It was my turn again, to choose the recipe for Curry-Palooza. All along I had been thinking I would choose a shrimp recipe next. But since we just had seafood for our last event, I wanted to go with something else. I thought about some of my favorites when ordering in Indian Restaurants, but we had already done some of them, or something very similar. I finally decided on a dessert.
When dining out, I always choose Kheer, a delicious rice pudding. But I have always been curious about Gulab Jamun, and decided on that. The recipe I chose is from the book, How to Cook Indian by Sanjeev Kapoor, a new book with over 500 recipes. I had been hearing about the book, so finally ordered. It is a very thick book, and disappointingly, it does not have a single picture.
I don't know what I was expecting Gulab Jamun to be, but it is not this. Mine tasted like little Southern-style biscuit balls with syrup. They would probably be a hit at a brunch table, along with the scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, and hot coffee. In fact, I may do exactly that, the next time I host a brunch.
How to Cook Indian by Sanjeev Kapoor
1 cup dry milk powder
2 Tbsp. pastry flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup plain yogurt, whisked
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp. ground green cardamom
Pinch of saffron threads
2 1/4 cups ghee
Put the milk powder in a bowl. Add the flour and baking soda, and stir well. Add the yogurt and stir to make a soft dough. Divide into 16 equal portions and shape them into round, smooth balls. Set aside.
To make the sugar syrup, place a saucepan over high heat and add 1 cup water. Add the sugar and cook, stirring continuously, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk and stir. The scum containing the impurities in the sugar will rise to the top. Gently gather it with a spoon and discard. You will get a clear syrup. Add the cardamom and saffron, and stir. Cook until the syrup reaches 130 degrees. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Place a wok over medium heat and add the ghee. Heat until the ghee reaches a temperature of 160 degrees, or until fragrant.
Gently slide in four dough balls at a time and cook, gently spooning hot ghee over the balls with a slotted spoon, until the balls are deep golden, about 2 minutes, about 2 minutes.
Drain the balls in the slotted spoon and transfer them to the sugar syrup. Repeat with the remaining balls. Soak in the syrup for at least 15 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.
Curry-Palooza is a monthly blogging event with the goal of exploring Indian cuisine. We would love for you to cook along with us.