The gulab jamun are sweets of India and Pakistan with a very different conception than Western sweets . They are made with cheese ( or milk powder) , yogurt and flour and fried and then left to marinate in a syrup flavored with saffron.
If you have been to India is for sure that you ate or at least seen gulab jamun because they are very popular. There are many stalls where vendors fry balls of this sweets at the public sight. Find here the recipe done with ingredients easily found in the West.
2 cups of fresh cheese ( cottage cheese, ricotta ... )
Half a glass of white flour
Half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate
2 tablespoons unsweetened yogurt
Sunflower oil , corn or similar
Pistachios ( for decoration )
For the syrup :
4 glasses of water
3 cups of sugar
A pinch of saffron
A few drops of lemon juice
First heat the water in a saucepan with the saffron and then add the sugar gradually , stirring until syrup gets thicket . It is advisable to add a few drops of lemon juice to prevent crystallizing . Remove from heat and let rest .
Now let's make the sweet balls .
In a large bowl mix the cream cheese , flour , yogurt and baking . To mix but VERY IMPORTANT , do not knead . If you knead the flour's gluten will be present and that will prevent the syrup to soak . So just mix. If the dough is too liquid , add a little more flour. And if it is too dry , more yogurt.
Make balls that fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. The ideal is a ball the size of ping pong balls . Now we will fry . Use a lot of oil so that the balls will float when they are fried and would not touch the base of the pan. Fry the balls at low temperatura. First, because the refined oil will not accept high temperature. Secondly, because if the temperature is too high the balls will get too black and show rather ugly.
You have to fry the balls quite far from each other and when they reach the same color as in the picture of this article.
Drain the balls to remove any excess oil and then dipped in the syrup for at least two hours. Then decorate with pistachios and keep in the fridge or eat at room temperature or even slightly warm using the microwave.
When you eat gulab jamun you will feel as if you had travelled to India.