Starting with a Thank you , to all who cared to respond my post through comments and Emails , and all those who tried to help me decide a picture for Click event, I am glad to send the one that got most of the votes..The first picture of Gulabjamun from my previous post .
So this one goes for the Click event~Heirloom
This is a Recipe which remained in Drafts for the longest period, the reason being that store brought Gulabjamuns are so convenient to find here and also , these do not cost a bomb. Moreover I find making sweets too unnecessary , since we hardly eat sweet stuff and those in family who love sweets are “barred” from even looking at these, leave aside eating , obviously due to health reasons.
But then, I do occasionally give in to the temptation of some appreciation , from the followers of my blog, when I share a particular recipe they keep asking for. Besides, the CLICK event is a huge driving force in itself, so when Jai and Bee asked for Heirloom…here I am with an old cherished Recipe of most cherished Sweet(Mithai) of Indians, with some cherished memories of my childhood(Oh No..Not Again !).
Amongst many memories of past , and most of them related to food, one scenario that still lingers around my mind is of a frail, elderly man, always dressed in white, come rain or sunshine, with his aluminum ,wide mouthed container, lined up with stacks of thin, elongated(yes elongated..almost like a finger) hot, perfectly browned, perfectly sweetened , melt in mouth gulabjamuns. Sundays were most cherished days of all, since it used to be a day when whole family sat in front of Television to watch popular serials like Ramayana and Mahabharta, waiting for that elderly man to give a shout ”Radhey Ja Garam Jhamuh” roughly translated as Hot Gulabjamuns of Radhey..yes the man was called Radhey !
All the kids around, made sure that they get their share of gulabjamuns and saved their petty pocket money to buy the hot, fresh, straight from the stove(a mobile stove, which burnt on low flame,that kept jamuns hot to the core) each piece costing 25 paise (1/4 of an Indian Rupee…don’t ask me to convert into pence /penny/ paiso..go figure it out). So a Rupee used to fetch us four of those yummy sugar bombs , lined on a paper with a dash of sugar syrup. Enjoying those with family watching our favorite Tv. serials(At those times there were only handful of them being aired, that too mostly on Sundays…Ahh what a bliss it was !) was a feeling equivalent to being in Heaven..I swear !
For years we enjoyed his home made gulabjamuns in winter and monsoon, while some really creamy, garnished with pistachios, Kulfi was a Hot (Cool) favorite in summers. Yes, the Gulabjamuns used to give way for Kulfi in summers and till this date we are unable to figure out how did he managed to sale such a good quality stuff in pennies.
It was during that wonderful period of my life that visiting maternal side Grandparents was a regular affair in vacations. The memories of spending time with cousins and aunts , uncles and Naana Naani( grandparents) still moisten my eyes , everytime I think about it. My Maasi ( Mother’s Sister) always made sure that we kids thoroughly enjoyed our stay at grandparents home, by taking us out to playgrounds, gardens, Beaches, temples, Movies etc. religiously everyday of our stay there, year after year.
My Grandparents residing in Chembur, another Sindhi Populated area in Mumbai, the Jhama Store was at stone throw distance from their home. This particular Sweets shop is famous all around the place for its mind blowing Gulabjamuns, though bit costlier but good to taste at.
So no visit of ours would be called off without some of these brown sweets, and everytime someone visits us from Chembur, its almost mandatory that Jhama’s Speciality…huge Gulabjamuns are on their way, about to reach our homes to fill our minds with the sweet memories of our childhood as we sweeten our taste buds with huge bites of soft spongy, hot and fresh , the one and only one…Gulabjamun……
UPDATE: Here is what I found about Jhama Stores….thought to share with you all 🙂
Jhama’s >>> Chembur
It gets its name from proprietor Jhamamal Lulla, a Sindhi refugee from Karachi who set it up in 1950. “Our family lived in the refugee camps nearby,” says 30 year-old Ravi, a third generation Lulla. His grandfather’s culinary skills and reputation for using ingredients of the highest quality, brought him regulars. Close to six decades later, Jhama’s has seven branches across the city but the Chembur branch is still patronised by Sindhi families.
