Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Delicious Gulab Jamun with Instant Mawa

I pinched myself blue when I took the first bite of these amazing melt-in-the-mouth golden beauties. It was unbelievably true!! I am having Gulab Jamuns after a gap of almost 3 years. All these years I have had diligently controlled my cravings considering the calories associated with it. Also, the recipes available would always yield so many gulab jamuns which wasn't good for my inches. However, I finally got over all those hurdles by doing a bit of Mathematics and with the help of a magic Instant Mawa recipe shared by a very experienced Home Chef and Blogger Radha S Natarajan. With this instant mawa ready in your freezer, you do not even have to put in the effort of going to the market to fetch a readymade pack. Also, this is a no paneer recipe and hence no effort of either making it at home or getting it from the market. All in all, it took me just under 1 hour to make these beauties and I am so glad the way they turned out! Oh! How I love them and how I missed them!! 
Ingredients (Makes 10 pieces)
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
2-3 cardamoms
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.
For the Gulab Jamuns
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.
Now pinch out small balls of equal size (about 10 mini balls), and make sure they are smooth and do not have any open or cracked edges. 
While you have been doing this, make the sugar syrup ready by mixing the water, sugar, cardamoms, rose essence, and saffron. Bring it to a boil till the sugar dissolves and then keep it on medium flame till slightly reduced. We do not need a very thick syrup for this. Reduce the heat to minimum and let it simmer till the time you start frying the balls. The syrup needs to be warm and not hot for dipping the balls. Remove from heat and let it cool. Ensure that you prepare the syrup parallely while preparing the dough so that you have both the syrup and the balls ready to fry at the same time. 
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. 
 Garnish with chopped pistachios and serve warm. Reheat for any subsequent servings in the microwave. This keeps fresh for almost a week if stored covered in the refrigerator.

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