Delicious home-made gulab jamuns that make every occasion extra special!

Can't buy gulab jamuns where you live? Here is how you can make these sugary treats sitting right at home!

Ambreen Malik September 15, 2013
In my part of the world, every celebration is accompanied by a dessert. Be it a wedding, an engagement, a birth, a promotion, a graduation, purchase of a house, a new car, or any other achievement or joyous occasion like Eid - the tiniest of the joys are celebrated with our mouths full of sweets and desserts.

Nothing is more loved on such occasions than the scrumptious mithai most commonly known as ‘gulab jamun’. It is a personal favourite!

In Pakistan, people usually buy gulab jamuns and never make it at home. Specialised mithai makers called halwaees make these delicious sweets. However, I had to learn how to make gulab jamuns after moving away from Pakistan as I couldn’t buy them in the market anymore. Not only were they delicious, they hit the spot just right. Here is how I did it:


For the dough:

Powdered milk – ½ cup
Yogurt – 2 tbsp
Flour – 2 tbsp
Butter – 1 tbsp (melted)
Baking soda – ¼ tsp

For the sugar syrup:
Sugar – 1 cup
Water – 2 cups
Saffron – 5-6 strands
Rosewater or khevra water – 4 tbsp
Green cardamoms – 6 (crushed)
Oil for deep frying.


Step 1: Make the sugar syrup (treacle). Add sugar, water, saffron and green cardamom in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Make the dough. I use a kneading machine for this. If you have a stand mixer with a hook attachment, that can be used as well. Or else just knead the dough the old fashioned way, that is, with your hand. Mix all the ingredients (dry milk powder, flour, butter, yoghurt, baking soda) in the kneading machine. Knead till the butter separates. It takes about 5-6 minutes. Let this mixture rest for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Make small (Maltesers sized) balls of the dough with slightly wet fingers. Make sure the dough balls have no cracks on the surface. This dough should be enough to make about 15 balls.

 Step 4: Deep fry the dough balls on medium to high heat. They should fry gently and become golden brown. If the oil is too hot, the gulab jamuns will turn brown on the outside but will remain uncooked inside. Be careful with the heat.

Step 5: Add the fried dough balls to the warm sugar syrup. Mix and cover.

I usually make the gulab jamuns overnight and let them soak up sugar syrup through the night. They taste heavenly in the morning. I decided to roll them in dried coconut once, but they can be served with or without desiccated coconut.

Treat yourself for working so hard by sinking your teeth into the soft, milky sugary gulab jamuns you have made. Share these home-made treats with your family and friends to double the joy of an occasion.

Have a yummilicious day!


This post originally appeared here.
Ambreen Malik The author is a Microfinance Banker, food blogger, LSE Alum and a dragon in training. She tweets as @ambreen_malik (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


You're right | 9 years ago | Reply @ Clarus Habshee means Ethiopian,I believe.Habshees were capable military men & were employed in the Delhi courts.If I'm not mistaken,Illtumish's daughter,Razia Sultan's close friend,Yakut,was a Habshee.Habshee's still live in India today (Gujrat and Karnataka,I think..)
Naira | 9 years ago | Reply I just love bengali sweets and desserts!! thanks for the recipe...
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