Gulab Jamun

4 green cardamom pods, lightly squashed with the side of a knife

 600g caster sugar

 few drops rosewater

 ¼ tsp saffron strands, soaked in 2 tbsp warm water for 1 hr

 2 tsp chopped pistachios

 6 green cardamom pods, seeds removed

 1 tsp caster sugar

 100g full-cream milk powder

 40g plain flour

 ½ tsp baking powder

 50g ghee or softened unsalted butter plus 1kg ghee, for frying

 1 tbsp natural yogurt

 squeeze of lemon juice

 4-5 tbsp whole milk

 sunflower oil


 STEP 1

To make the syrup, gently heat the cardamom, sugar and 500ml water in a saucepan. Don’t let the water boil before the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 10 mins, then cool.

 STEP 2

Gradually add the rosewater, saffron and a little of its soaking liquid until you have a subtly flavoured syrup. Set aside.

 STEP 3

To make the gulab jamun, use a pestle and mortar to grind together the cardamom and sugar until fine.

 STEP 4

Sieve the milk powder, flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and stir in the cardamom and sugar mixture. Rub in the 50g ghee or butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

 STEP 5

Add the yogurt, lemon juice and enough milk to form a soft dough, taking care not to overwork the mixture.

 STEP 6

Oil your hands with a little sunflower oil and shape small portions of the dough into walnut-sized balls, about 3cm in diameter and 20g each. Make sure the dumplings are smooth and have no cracks or folds.

 STEP 7

Reheat the syrup until it comes to the boil, then turn off the heat and cover with a lid.

 STEP 8

Heat the 1kg ghee in a wok or karahi to 130C or until a small piece of dough dropped in turns golden in 40 seconds. Fry the balls, in batches, over a medium heat for 5-7 mins, moving them around until they are an even, deep brown. Remove from the saucepan using a slotted spoon, then drain on kitchen paper. Add to the warm syrup, leaving them to soak for 2-3 hrs or preferably overnight.


When ready to eat, warm the gulab jamun through in a wide saucepan, spooning over the syrup. Serve piping hot with the pistachios scattered over.


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