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Wikimedia Commons

Gulan Jamuns served in a bowl

Indian festivals are synonymous with delicious sweets, and the most loved by far is the Gulab Jamun. The round, succulent sweet swimming serenely in sugar syrup can bring water to anyone's mouth just by hearing its name.

Gulab Jamun roughly translates to 'rose flavoured Jamun' in Hindi. Jamun is a dark purple fruit that grows in the summer, and Gulab Jamun resembles it to a certain extent. But this delectable delight actually originated in Persia, and its Arabic name is inclusive of the entire process. 'Gol' means rose, 'Ab' means water, and 'jamun' represents the fruit that is abundant in Arabia. Traditionally, Gulab Jamun is soaked in rose-flavoured sugar syrup (mixed with water).


Across India, the Gulab Jamun has many cousins. The Kala Jamun is a darker, sweeter version for those who like their sweets to be suga Kala jamun being served at a party Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

Across India, the Gulab Jamun has many cousins. The Kala Jamun is a darker, sweeter version for those who like their sweets to be sugary. The Ledikeni of Bengal is shaped like little fingers, and in some parts, the jamun is stuffed with nuts, spices, or other treats.

Gulab Jamun is made with a mixture of fresh and dried milk with maida. It is kneaded into dough with ghee, and rolled into soft, round balls. This is the trickiest part of the entire process. The balls must have no cracks at all as this may cause it to break in the oil. The sugar syrup is prepared and flavoured with rose water, cardamum, or saffron. The balls are fried till they reach a light brown colour. After this, they are soaked overnight in sugar syrup.

The balls are fried till they reach a light brown colour. After this, they are soaked overnight in sugar syrup. Gulab Jamun being fried Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Gulab Jamun is served in weddings, birthday parties, and all kinds of functions. In itself, it is a celebration: The soft inner core and a crispy outer layer surrounded by a pool of golden syrup. There is nothing better than when it is served warm. Sometimes it is served with ice-cream, but Gulab Jamun should be enjoyed on its own, especially the beautiful aftertaste it leaves in the mouth.

Keywords: Gulab Jamun, Festivals, Dessert, Sweet, Persia


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