Thursday, January 29, 2015

Modern Recipe: It's Steve's Birthday!

I asked my friend Steve what his favorite recipe using honey is in honor of his birthday. Gulab Jamun is one of my favorites too! Enjoy!

1 cup Milk Powder
1/3 cup Maida/Plain Flour
¼ tsp Baking Soda
A pinch of Salt (Optional)
1 tbsp Yogurt or 2 tbsp Full Fat Milk
1 tsp Ghee or Oil
Few slivers of Pistachio or Almonds for garnishing

For Syrup:
1¾ cups Honey
1¼ cups Water
8 Green Cardamoms, peeled and seeds crushed to fine powder
A generous pinch of Saffron
1 tsp Rose Water (Optional but recommended)
Prepare the sugar syrup:
  1. Add honey and water in a wide pan and heat it on a medium flame.
  2. Once the honey dissolves completely, add cardamom powder and bring it to boil by stirring every now and then. Let the honey syrup thicken slightly, about 2-3 minutes after coming to boil. You don’t need to boil it until it reaches one thread consistency.
  3. Turn off the flame and run the honey syrup through fine sieve to remove any impurities.
  4. Transfer the honey syrup back into the wide pan and mix in saffron and rose water if using. Let it cool down to room temperature.
Prepare the Gulab Jamuns:
  1. While the honey syrup is cooling down, prepare the Gulab Jamun mixture. Sieve milk powder, plain flour, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in yogurt or milk and ghee/oil and start to mix the ingredients lightly to make soft sticky dough. I didn’t need to add more than a tbsp of yogurt and a tsp of ghee but if you find the mixture too dry and crumbly, just add little yogurt or milk about ½ tsp at time until you get a sticky soft dough. Make sure that you don’t over mix or knead the dough as we don’t want the gluten to form. The plain flour used acts as a binding agent and if you over mix the dough then the gluten formed will make the mixture dense and the gulab jamuns will not absorb the sugar syrup well.
  3. Grease your palms with ghee or oil and pinch marble sized dough and roll it into smooth round or oval shaped balls. Make sure that the balls are small as they double in size once they are fried and soaked in honey syrup.
  4. Keep in mind that the dough balls should be smooth without any cracks as they will split and crumble when deep frying. Arrange the balls on a plate and cover it with a kitchen towel to prevent from drying out.
Deep frying the Gulab Jamuns:
  1. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying the gulab jamuns on medium flame and then reduce the flame to low. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop one ball into the oil. The dough ball should slowly float to the surface of the oil. If the dough ball sinks to the bottom and stays there, then the oil is not hot enough. If the dough ball quickly floats to the top as well as browns quickly, then the oil is too hot.
  2. Ideally the dough balls should not crack when deep frying. If you find it spliting open or breaking when deep frying, mix 1 or 2 tsp of plain flour to the dough mixture and lightly mix them well. Pinch a small ball and test if stays in shape without cracking by dropping it into heated oil. If it slowly floats to the surface of the oil without cracking and evenly browns then you have mastered the art of making Gulab Jamun. :)
  3. Gently drop 3-4 dough balls into the hot oil and stir with them with a slotted spoon so that they get evenly browned from all the sides. Be careful when stirring them with slotted spoon as they are quite soft and can break if you are not gentle. Once they turn golden brown, remove them from oil with a help of a slotted spoon and transfer them to the prepared sugar syrup.
  4. Prepare all the Gulab Jamuns and let them rest in the sugar syrup for at least 1 to 2 hours before serving so that they absorb the sugar syrup well and become soft and melt in mouth treats.
  5. You can serve these delicious melt in mouth Gulab Jamuns warm, cold or chilled on their own, garnished with slivered almonds or pistachio and a generous spoonful of honey syrup drizzled on top. One other most enjoyable way to serve them is warm with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream! Heaven!

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