gulab jamun mix (instant mix) like gits then follow the instructions given in the pack to make the dough. It is usually instructed to use milk with the mix powder to make the dough. Sure to make the dough a palpable one. Rest of the gulab jamun mix recipe is same as below after making the dough. You can add little bit of maida flour if the dough become watery or loose or if you have some extra mix powder then add into the watery dough. Otherwise maida will fix the watery texture of the dough Keep it rested for 10 minutes to set. After that make small round shaped balls. Follow the below steps to fry them and dip into sugar syrup to make gits gulab jamun recipe or instant mix gulab jamun.

And for best gulab jamun recipe  use khoya (mawa). The gulab jamuns we buy from store or mithai shops are made by using khoya.

In this recipe I am making gulab jamun with khoya like halwai made  Khoya is also known as mawa is a milk product made of either dried whole milk or thicken evaporated milk. Generally khoya comes in two types  sada mawa (plain mawa) and hariyali mawa.

Hariyali mawa is used to make gulab jamun or kala jamun and sada mawa is used to make gajar halwa or dudhi(lauki) halwa. Hariyali mawa (khoya) comes in solid form so we need to grate them nicely. If the khoya is fresh then it will be little bit sticky (chikna). So you need to add little bit more maida for the dough and if the khoya is refrigerated one then add less amount of maida. So that the resulting dough become a palpable one.  

 In this recipe chena is used along with khoya. Chena makes gulab jamun soft melt in mouth and more tasty. You need to rub the chena nicely to make it smooth before mixing and making the dough. In place of chena you can use grated paneer. But chena yields one of the best gulab jamun. This is how you can make gulab jamun recipe with chena.

Grated khoya for gulab jamun recipe

In a mixing bowl add grated khoya, chenna , maida, corn flour, baking powder and nutmeg powder. 

Dough making with khoya, flour, chena for gulab jamun recipe

Now start  to knead them nicely to make a smooth dough without adding any water or milk. In place of nutmeg powder you can use cardamom powder but nutmeg powder gives more aromatic flavour to gulab jamun. Traditional halwai use nutmeg powder instead of cardamom powder to make gulab jamun. 

Cover the dough and rest for 10 minutes to set. After that divide the dough into equal small size parts. Roll them in between the palm of hands to make round shaped balls. 

Rolling gulab jamun ball in between palm of hand

Make sure there are no lines or cracks in the balls. So roll them evenly from all sides. Otherwise gulab jamun may break down while frying.

Chena can be made by adding lemon juice or vinegar in hot milk. The resulting curdled milk is then drained using a muslin cloth or cheese cloth to remove any excess water. It is then rub to make smooth and mixed with khoya and maida to make gulab jamun.

3. Frying gulab jamun

This is the most important step for a perfect gulab jamun recipe. Gulab jamuns are fried in a slow flame heat so that they get cooked properly from inside as well. If you cook them in high temperature then the resulting gulab jamun become uncooked from inside.

Heat ghee or oil in a large deep vessel pan in medium heat flame. When the ghee become hot lower the flame to low and wait for one minute.

Then drop one gulab jamun ball in the ghee. If the ball start to rise slowly without changing color then the temperature of ghee is right  to fry the gulab jamun. Similarly if it come to rise quickly changing its color then don't add further any gulab jamun balls. Wait further till the oil become cool to right temperature.

Frying gulab jamun balls in ghee(oil) for gulab jamun recipe

Add them into the ghee and wait for 30  seconds then slowly start to stir them. This will help not to get burnt on lower side of the balls. 

Stirring gulab jamun balls in ghee

The balls slowly start to float. Gently stir then continuously to evenly cooked from all sides.

Floating gulab jamun balls in ghee for gulab jamun recipe

Cook them on slow flame for around 8 - 10 minutes till golden brown and completely cooked.

Golden fried  gulab jamun balls for gulab jamun recipe

You can check  by removing one gulab jamun ball and press with index finger. If it get pressed completely and bounced back then it is cooked completely from inside as well.

Pressing  gulab jamun ball to check if cooked or not

Remove and drain any excess oil from them.

Drained gulab jamun to remove any excess oil

 Dip into the sugar syrup.

Dipping fried gulab jamun into sugar syrup

4. Dipping into sugar syrup

This is the last step for gulab jamun and quite tricky one. The temperature of sugar syrup is very important for a perfect shaped gulab jamun. If you dip gulab jamun balls into hot sugar syrup then within minutes they become odd shaped. So the idle temperature for sugar syrup is very low. Even if it is cold you can dip the balls into the sugar syrup.  There will be no problem, you can get a good shaped fluffy gulab jamun. Because later you can heat the sugar syrup with gulab jamuns. So dip gulab jamun in a low temperature sugar syrup.

After dipping them into the syrup, give a nice stir so that the sugar syrup cover them from all sides. Keep for 2 - 3 hours or even overnight to absorb the syrup.

Soaked gulab jamun in sugar syrup

Before serving microwave them for 40 to 60 seconds or heat them  on stove top. Topped with nuts and pistachios and serve hot.

Making gulab jamun recipe with 1 kg khoya 

There is a standard ratio of ingredients for gulab jamun or kala jamun recipe... You can follow and increase or decrease the amount of ingredients.

