I learned this easy milk powder gulab jamun recipe from my husband’s aunt when she was visiting us. I’ve tested this recipe several times and finally have the one for perfectly juicy, soft gulab jamuns to share with you! Traditional gulab jamuns are made with khoya, which is reduced, almost solid milk. Using milk powder or dry milk instead of khoya makes this Indian dessert a little lighter and also easy to make from grocery store ingredients.
The sugar syrup is easy to make – just boil sugar, water and cardamom powder together. You can also flavor the syrup with rose water and or saffron if you wish. If you find the syrup too sweet, just add more water!
Heres the trick to make gulab jamuns soft, and juicy. Add vinegar to the dough. The acids in vinegar, when combined with baking soda, will make the jamuns airy and soft so they absorb the sugar syrup better. They will also be lighter and less dense than khoya gulab jamuns.
Make sure you fry the jamuns on low heat, so that they cook through on the inside.
But I know what you are asking..Can I BAKE gulab jamuns?
Umm..yes, and no. See the photo below – I baked a ball of the dough on 300f for about 7 minutes (or till it browns and rises). See the difference? The fried gulab jamun browns evenly and looks better. The fried one also absorbs the sugar syrup much quicker.
If you want to try baked gulab jamuns – bake the balls (after step 7 in the recipe below) on a silicone baking mat at 300f till they are brown and risen, about 7 minutes. Then remove from oven and let them cool. Remember, they wont look pretty like the fried ones! Once cool, drop them in the sugar syrup. Let them soak for atleast an hour before serving. Baked gulab jamuns will get soggy quickly, so dont keep them more than a day.
More milk powder gulab jamun recipes..
A video and recipe for gulab jamun by Manjula’s kitchen
A gulab jamun recipe using milk powder and bisquick on Indian food forvever
The ladies at Show me the Curry have a gulab jamun recipe using yogurt
Milk Powder Gulab Jamun Recipe
Makes about 24 small sized gulab jamuns
For sugar syrup
2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cup water
4 cardamom seeds, powdered in a mortar and pestle
A drop of rose essence, optional
A small pinch of saffron threads, optional
For the jamuns
1 cup unsweetened milk powder or dry milk (not coffee creamer)
1 tablespoon butter at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons flour
A pinch of salt, optional
1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1/3 cup whole milk
- Place the sugar, water and cardamom powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and watch for the sugar to dissolve. Once its dissolved, boil for another minute. Turn off heat and add rose essence and or saffron, if using. Set the syrup aside.
- Now make the Jamuns. In a mixing bowl, add milk powder or dry milk, baking soda, flour and salt. Mix well.
- Then add butter and vinegar. Add milk a little at a time and mix till it forms dough. You may not need all of the milk.
- When a soft, sticky dough forms, stop adding milk. Cover and let the dough stand for about 20 minutes.
- After resting, the dough will be less sticky, airy and a little firmer. If its too lose, sprinkle a little flour. If its too dry, add a little milk.
- Knead the dough a few times.
- Dip your fingers in oil or ghee, divide the dough into 24 even pieces and roll them into balls. Dip your fingers in oil as and when needed to avoid sticking.
- Heat enough oil to deep fry in a saucepan pan on medium-low heat. Drop a small pinch of the dough in the oil to test the temperature. The dough should sink to the bottom and then slowly rise to the top. If it sits in the bottom of the oil without bubbling, the oil is not hot enough. If the dough rises and browns too quickly, the oil is too hot.
- Add the jamun balls a few at a time and fry in oil on medium-low heat. Stir and turn the jamuns frequently so they brown evenly.
- When brown, remove from oil using a slotted spoon and drain on several layers of paper towels.
- Repeat with all the dough. Let fried jamuns cool.
- Add the jamuns to the sugar syrup. Stir gently so the jamuns are well coated in syrup.
- Cover and let the gulab jamuns soak in the syrup for atleast an hour before serving. Gulab jamuns will keep for several days at room temperature.