Gulab jamun

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Gulab jamun
Gulaab Jamun (homemade!) bright.jpg
Gulab jamun topped with almond slivers
Alternative namesGulab Jaman (Northern India/Pakistan/Sri Lanka), Lal Mohan (North India/Nepal),Kalo jam (Bangladesh), Golap Jam (Eastern India/Bangladesh), Gulaf Zam (Sylhet, Bangladesh), Gulaabujaanu in Maldives
Place of originIndian subcontinent
Region or stateIndian subcontinent, Mauritius, Fiji, southern and eastern Africa, the Caribbean, the Malay Peninsula
Serving temperatureHot, cold, or room temperature
Main ingredientsKhoa, saffron
VariationsPantua, Kala jamun also known as Kalajam

Gulab jamun (also spelled gulaab jamun) is a milk-solid-based sweet from the Indian subcontinent, popular in India, Nepal (where it is known as gulab jamun), Pakistan, the Maldives (where it is known as gulaabujaanu), and Bangladesh (where it is known as golap jam), as well as Myanmar. It is also common in Mauritius, Fiji, southern and eastern Africa, Malay Peninsula, and the Caribbean countries of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica. It is made mainly from milk solids, traditionally from Khoya, which is milk reduced to the consistency of a soft dough. Modern recipes call for dried/powdered milk instead of Khoya. It is often garnished with dried nuts such as almonds to enhance flavour.


In the Indian subcontinent, milk solids are prepared by heating milk over a low flame for a long time until the water content has evaporated and only the milk solids remain. These milk solids, known as khoya, are kneaded into a dough, with a small amount of flour (maida), and then shaped into small balls and deep-fried in oil or ghee (clarified butter) at a low temperature of about 148 °C[1] till they get their familiar golden brown color. If the balls are cooked quickly, they will be raw on the inside. The fried balls are then soaked in a light sugary syrup flavored with green cardamom and rose water, kewra or saffron.[2]


Gulab jamun was first prepared in medieval India, derived from a fritter that Central Asian Turkic invaders brought to India.[3] One theory claims that it was accidentally prepared by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's personal chef.[4]

The word "Gulab" is derived from the Persian words gol (flower) and āb (water), referring to the rose water-scented syrup. "Jamun" or "jaman" is the Hindustani word for Syzygium jambolanum, an Indian fruit with a similar size and shape, commonly known as black plum.[5] Jamun is also defined as a fried delicacy in sugar syrup.[6] The Arab dessert luqmat al-qadi is similar to gulab jamun, although it uses a different batter. According to the culinary historian Michael Krondl, both luqmat al-qadi and gulab jamun may have derived from a Persian dish, with rose water syrup being a common connection between the two.[7]

Consumption customs[edit]

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


A variant of gulab jamun called kala jamun

Gulab jamun gets its brownish red colour because of the sugar content in the milk powder (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 or "black jam". The sugar syrup may be replaced with (slightly) diluted maple syrup for a gulab jamun.

Homemade gulab jamun is usually made up of powdered milk, a pinch of all-purpose flour (optional), baking powder and clarified butter (ghee); kneaded to form a dough, moulded into balls, deep fried and dropped into simmering sugar syrup.

Pantua is similar to gulab jamun, and could be called a Bengali variant of that dish.[4] Ledikeni, a variation of Pantua, is another variant of gulab jamun.[8] It is said[by whom?] to have been invented by Bhim Chandra Nag on the occasion of a visit by Lady Canning, the wife of Charles Canning, the Governor-General of India during 1856-62.

Katangi, a town near Jabalpur is famous for "Jhurre Ka Rasgulla", which has been made there for the past 100 years.[9][10] It is several times the size of normal gulab jamuns and is prepared in local desi ghee.[11]

In Rajasthan, instead of soaking gulab jamun balls in sugar syrup, they are cooked in gravy made from nuts and tomato to make popular Gulab Jamun ki Sabzi.

In Bangladesh , two kinds of jamuns are famous. They are : 1. Golap Jam ( গোলাপ জাম ) & 2. Kalo Jam ( কালো জাম )

In some places, the jamuns are prepared to be smaller in size. These are referred to as Angoori Gulab Jamun.Some are use melted butter in jamun.[12] A new variation of gulab jamun made from haryali mawa, paneer, rawa, maida and cardamom powder.Garnish with saffron sprigs and some almonds and pistachio skivers.[13]

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. ^ Michael Krondl (1 June 2014). The Donut: History, Recipes, and Lore from Boston to Berlin. Chicago Review Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-61374-673-8.
  4. ^ a b Charmaine O'Brien (2003). Flavours Of Delhi: A Food Lover's Guide. Penguin Books Limited. p. 145. ISBN 978-93-5118-237-5.
  5. ^ [Banerjee, A; Dasgupta, N; De, B (2005). "In vitro study of antioxidant activity of Syzygium cumini fruit". Food Chemistry. 90 (4): 727. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2004.04.033]
  6. ^ Achaya K. T. "Indian Food Tradition A Historical Companion". Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  7. ^ Michael Krondl (2011). Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert. Chicago Review Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-55652-954-2.
  8. ^ Richardson, Tim H. (2002). Sweets: A History of Candy. Bloomsbury USA. p. 334. ISBN 1-58234-229-6.
  9. ^ यहां के रसगुल्लों के लिए थम जाते हैं वाहनों के पहिए, Patrika, 1/10/2016
  10. ^ उसमें प्राण जगाओ साथी- 3, मायाराम सुरजन, Deshbandhu, 2009-11-12, जबलपुर-दमोह के बीच कटंगी के रसगुल्ले, 1959
  11. ^ Katangi ke Rasgulla. Akash Sahu, May 31, 2016
  12. ^ Asian Paleo Cookbook: Create Tasty Foods with Asian Techniques - Asian Paleo ... Martha Stone.
  13. ^ LF Team. "Gulab Jamuns Add a Sweet Touch to Every Celebration".

External links[edit]