I was asked by one of my readers share the recipe for gulab jamun before diwali so I hope that I’m not too late with this post. I believe most of you must already have started preparing for the festival by decking up your houses and yards with bulbs, lanterns and other illuminations. The list of mithais must have been decided upon days ahead to shop for the necessary ingredients; I should not forget to mention the cute little cardboard boxes in which the sweets would be packed and distributed.

Gulab jamun does not feature among the sweets I plan to make this diwali but as it is a simple recipe and very much in demand, I felt it was worth posting on the blog this week. Our local gulab jamun differs from the original in both shape and consistency. The one thing they have in common, however, is that once deep fried, they are both dipped in a light rosewater flavoured sugar syrup. Be careful not to leave them for too long in the syrup else they will turn soggy and overly sweet.

My guess is that gulab jamun became a popular diwali sweet as large quantities can be prepared days in advance. Give it a try along with the regulars – gato batate and boondi laddoo – for this year’s diwali and remember that homemade never fails to impress!



For the Dough

500 g all purpose flour

3 tsp pure ghee

200 g condensed milk

1/2 tsp baking soda

3 tbs powdered milk

1/4 tsp cardamom

For the Sugar Syrup

1 cup caster sugar

1 cup water

1/4 tsp rosewater extract


  • Combine all dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl to form a soft dough. Cover and leave to stand for 15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile prepare sugar syrup by dissolving sugar in equal anoumts of water. Add rosewater extract.

  • Simmer over low heat until syrup develops a single thread consistency. Remove from heat.

  • Shape the dough into finger-long sausages and deep fry over low heat until they turn brown in colour.

  • Drain well on absorbent paper before dipping in warm sugar syrup for not more than a minute.

  • Bring to room temperature before seving. Store in an airtight container for upto 2 weeks.