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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Gulab Jamun using Mava/Khoya

We love gulab jamun! I have made them from readymade mixes and tried the milk powder based recipes, and we enjoy them all, but I always wanted to try out a recipe using mava/khoya. I could imagine what a rich taste that would have. I make mava/khoya at home from ricotta cheese during the festival season and this time I froze some to use later to make gulab jamun. I had called some friends over for dinner and it seemed to be a perfect time to try this out as a dessert.

The gulab jamuns turned out very good. The best compliment was that everyone ate seconds and some even eat thirds and they were all gone by the next day. They were soft, infused with syrup and they melted in the mouth. I also had a few learnings while making it. It is easier to fry these in oil as the temperature of ghee is tougher to maintain. Fry the gulab jamun at a consistent medium high temperature else the soft dough can disintegrate in the oil. That is the main difference between mava and milk powder gulab jamun. The milk powder ones must be fried at a medium low temperature for the jamuns to get cooked well. Also, remember that these will absorb the syrup and swell up to one and a half to two times the fried size, so roll the gulab jamuns accordingly. Try frying one gulab jamun to ensure that it doesn't melt in the oil and then fry the rest in batches.

Here is the recipe to make mava/khoya at home - Mava/Khoya/Kava recipe

3 cups sugar
2.5 cups water
few saffron strands
¼ tsp cardamom powder
1.5 cup mava/khoya grated
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp fine rava
oil to deep fry the gulab jamun

Put sugar and water in a deep and broad saucepan and heat it. Stir so that the sugar doesn’t caramelize. Once the sugar dissolves and water starts boiling, let it boil for a few minutes and turn off the heat when it starts looking syrupy. It doesn’t need to be thickened to get any threads. Add saffron and cardamom powder. Stir well. Keep this warm syrup ready for the gulab jamuns.

Knead the mava thoroughly. Add the all purpose flour, rava and baking soda and mix this thoroughly with the mava so that it is well dispersed. Knead this into a dough. Then make small 1 inch diameter balls of the mava mixture. Make sure to keep the dough and the balls with a damp cloth or paper towel, so that they do not dry. If you find the dough cracking, then add a few drops of milk at a time into the mava mixture and knead it till smooth. Make sure the gulab jamun balls are smooth and do not have any cracks. Once a large batch is ready, heat the oil. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop in a little dough and if it comes up immediately, then the oil is hot. Keep it on medium high heat and then add the gulab jamun balls. Add as many as the pan can accommodate. They will start coming up immediately. Cook them till they are nicely browned on all sides. Be careful while frying and turn them just a couple of times using a slotted spoon. If you over handle them, they may break. Once browned, remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel for a couple of minutes. Then put them into the warm syrup. They will float. As they get heavier and soak up the syrup they will sink a little.

These are delicate and if the temperature of the oil is low and they don’t get cooked quickly, the gulab jamun balls will start breaking up and separating up. Before you add all the gulab jamun balls in the oil, test with one to see if it fries up without breaking. If it breaks, then adjust the temperature and try again. It it still breaks then add a tbsp of maida rava mixture (without baking powder) to the dough and knead it again and then make the balls.


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