Staffer for fifteen years, Naresh Chawla says a lot of movie stars are regulars. Amitabh Bachchan once named Jhama’s Gulab Jamuns in a list of his 7 favourite things. Then there’s Salman Khan, who picks up sweets while driving down to his Panvel farmhouse.
How to get there: The wide, red signboard cannot be missed on CG Road, near Chembur colony and Basant Cinema. Open from 11 am to 1 pm, Mondays to Sundays.(Source: Mid-Day )
So here they are , soaked in lots of sweet musings , Home made gulabjamuns…Enjoy !
There are number of recipes of Gulabjamun , easily searchable on internet, and as far as the recipe I follow, it is an easy breezy one, of course, only if you have some Mawa handy.
The Gulabjamun recipe is divided in two parts, one is making BALLS of flour and frying them. The other is making sugar syrup, not too thick nor too thin(sounds tricky, learn more about sugar syrups here)
- 500 gms of sugar( Though we found it bit too sweet for our taste, so adjust accordingly)
- One and half cup of water(bit more or less)
- 2-3 Cardamom pods
- One spoon of milk (optional)
- Few threads of saffron (optional)
- 2-3 drops of rosewater(optional but highly recommended)
- 250 gms of unsweetened Maawa (khoya-the condensed milk thickened till it turns into moist dough, preferably made from cow's milk, also known as Hariyali mawa)
- 1½-2 tsp All purpose flour
- 1tsp Cornflour
- 1-2 crushed green cardamom
- Oil for shallow frying
- Mix about 500 gm of white sugar in one and half cup water and keep it for boiling.
- Add a spoonful of milk to remove the impurities (impurities if any , will form a scum on surface)
- Add 2-3 green cardamoms also in syrup for strong flavor, and a tad of saffron strings (optional)
- Boil until you get just a tad sticky syrup.Gulabjamun syrup is not very dense nor too dilute as in Rasgulla
- Strain the syrup, add rosewater when syrup is slightly cooled . Always remember two things while using rose water, do not add it while syrup is bubbling hot or on fire, and be particular about the quantity mentioned in every recipe, since even few drops of excess rosewater could lend a bitter taste to the final product.
- Mix all the ingredients, in a a wide mixing bowl or Thaal ,until soft textured dough is obtained (keep mixing until it is really soft)
- Make very small sized balls (bit larger than pebbles) coz they swell up after frying and soaking in syrup
- Make sure that the surface of dough balls is really smooth (no cracks please).In case the cracks refuse to go away, slightly wet your palms with water and roll the flour till absolutely smooth
- Now take little oil for frying in preferably flat bottomed pan, and heat the oil. But gulabjamuns are to be fried on LOW FLAME or else the surface will be browned while the core will remain uncooked. Some prefer to place an unsalted pistachio in the center of every gulabjamun while making balls, that way the core of gulabjamun is not left uncooked .
- Fry one or 2 gulabjamuns at a time and always remember to STIR THE OIL with slotted spoon AND NOT TO TOUCH GULABJAMUNS, which means keep swirling the oil without tossing or turning gulabjamun .
- Fry till light brown in colour, remove on tissue paper and repeat the procedure with rest of dough
- Now soak these in COOL syrup for few hours.They will surely swell up
- These can be stored in the same syrup till consumed
- If there are cracks in the balls before frying it will burst open while frying, in that case adding a bit of cornflour will surely help
- You can enjoy it hot or cold ,either way it is delicious
These are regular Gulabjamuns, in case you like Black Gulabjamuns then here is what you need to know: Gulab Jamun gets its brownish red color because of the sugar content in the milk powder or khoya. In other types of gulab jamun, sugar is added in the dough, and after frying, the sugar caramelization gives it its dark, almost black colour, which is then called kala jamun, “black jamun”.
Note: Making mawa from scratch is not difficult but time consuming Four cups of whole milk will boil down to about 6 ounces of mawa milk fudge (Source..wiki)