Sunday, April 13, 2008
Gulab Jamuns To Celebrate New Year
April 14th is the beginning of the month Chittirai, an auspicious month in the Hindu calendar that marks the Hindu New Year. It is believed Lord Brahma started creation on this day. A ritual bath followed by a puja at the temple is the norm . Followed by a fabulous vegetarian lunch that my Mom would have cooked since wee hours in the morning - yes all 17 varieties of curries, chutneys and vegetables. No, I am not kidding. That is not counting the desserts and treats. For the celebration, everything would be vegetarian, there will nothing made from eggs ( but there would be a free flow of ghee in all the wonderful sweets that my Mom would make). Lunch will consist of dishes that are spicy, sweet, sour and bitter , this signifies all the different aspects of our lives.
No, I did not make 17 varieties of dishes for lunch for the both of us. We are, however, stocked up as far as the sweets are concerned - I know my priorities! I have been away from my immediate family for a very long time and only recently I have made it a point to go home during Deepavali celebrations ( I go home every year). I still get homesick whenever a special holiday comes along. You'd think I be used to it by now....
I consoled myself with these creamy, soft and scrumptious gulab jamuns. I like to soak the gulab jamuns in syrup for at least 5 hours before serving.
1 cup milk powder
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tb ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 cup milk - room temperature
a pinch of baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil for frying
3 cups water
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 crushed cardamom pods
Mix milk powder, flour and baking soda in a bowl. Add clarified butter to flour and milk powder mixture. Mix well. Add milk in three stages. Dough will be very soft. Let it rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile make the sugar syrup with water sugar and cardamom pods. Bring to a simmer turn off the heat. Syrup should be warm when you add in the fried gulab jamuns.
After 20 minutes, pinch of teaspoonfuls of dough and roll them into little balls. Set aside on. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Fry the little balls turning, stirring and turning the balls constantly till deep brown. Add the fried balls into the warm syrup. I usually serve three balls (per person) with a little syrup drizzled over it.
Makes 10-12 balls. Gulab jamuns can be made a day ahead.