Standard ratio for 

1000 gm khoya

200 gm maida

50 gm corn flour

Chena from 3 litre milk

Why is gulab jamun hard ?

  • This may happen if more flour is used to make the dough. 
  • Secondly if the balls are fried in high flame heat and 
  • soaked in high temperature sugar syrup. The resulting gulab jamun become hard.

What should I do if my gulab jamun is hard

If already fried and soaked in sugar syrup then it is difficult but you can boil the gulab jamun with sugar syrup for some more time to make them little softer.  But you can follow some tips before to start. Like 

  • make a soft palpable dough, use baking powder, 
  • fry them in slow heat flame 
  • Soak them in low heat sugar syrup
  • Add some ghee in the dough and knead again

Why does gulab jamun dissolve while frying

  1. This may occur due to low ratio of flour in the dough,
  2.  cracks or lines on the dough balls and 
  3. frying in very low hot oil.
Soft gulab jamun recipe

It is good to use chena(curdled milk) with mawa to make gulab jamun dough. And make a soft palpable dough using maida, very small amount of corn flour and baking powder. Use flour according to the texture of the hariyali mawa(khoya). Baking powder is a important ingredient to make it soft. If the khoya is very dry then use less amount of flour and if it is sticky then use the given ratio based amount of flour.

Gulab jamun 

Serving gulab jamun with nuts for gulab jamun recipe

Gulab jamun is a popular traditional Indian dessert made from khoya by mixing with flour. Deep fried and soaked in a flavoured sugar syrup. You can make gulab jamun with milk powder and readymade mix powder like gits. 

Prep time        cooking time               serving

10 min             20 min                            35 - 40

Author             Mobasir hassan


  • 250 gm  hariyali mawa ( khoya)
  • 50 gm maida ( all purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon corn flour
  • 20 gm chenna ( paneer)
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon green cardamom powder or nutmeg powder
  • Ghee or oil for deep frying
  • Nuts for garnish

For sugar syrup

  • 1 kg sugar
  • 1 litre water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose water or cardamom powder

How to make the recipe

Making sugar syrup

  1. Mix sugar and water in a deep vessel pan or other utensil and place under low flame heat.
  2. Stir continuously till all the sugar dissolves.
  3. Boil till the syrup become lightly sticky.
  4. Remove and keep aside by mixing rose water or cardamom powder.
  5. If the sugar syrup reaches to thick or 1 string consistency then mix little bit of water to adjust.
Making dough for gulab jamun
  1. Grate the mawa ( khoya) nicely. If using paneer then grate without any lumbs. Or if using chenna then rub them with hand till smooth.
  2. In a mixing bowl add the mawa, chenna, maida, corn flour, baking powder and nutmeg powder.
  3. Give everything a good mix to make the dough.
  4. Knead the dough for one more minute or till become smooth. Don't add any water or milk while making the dough.
  5. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes to set.
  6. If using Gits or any instant mix powder then make the dough according to the instructions given.

Making gulab jamun

  1. Divide the dough into small equal size parts.  You can go either for  medium to big size gulab jamun. So divide the dough accordingly.
  2. Now roll the balls between the palm of hands nicely to make smooth gulab jamun balls.
  3. Make sure that there is no lines or cracks on the balls.  Cover and keep them aside.
Frying the gulab jamun
  1. Heat ghee or oil in a deep vessel pan on medium flame heat.  When the ghee become hot lower the flame to maximum low.
  2. Wait for one minute to further slow down the heat.
  3. Now drop a gulab jamun ball in the ghee or oil. The ball will start to rise slowly without changing its color. This the perfect temperature of oil to fry the gulab jamun.If the ball is not rising increase the heat a bit. Similarly if it rise quickly then wait until the oil become cool.
  4. Add the balls in 2 - 3 batches or according to the size of your pan.
  5. Wait for 30 - 40 seconds then using a spatula spoon slowly start to move the oil as well as the balls.
  6. This will help to prevent the balls from getting burnt at lower part.
  7. When all the balls start to float increase the heat a bit and fry them till golden.
  8. Stir continuously while frying to ensure evenly fried from all sides.
  9. To check if the gulab jamun cooked completely, remove one ball and press between thumb and index finger.
  10. It will press completely if cooked otherwise partially. It takes around 8 - 10 minutes to cook completely.
  11. Remove the gulab jamun balls and drain any excess oil and dip them in very light hot sugar syrup.
  12. Give them a nice stir to mix with sugar syrup and keep for 1 - 2 hours or overnight to soak sugar syrup and become fluffy.

Gulab jamun recipe video

                        Nutritional value
                        ( Serving size 1 piece)
  • Calories : 143
  • Fats : 7g
  • Protein : 2 g
  • Carbohydrate : 17 g
                        Serving tips
1. Gulab jamun is a hot category dessert and usually served hot with topping some nuts or pistachios.
2. Vanilla ice cream can also be topped with gulab jamun to serve.

For more Indian desserts recipes
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  • Sumit Blogs
    Sumit Blogs August 14, 2020 at 9:57 AM

    Health benefits of cinnamon can easily be extracted by using them in recipes like these. Or you can opt for some cinnamon sugar

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