Friday, October 7, 2016

The End of My Research. Gulab Jamun: Gluten Free and Baked Not Fried.

baked gulab jamun, gluten free gulab jamun
   It's been quite a while since I've made Gulab Jamun, not because I don't absolutely love this Bengali sweet, but because I'm not exactly crazy about all the frying involved with making them. Lately, I've also been involved with designing  gluten free desserts for the new CocoaPlanet  Tasting Room and Bistro opening here in Sonoma, so I haven't bothered doing many things that involve gluten. I've also been thinking, so many Indian dishes, can be made by substituting baking for frying...why not Gulab Jamun? So I decided to do some research and see if anyone has managed to do the baking thing with them.

   A quick look showed me that, yeah Gulab Jamun have been prepared in the oven instead of a kadhai filled with boiling oil. I perused a few recipes from various people and decided to start experimenting. After a few non-successful attempts where the Gulab Jamun just didn't color up properly....I finally found one that worked. It was my same formula, just different baking times and temps. Anudivya of the site And a Little Bit More had solved the baking not frying part about 5 years ago. I added to that my Gluten Free Gulab Jamun recipe and bingo! Success. Also, this recipe works exactly the same if you are not gluten free...just use regular flour.

Baked Gulab Jamun, Gluten Free or Not

Here's What You Need:
1/4 cup  gluten free flour or all purpose flour  ( I use my own special blend)
1/2 cup of powdered whole milk
a pinch of baking powder
1/4 cup of whipping cream
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
! tsp rose water
2 Tbs chopped pistachios
parchment paper

Here's What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Mix together the flour and the powdered milk.

Add in the pinch of baking powder.

Add in 1/4 cup of cream.
Stir with a spoon until you have a nice soft dough. If you need to add a bit more whipping cream to get it where you want so.

Break the dough off into pieces. Roll the dough between your palms to form balls. This recipe will make about 7 of them.

Place the balls on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

Place them into the preheated oven on a rack placed near the top and bake them for about 8  minutes.

Bake them until the tops of the balls start to turn golden...

...and the bottoms turn a light brown. If it takes a bit longer than 8 minutes don't worry about it. This is a recipe you have to eyeball.

You should be able to pick them up and handle them without them losing their shape. They should also have puffed up from their baking.
Take them out of the oven, and remove the parchment paper.
Put the balls back on the cookie sheet. Turn your oven to broil.
Here's the important part...Watch These Suckers Like A Hawk!!!!! They can easily burn!!!
The idea is to broil them until they turn a nice dark brown.
When they are done, remove them from the oven and set them aside.
Fill a pan or kadhai with 1 cup of water and 3/4 cup sugar.

Mix it together until the sugar is dissolved in the water and then bring the mixture to a boil.
Turn it down to a simmer, and add in 1 tsp of rose water
Add in your baked Gulab Jamuns and let them simmer for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and let them soak in the syrup for at least 1/2 hour.

Place a couple of them in a small bowl , spoon the warm syrup over them and scatter some chopped pistachios on top and serve them up!!!

gulab jamun
   Gulab Jamuns, baked not fried. I made several batches of these yesterday, testing them and it works  the same whether you are using regular flour or gluten free. It's a fast and easy to make dessert and no gluten-free people ever need to skip Gulab Jamun again! Coming up next , I take on some quick snacks for Fall movie watching/couch surfing and Kheema Pav with a difference follow along on Twitter @kathygori


  1. So this is brilliant. How is their texture? Do you feel it's comparable to the fried version? This is one of my husband's favorite desserts and I'd love to try this healthier version.

    1. Michelle,
      I love this dessert too but don't like to do too much (if any) frying. I'm always looking for an alternative and a number of Indian ladies had recommended this way of doing it. My husband loved them and it's one of his favorite desserts too. Just keep an eye on them while you are broiling to keep them from burning. Let me know if you make them, how they worked out for you

    2. Reporting back from the field!

      These turned out fabulous. Except for a little bit more toothsomeness on the top and bottom, these are exactly like the fried ones. I didnt have whole milk powder (to my dismay) but used the ubiquitous American nonfat powdered milk. They turned out just fine. I ended up with about 9 gulubs and the quantity of syrup is probably a liiiitle bit less than I'd prefer so I'll probably do a1.5 recipe in that next time. I dont think i made the balls too small - they looked about the same size as yours. These came together so fast that I will definitely be putting them into my dessert rotation. I think these would be super fun to take to a potluck - delicious and an unexpected treat. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    3. So glad they worked out ... we love them over here..I tend to go light on the syrup at our house because my husband likes to go easy on the sugar.

  2. This looks so cute and delicious. Soak something like a biscuit in syrup, sounds so great. I have never seen this before, great to make this during gatherings and share with family members. :)



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