Gulab Jamun – Traditional Indian Milk Based Mithai

Today’s sweet is the delicious Gulab Jamun, an absolutely melt-in-the-mouth favorite Indian dessert and is a living embodiment of Indian methai (sweet) tradition. Gulab Jamuns are golden brown balls in flavored sugar syrup. They are served warm or at room temperature.

The main ingredient in most Indian sweets is ‘khoya’ (hindi)/koova (telugu) which is a thickened form of milk and forms a base in most creamy sweets like Gulab Jamun. Gulab Jamoonn is basically a sweet from North India and is a sweet that one enjoys relishing hot during winters.

How to make the gulab jamun:

1 cup khoya (kovva) can be prepared by boiling and continuously stirring one liter of milk on medium heat till it form a thick paste
3/4 cup maida (all purpose flour)
1/4 tsp cooking soda (soda bi carbonate)
enough ghee (clarified butter) for deep frying the jamuns
3 tbsps prepared sugar syrup (warm)
1-2 tbsps of warm milk (not hot)

Ingredients to prepare Gulab Jamun sugar syrup:

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
3-4 crushed cardomoms (optional)

Preparation of Sugar Syrup

The syrup should be made earlier and kept warm.To make the sugar syrup, mix 2 cups of sugar with 2 cups of water in a deep cooking dish. Add 3-4 cardamom pods, slightly crushed. Stir constantly with a spoon on medium heat for 15-18 minutes until sugar is all dissolved in water. Do not the sugar might caramelize. Transfer this hot syrup into a serving dish. Keep warm on stove.

Sieve the flour (maida). Add the khoya and baking powder to the flour (maida) and mix well. It should appear like bread crumbs.

Now add 3 tbsps sugar syrup and 1-2 tbsps of milk (warm but not hot milk) to make a soft dough. The milk can be adjusted to form a soft dough. Keep aside for half an hour. After half an hour knead it again and make balls by gently rolling each portion between your palms into a smooth ball. You can shape into small balls or longitudinal shapes. Place the balls on a plate and keep aside.

Heat the ghee in a deep frying dish to medium heat. Drop a small piece of dough in the ghee and if it sizzles and surfaces to the top of the ghee, the ghee is ready for deep frying. TURN OFF FLAME. Slowly slip in the gulab jamuns into the hot ghee and allow them to surface to the top of the ghee. Once they surface to the top, turn on flame to low and deep fry stirring constantly. Do not increase the flame.

The Jamuns must be gently and constantly stirred to ensure even browning on all sides. Keep turning the Jamuns until they are a golden brown all over.

If the temperature of the ghee is too high then the Gulab Jamuns might break. The temperature should be adjusted to ensure that the Gulab Jamuns do not break or cook too quickly. The balls must be fried slowly under low temperature. This will ensure complete cooking from inside and even browning.

Add the fried Gulab Jamuns directly into the warm syrup. They can be served warm or at room temperature.

Gulab jamuns can also be served with ice cream or kulfi.

Gulab Jamun – Traditional Indian Milk Based Mithai

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 10

 Main Ingredients:

  •  maida
  •   all purpose flour
  •   sugar
  •   khoya
  •   milk


Today's sweet is the delicious Gulab Jamun, an absolutely melt-in-the-mouth favorite Indian dessert recipe and is a living embodiment of Indian mithai (sweet) tradition. Gulab Jamus are golden brown balls in flavored sugar syrup. They are served warm or at room temperature.
  • sailu

    Thanks,lera.It does take some work to make good gulab jamuns and cooking them takes effort and care.Jamuns have always been my weakness..:)

  • Lera

    Wow,delicious ! my mouth is watering– can’t resist jamoons .

    Sailu, thanks for the recipe -It looks so much like Bangalore’s Arya bhavan’s jamoons -will make this for the next weekend!

  • Lera

    It’s me once again, I would like to rate this 10/10
    Great pictures !!

  • Mika

    They look delicious, Sailaja. Can you make dry kala jamun with this recipe?

  • prasad

    Excellent work ๐Ÿ™‚ Gulab Jamoon is my fav Sweet. Last month, I invited some of my American Friends for a get together and I prepared Jamoons. They liked it soooo Much. They keep asking for the recipes.. how to prepare.. I will forward your Recipe to them.

