Indian Pistachio Balls (Gulab Jamun)

    1 hour 10 minutes

    Gulab Jamun is popular dessert in Indian restaurants; however people are often surprised on finding the recipe that the main ingredient for the balls is milk powder. Definitely worth trying to make at home.

    56 people made this

    Serves: 20 

    • 1 cup dry milk powder
    • 3 tablespoons plain flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 pinch ground cardamom
    • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon chopped pistachio nuts (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon golden raisins (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), melted
    • 1/2 cup warm milk
    • 1 1/4 cups (315g) white sugar
    • 1 cup (250ml) water
    • 1 teaspoon rose water
    • 1 pinch ground cardamom
    • 1 1/4 litres vegetable oil for deep frying

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Extra time:20min resting  ›  Ready in:1hour10min 

    1. In a large bowl, stir together the milk powder, flour, baking powder and cardamom. Stir in the optional almonds, pistachios and golden raisins.
    2. Mix in the melted ghee, then pour in the milk and continue to mix until well blended. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.
    3. In a large frying pan, stir together the sugar, water, rose water and a pinch of cardamom. Bring to a boil, and simmer for just a minute. Set the pan aside.
    4. Fill a large heavy frying pan halfway with oil. Heat over medium heat for at least 5 minutes.
    5. Knead the dough and form into about 20 small balls. Reduce the heat of the oil to low and fry the balls in one or two batches. After about 5 minutes they will start to float and expand to twice their original size, but the color will not change much.
    6. After the jamun float, increase the heat to medium and turn them frequently until light golden. Remove from the oil onto paper towels using a slotted spoon and allow to cool. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool slightly.
    7. Place the balls into the frying pan with the syrup. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, squeezing them gently to soak up the syrup. Serve immediately or chill.

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    Reviews in English (38)


    uber tasty. unfortunately the dough doesnt bind, and you can fix that by adding more powdered milk to a good consistency. not too doughy, but just enough that it holds the shape of a ball. =D  -  13 Jun 2007  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This is a spectacular recipe! I've tried several LOTS of different recipes from this site and this is one of the BEST! I didn't have any Rose Water or the nuts or raisins so I just left them out. Wonderful! Make sure you brown them enough in the oil so that they keep their round shape. Mine went a bit flat in the syrup. I used more ground cardamom too, my mom and I just LOVE cardamom! I will use this recipe again and again! Thanks for the recipe!  -  22 Jul 2005  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    I love gulab jamun, but this recipe doesn't have the right proportions in the dough. Even so, the cooking technique is SPOT ON. If you want to make this recipe as is, just work milk powder into the soft dough by kneading until it is solid enough to hold a ball shape without flattening. Do divide the dough into 20 balls even though they seem small. They are very rich! Also, let your oil cool a bit before adding the second batch by removing it from the heat for a few min. It is important to make the syrup in a large fry pan so there is room for all your little donuts to soak. Cheers!  -  09 Dec 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)