Gulab Jamun


Gulab jamun (or gulaab jamun) is among India’s most popular desserts and is often referred to as “Indian doughnuts.” This delicious sweet treat consists of soft, melt-in-your-mouth, fried dumplings that are traditionally made of thickened or reduced milk and then soaked in a sugar syrup made with rose water (which you can buy or make). This recipe uses powdered milk and heavy cream, but the results are just as delicious.



For this classic dessert, fried dough balls made from milk solids and semolina are soaked in a syrup flavored with cardamom, rose water, saffron, and cloves.

Gulab jamun as a type of doughnut or funnel cake, and as Michael Krondl notes in The Donut: History, Recipes, and Lore from Boston to Berlin, there are a couple of theories about its origins in the Islamic world: it either came to be in ancient Persia, the Central Turkic regions, or during the Mughal Empire’s reign in India. But while there are some similarities to doughnuts—it is, after all, fried dough—I believe the ingredients used in their construction make them sufficiently different to justify being considered a category of their own.


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