Gulab jamun

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Gulab jamun
Bowl of Gulab Jamun.JPG
Bowl of gulab jamun
Alternative names

Pakistan : Jaman

Other Countries : lal mohan, jag mohan, garbeela simon, shahi, kala jam, waffle ball
Type Dessert
Region or state
PK (Pakistan), India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica
Serving temperature
Hot, cold, or room temp
Main ingredients
Khoya, saffron
Variations Kala jamun
Cookbook:Gulab jamun  Gulab jamun
Gulab Jamunindia.jpg

Gulab jamun is a milk-solids -based dessert, similar to a dumpling, popular in countries of the South Asian Subcontinent such as India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh, also in the Caribbean countries of Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica and in Mauritius. In Nepal it is widely known as Lal-Mohan, served with or without yogurt. It is made mainly from milk solids, traditionally from freshly curdled milk. In India, milk solids are prepared by heating milk over a low flame for a long time until most of the water content has evaporated. These milks solids, known as khoya in Pakistan and India, are kneaded into a dough, sometimes with a pinch of flour, and then shaped into small balls and deep fried at a low temperature of about 148°C.[1] The balls are then soaked in a light sugar syrup flavored with green cardamom and rosewater, kewra or saffron.[2] These days, gulab jamun mix is also commercially available. Gulab jamun is often served at weddings and birthday parties.

The term gulab jamun comes from Persian words gol (flower) and āb (water), referring to the rosewater-scented syrup, Urdu Jaman and Hindustani jamun, m., Syzygium jambolanum (also jāmaṇ, m., from the Hindustani language), an Indian fruit with a similar size and shape.[3]


There are various claims regarding the originator of the dish, Gulab Jamun could be related to the tangyuan and the chè xôi nước desserts of China and Vietnam, respectively. It is also similar to the Greek dessert loukoumas. Gulab Jamun could be an Arab dessert Luqmat Al Qadi (Arabic for judge's bread) that became popular in the South Asia during the Mughal Empire. The dessert also became popular in Turkish-speaking areas, spreading to the Ottoman Empire.

Consumption customs[edit]

Gulab jamun is a dessert often eaten at festivals or major celebrations such as marriages, Muslim celebrations of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and Diwali (the Indian festival of light) . There are various types of gulab jamun and every variety has a distinct taste and appearance.


Gulab jamun gets its brownish red color because of the sugar content in the milk powder or khoya. In other types of gulab jamun, sugar is added in the batter, and after frying, the sugar caramelization gives it its dark, almost black colour, which is then called kala jam, "black jam". The sugar syrup may be replaced with (slightly) diluted maple syrup for a gulab jamun with a Canadian flavour. Homemade Gulab Jamun is usually made up of powdered milk, a pinch of all-purpose flour (optional), baking powder and clarified butter; kneaded to form a dough, moulded into balls, deep fried and dropped into simmering sugar syrup.

Kemal Pasha dessert[edit]

Kemalpaşa tatlısı

Kemal Pasha dessert (Turkish: Kemalpaşa tatlısı) is a dish that is very similar to gulab jamun. It originates from the district of Kemalpaşa, Bursa, in Turkey. Traditionally it is made using a cheese variety that is particular to the region.

The dessert is prepared from a dough of flour, unsalted cheese, semolina, egg, water and baking powder. The dough is formed into small balls that are fried and then boiled in syrup. It can be eaten fresh or dried. In dried form it is often packaged in boxes of 24-50 portions. It is served with cream in winter and with ice cream in summer.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marty Snortum, Lachu Moorjani (2005). Ajanta: regional feasts of India. Gibbs Smith. p. 17. ISBN 1-58685-777-0. 
  2. ^ shraddha.bht. "Gulab Jamoon". Konkani Recipes. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert. 

Further reading[edit]

Gulab jamun in Varanasi
  • Lachu Moorjani (2005). Ajanta: Regional Feasts of India. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 1-58685-777-0. 

External links[edit]