1/2 cup mawa (recipe given below)
1 1/2 tbsp plain flour/maida
A pinch of baking soda (If doubling the recipe, use 1/8 tsp)
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Few strands of saffron (optional)
Few drops of rose essence
Few pistachios for garnishing
Water for kneading
2 tbsp ghee+2 tbsp oil for frying
For the Instant Mawa
1 1/2 cup milk powder
2 tbsp ghee
1/4 cup milk
For the Mawa
Boil the milk with ghee and cool it slightly. Now take the milk powder and add the warm/lukewarm milk and ghee mixture and make a dough. The dough need not be smooth but should just come together. A few crumbles here and there is okay as long as all the contents are mixed well. Transfer this to an air tight bowl and keep it in the freezer for future use. Remember to bring the mixture to room temperature every time you use to avoid any ice crystals.
Take 1/2 cup of the instant mawa at room temperature and crumble it with your hands. The crumbled mixture should measure 1/2 cup and any excess can be put back to its container. To this, add maida and soda and mix everything well till no lumps are there. Now add room temperature water 1 tsp at a time to knead a smooth dough. If you put in a bit more water by mistake, sprinkle some mawa to balance. It is however better to avoid a wet dough and so be extremely careful while adding water. Keep it aside for 5 minutes.
Heat the oil and ghee together on high. Now lower the flame to medium low and start frying the balls till golden on both sides. The oil temperature is very important here. Too hot and the balls will get burnt without getting cooked. Not hot enough and the balls would not brown and oil will seep inside and leave an unpleasant taste. So keep a close watch on the flame temperature. Reduce and increase as and when required.
Drain the excess oil on paper towels and let the fried balls rest for 5 minutes before transferring to the warm sugar syrup.
Preferably, do not use a spoon to immerse the balls in the syrup and swirl the vessel with the help of its handle. This will avoid breakage.
Once all the balls are in the syrup, swirl gently till all of it is coated evenly. You can transfer the gulab jamuns to a serving bowl when the syrup has cooled down to just being lukewarm. Take extreme care in doing this. First fish out the balls with the help of a spoon and then pour the syrup.