For over a decade, I have loved “Indian syrup balls,” those amazing little balls found at the end of every Indian buffet. It took me going to an Indian market with Gonzo last year to figure out what they were called. This was a challenging recipe, but I am glad I made it. There are many recipes out there, but you have to trust your instinct with how much yogurt to add in. It helps if you have experience with the consistency of breads and dough. Also be aware that the balls will expand by at least 50% when fried. A friend judges Indian restaurants bytheir Gulab Jamun, and ours were the best he tried in years. Best Indian Restaurant is what I heard!
When throwing our second Indian dinner party for my students on Friday, I invited some kids over early to help cook and learn how to make these foods. Miriam was in charge of Gulab Jamun and I am so proud of how hard she worked to make it happen. This is a bit of a tricky dessert because you need the patience to make perfect, solid balls, she did such a great job!
4 cups milk powder
1 1/2 cup flour
4 tbsp oil, extra for greasing
4 tbsp milk
8 tbsp yogurt, maybe more, divided
1 tbsp baking soda
peanut oil for deep frying
chopped pistachios for garnish
8 cups sugar
9 cups water
1.5 tsp ground cardamom
3 tbsp rose water
- For the sauce, mix water, sugar, and cardamom. Boil until it turns slightly sticky. Somewhere between half and half and maple syrup.
Add rose water and set aside. Make sure to keep it hot.
- Mix the flour, milk powder, and soda. Add oil, mix.
Mix milk and 4 tbsp. yogurt and slowly add it to flour.
Add more yogurt, 1 tbsp at a time, until a golf sized ball holds together.
Bring dough into a ball, greasing hands if needed.
Make 60 balls, they should be solid and not soggy.
- Heat up a tall pot with oil, do not heat it too hot.
Make sure your syrup is still hot.
Carefully drop balls in in small batches. Make sure they don’t stick to the
bottom. Heat until the balls turn dark brown, add to the syrup.
Rest for three hours. Serve with the pistachios.
Total cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus 3 hour rest, serves 16-18
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