April 18, 2012

Paneer Gulab Jamun, and a time for celebration


Perhaps no relationship comes as close as a sisters. Today's post is a celebration of sisterhood, for all the pains and thrills of growing up with a sister younger to me by just two years who was as different from me as chalk and cheese. We were thicker than thieves, but so different : She was (is) taller than me, always in jeans and a T shirt, passionate about rock music and technology and very convinced what she wanted early on in life, and has now graduated with an MBA recently. What better way to celebrate with one of her most favourite desserts. I am so so so proud of her achievement that she took a sabbatical from her job to complete this prestigious course with top honours !! Way to go sis, and although the distance may be only a simple reason why I couldn't be there for her D-day, nothing brings me more joy than to prepare this favorite sweet for her - virtually though, with this Paneer Gulab Jamun!

In fact, there is another reason why I made this for her : decades ago, while mom was working and it was her birthday and we siblings decided to celebrate her birthday at home with a simple Upma and Gulab Jamun (don't ask me why that combo - it just popped into our heads). So, while I was ok with making Upma, the Gulab Jamuns fell on sis' platter to do the needful. While I heated the oil and prepared the syrup (mind you , she wasnt even allowed to go anywhere near the stove at that age, then), my sis gingerly rolled up the dough, and make mid sized jamuns while she instructed me (to the T on how to get the perfect syrup). 
  
We had to make these by the time mom came back from work, and although mom could smell something nice, we didnt tell her anything. Somehow, the upma got eaten, and we were too petrified to even look at what was our first attempt at making these Gulab Jamuns. But mom (and us, later) discovered that the whole jar of Gulab jamuns late in the night that had swollen to such perfection that we were stumped to even call us amateurs. So much so, we had a midnight feast of these in the small glass bowls fished out from the cupboard, and what a night it was!! The power went off, but we polished off those bowls in the candle light :) Mom just couldnt believe that we (read sis) had made this to such perfection that she said she might as well crown sis the jamun-maker for the family :) Good old memories, those :) Wish those innocent and simple pleasures of life strike us again.. 

Till then, this recipe goes to Blogging Marathon under Fermented Foods, and I have also stuffed some raisins / dry fruits to make it more festive :) Check out the other marathoners here. Actually this was to be a post for Day 7 of BM week 1, but couldnt resist posting this for Day 3 itself as a mid week treat. Celebrations cannot wait, isnt it?


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Prep time - 15 mins + 1 hour to make the paneer
Cook time - 15 mins
Serves - 4
Difficulty level - Easy
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Ingredients:

To make the Paneer:
  • Milk - 1 litre
  • Lemon juice - 1 TBSP

For the Gulab Jamuns: 
  • Khoya (or fine ricotta cheese) - 1 3/4 cup
  • Paneer - 1 cip
  • Maida / APF - 1/8 cup
  • Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Raisins and cashews - few - finely chopped
  • Oil - for deep frying
  • Ghee - 1 TBSP
  • Milk - 1 tsp

For the Sugar syrup:
  • Sugar - 2 cups (adjust to taste)
  • Water - 4 cups
  • Vanilla Essence - 1 drop


Method:

(A) Syrup:
Boil water, and add the sugar. Make 1 string syrup, and cool thoroughly. Once cool, add the vanilla essence and keep aside.

(B) To make Paneer:
Boil milk, and once it starts boiling, add lemon juice and stir. When the milk curdles, and the whey starts separating, transfer to a vessel lined tightly with clean white muslin cloth. Let the water seep into the vessel. Collect the paneer on top in a muslin cloth. Tied the muslin cloth tightly and keep between weights for an hour. Once solidied, refrigerate till further use (that is, till you make the syrup)

