Gulab Jamun ~ Indian Donuts in Cardamom Syrup
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 36 donuts
  • 3 cups/700g sugar
  • 3¾ cup/890mL water
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 3 cups/293g instant, nonfat, dried milk powder
  • ¼ cup/35g plain/all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons/28g melted butter
  • ½ cup/120mL warm milk, as needed
  • oil to deep fry, about 3 cups/710mL
  1. In a big pan place the sugar, water and cardamom pods and heat.
  2. Stir to dissolve all the sugar and bring to a boil.
  3. Boil for 5 minutes and then take off the heat and put aside.
  1. Place the oil to deep fry the balls in a large deep pan or a wok.
  2. I used an electric wok which was perfect to control the heat.
  3. You can use an electric fryer (use clean oil) or even an electric skillet.
  4. You want the oil to be around the 200-215℉ (102℃) when you start dropping the balls in.
  5. Start making the donut balls while the oil is heating up.
  6. In a big bowl, add the milk powder, flour, baking powder and salt and stir well to blend.
  7. Add the melted butter into the milk flour mixture and mix.
  8. Add milk a little at a time to make a sticky dough.
  9. You may not need all the milk so do not add all of it at once.
  10. Start with half and add as much as is needed to make a sticky dough.
  11. Roll into a ball to see if the shape holds, if not add a little more milk.
  12. You want the size of the balls to be like a large gum ball.
  13. Place them on a greased plate.
  14. They will expand when fried and even more so when soaked in the syrup.
  15. Don't make them too big, smaller ones soak better and are softer than huge ones.
  16. Continue rolling until you get about 36 balls, placing them on the plate.
  17. Once all the balls are rolled and the oil comes up to temperature, drop in the balls.
  18. I did about 12 at a time but my wok was big.
  19. Don't overcrowd the pan and only put in as many as will fry properly.
  20. The trick to evenly coloured donuts, is constant agitation.
  21. You will have to roll them around in the oil constantly to make sure they are browning evenly.
  22. Once they reach a nice golden brown and feel light, they are done.
  23. This will take some time.
  24. Do not hurry the frying because you will get either hard donuts or donuts that disintegrate in the syrup.
  25. Remove from the oil and drop them into the warm syrup.
  26. Repeat with the rest of the donuts and drop them all in the syrup.
  27. Make sure the donuts all have a chance to soak in the syrup.
  28. Turn them around gently to rotate.
  29. Allow them to soak for a few hours.
  30. These are best at room temperature or slightly warmed.
  31. Store them in the fridge for about 5 days.
  32. Heat up a little before enjoying.
You may or may not use all the milk so do not dump it all in! I have made this mistake before and then had to add lots more flour to correct. The best donuts are the one with as little flour as possible. It's all about the dry milk. The key to success is to ensure even frying. Start the oil low and fry them while constantly turning. This is where an electric skillet or wok comes in handy, you can change the oil temp at the touch of a knob if you feel they are browning too slowly or too fast.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2-3 pieces
Recipe by Coffee and Crumpets at