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HomeA Story of FoodEverything Gulab Jamun: The story of India's favourite Dessert

Everything Gulab Jamun: The story of India’s favourite Dessert

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Everyone living in India knows about the sweetest sweet, the Gulab Jamuns. They bring a huge smile to the face upon hearing. Every celebration which takes place in the country needs to have Gulab Jamuns. It is a ball-shaped deep-fried sweet soaked in delicious sugar syrup and cardamom powder. If you don’t know about them you are not an Indian. If you don’t like them you are not someone who likes sweets. Such is the craze and fan following of the Gulab Jamuns in India. But only a few of us know that the Gulab Jamun was not made in India for the first time. Yes, you read it right. The Gulab Jamuns are native to the land of Persia and not India. Other than Persia and India it’s also quite popular in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Myanmar.

Having told you this, let us tell you about the complete history of the Gulab Jamuns, and in the end, we will also provide you with a recipe to make them on your own and enjoy them.

The Gulab Jmaunn comes from medieval Iran which at present is named Persia. It’s quite similar to an Arabic sweet dish named Luqmat-al-Qadi. The recipe was introduced in the subcontinent by the Mughal Emperor.

 In Iran, it was made from flour and soaked in Honey. People who would like to make it sweeter used to sprinkle sugar over it.

Other than this theory, there’s one more theory that is very frequently heard. According to this theory, Gulab Jamuns were a dish that was prepared mistakenly. The chef who prepared the dish was the personal chef of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

When one tries to understand how the Gulab Jamun got its name, one can understand it by looking at the name in this way. The word “Gulab” is derived from the Persian words “Gol” (flower) and “ab” (water), and refers to rose water. On the other hand, “Jamun” or “jam” is the Hindi word for an Indian fruit called “Jamun” which has a similar size and form to a black plum in English.

If one wants to have the best taste of the dessert then one should try to visit Delhi. Other than the original name, the Gulab Jamun is also termed Laal Mohan and Gulab Jam.

The Gulab Jamun comes in many shapes and sizes and is generally served with silver wraps and almonds. It tastes best when consumed hot but can be consumed when cold or at normal temperature.

Having told you about its history we are sure that you might be eager to try them. So why eat from outside when one can prepare the best Gulab Jamun with the recipe?

Recipe-

Ingredients-

  • ½ tin (200 gm)Nestlé Milkmaid
  • 2 cups (200 gm )Flour
  • 600gm, grated Paneer or khoya 
  • 200 gmSooji/Rava
  • 1½ tsp baking Powder
  • 1 tsp baking Soda
  • Oil
  • 2 litres water
  • 1 kg sugar
  • Cardamom powder
  • Saffron

Steps-

  1. To create the syrup, bring sugar and water to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Remove the syrup from the pan and stir in the cardamom. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, paneer or khoya, sooji, Nestlé Milkmaid, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently knead everything.
  4. Divide the mixture into 30-35 small parts and roll into round gulab jamuns gently. Fry in the oil over low heat until they turn light golden.
  5. Pour all of the fried gulab jamuns into the prepared sugar syrup; once all of the gulab jamuns are in the sugar syrup, bring it to a boil for 20 minutes before removing it from the heat.
  6. Garnish the sweet with saffron strands and serve warm or cold.
An image showing a man eating Gulab Jamun

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