(C) To make the Gulab Jamuns:
Mash or crumble khoya and paneer together. Add cardamom powder, APF and knead till smooth. Add a little milk if the dough is too dry. Rub half of the ghee onto the dough and mix knead once last time. Make equal sized ping pong ball sized portions (ensure the surface of the jamuns are smooth) and stuff with a 1 pinch of the chopped raisins-cashew mixture. Cover with a slightly wet muslin cloth for 4 - 5 mins
Heat oil for frying on medium heat only and add the rest of the 1/2 TBSP of ghee (this is to get that ghee aroma without actually having to fry totally in ghee). Roll in a teeny weeny bit of the dough to test if the roll comes up slightly browned. That is the oil test.
Fry the jamuns on low-medium heat till they turn golden brown. Please note the jamuns continue to brown even after taken off the oil, so take them out when they are just golden and not totally dark brown. Drain to absorbent paper towels. Repeat for the rest of the batch.
Once the fried jamuns reach room temperature, gently roll them into the prepared sugar syrup and do not stir  them. Close the utensil / bowl and leave untouched for 2 - 3 hours till they soak up the syrup and fluff up into juicy morsels.
Serve warm or chilled :)

32 comments:

  1. Delicious Gulab Jamun!! I have never tried making Jamun from scratch. Always shortcut, using ready mix. Yours makes me re think and put in effort to get such delicious beauties..

    Divya's Culinary Journey
    My first event-Showcase

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  2. my all time favorite Indian dessert..not a big fan of the milky ones like rasgullah, etc.
    These look perfect and I love the story..I grew up with two sisters also!

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  3. These look like real beauties...loved to read about you and your sis.

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  4. That was very sweet of you two sisters to cook for your mother on her birthday.

    Gulab jamuns look moist and yum!

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  5. A very sweet post. Congrats to your sister. You are nice big sister to celebrate her success. The gulag jamum looks delicious.

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  6. The jamuns look so soft and definitely would have a melt in the texture. Nice one

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  7. Congrats to your sis kalyani!!!! Jamuns look super juicy n tempting!!

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  8. Wonderful treat, and yes, a mid week celebration is sometimes needed to boost us a bit :)

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  9. Perfect way to celebrate. Jamuns look tempting.

    Vardhini
    CooksJoy

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  10. Congrats to her :)
    gulab jamun looks yummy....

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  11. Congrats to your sis dear..gulab jamun looks superb..drooling here!!
    Spicy-Aroma

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  12. Heartily congrats to your sister. Gulam jamun is perfect sweet treat for her success. Gulab jamun looks gorgeous and delicious. It make me hungry.

    Cuisine Delights
    My Monthly Event - Spotlight : "Healthy Breakfast Ideas".

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  13. loved this post kalyani- i got nostalgic and you know just like you I have a sister who is 2 years younger to me and all those mad days have come rushing ! perfect treat gal !

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  14. Heaven in a few simple bites
    chennaiflowerplaza.com

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  15. Yummy jamuns...Perfectly made,i luv to have this anytime...

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  16. I love gulab jamuns but have never tried it from the scratch. This seems a great way to start.

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  17. Wat a touching post, congrats to ur sister Kalyani..Jamuns looks super spongy and juicy..

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  18. wow delicious jamuns...so tempting on plate:)

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  19. Congragulations dear to ur sis.., jamuns look very delicious, i too make not always though, sweet & frying takes a back seat at my home.., but , i love jamoons, reminds me of amma

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  20. Congrats to your sis! These jamuns look so soft and tempting!

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  21. Congratulations to your sister. The jamuns look delicious.

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  22. Touching story Kalyani and congratulations to your sister. The gulab jamuns look perfect...so soft and I'm sure it'll melt the moment it enters your mouth. Super!!! Jayanthi (www.sizzlingveggies.com)

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  23. Many congratulations Kalyani to ur sis.. ITs indeed a very proud moment. I am sure she must be so happy to see perfectly made gulag jamuns :)..love dthe idea of stuffing too!

    Ongoing Event : WTML

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  24. Yummy paneer jamuns n congrats to ur sis!!!

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  25. yummy delicious.i always use paneer in gulabjamun it tastes better

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  26. love this gulab jamun with paneer

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  27. Congrats to your sis and the jamuns look fabulous.

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  28. Perfect looking paneer gulab jamuns. Clicks look delicious.

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  29. Wow!! delicious jamuns. Congrats to your sister. Great clicks.

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hi there ! Thanks for stopping by. Would love to hear what you thought of this post.. your support is invaluable for this blog..

Cheers
Kalyani

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