  • Stephanie

    The very first time I dined at an Indian restaurant, I tried Gulab Jamuns. I wasn’t ready for the texture, though…it was actually my frist time eating Indian food…period!

    Thankfully, I’ve not only learned to love Indian cuisine, but those tasty sweet balls, too!

  • Anonymous

    hi, these jamuns look so lovely and ur step by step pics are really helpful.But here in Hong kong i wouln’t be able to get KHOYA. Can it be made at home or is their any replacement?

  • sailu

    yes anonymous,khoya can be prepared at home. Take 1 cup of milk powder and add enough water to be able to knead it to a smooth dough.Then add two tsps ghee and continue to knead well. It is very important that the kneading be done well.
    Alternately you can use ricotta cheese..but I havent tried with it so I cant vouch for it.Hope this helps.

  • ammani

    They look so yummy. Mine always tend to crack while frying. Help!

  • Masuma

    i hope i get this right….i suck at cooking…

  • Madhu

    Hi Sailu !!!
    First of all you r simply superb…..great website.
    Do u think we can use condensed milk with maida to make the dough instead of khoya and milk. I always wanted to give it a try….let me know what u think….

    Thanks for your kind words, Madhu. I never tried condensed milk-maida combo. I guess, unless we try, we would never find out.:) Give it a try and do let me know the outcome.:)

  • Aparna


    I really like the smooth gulab jamuns. Though my gulab jamuns tasted good but they did not come smooth, they were small cracks and up & downs on the surface. Can you please let me know how to make them smooth. I am not sure on the consistency of the dough i.e how much milk to add to the 1 pkt MTR mix I use. My dough looks like bread crumbs after I kead it. Not so smooth like yours.

  • sislyg

    hi sailu garu,i love u r dishes,thanks alot for this recipes.

  • Ravi Kanth

    Good Site!!

    I appreciate your patience & interest for blogging recipes from the last 2 and half years. Keep blogging…….

    A suggestion :-
    Dried or cooled syrup on the jamoon some times become crystallized , to avoid this I add some drops of lemon juice to the syrup(too much of lemon juice will spoil the taste of jamun).

  • Deepa Ananth


    Thank you so much for the kala Jamun recipe I never used to get to make such perfect jamuns earlier…this recipe works really well for me.


  • Sirisha

    Hi Sailu
    I am Sirisha again. Such a nice description of preparing Jamuns.
    I tried with MTR mix, but the jamuns were breaking.The temp was not at all high, I maintained a low temp but still the moment I put the jamuns into ghee, they started cracking and breaking.
    Please let me know why they r breaking. I am in USA and don’t know whether I will be able to find kova. Please suggest me what to do for this. I have 1 1/2 yrs old son and he loves gulab jamuns a lot. So please let me know where I am doing wrong. My husband also loves jamuns a lot.

    I am eagerly waiting for ur reply.

    I have never tried MTR mix. But maybe you could try this way. Heat ghee in a vessel and once it hot, remove from flame and place the jamuns in the hot ghee and once they float to the top, place the vessel back to the flame and on low to medium flame gently cook the jamuns. I think this might help, Sirisha.

  • Pingback: FoodieView Blog » Recipe Roundup: Delightful Desserts()

  • Sathya

    Hi Sailu,

    Ur gulab jamun recipe is really nice. Can u pls post the recipe for Basundhi with condensed milk. Thanks

  • Naz

    Hi Sailu,
    I have been reading and trying out your posts for some time. I must say ur recipes are amazing and seem so simple. How did u learn so much?? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Btw, my qs we have to fry the jamuns in ghee?? or can we fry in oil like we do when we buy the gulab jamun mix from the shops!

    Even i want to cook great like you.. hope u will be my friend and help me!! ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Sailu

      Yes, you can fry in oil too. No problem. Just enjoy what you do and put in a lot of love and the food you cook will turn out great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Saroja

    Hi sailaja garu,i had read some recipes procedure, and procedure is very clear and easy to undersand, i had prepare tomato rice ,the taste is too good,and thanks for hosting this website,i waiting for your reply.

  • Shuba

    Hi Sailu,

    Nice recipe. One doubt, in the ingredients you mentioned sodium bicarbonate whereas in the method you have mentioned baking powder…I guess the correct one is baking powder, isnt?

  • Pingback: bread gulab jamun recipe, how to make bread gulab jamun()