Kala Jamun Recipe: Traditional khoya-based Kala Jamun (dried milk solids). These small deep-fried balls are soaked in rose water, cardamom, and saffron-flavored sugar syrup. This popular Indian sweet is my personal favorite and extremely addictive!
As a child, I recall either of these being present at every birthday party I attended. The same was true for weddings.
Warm Kala Jamun with vanilla ice cream was my personal favorite, especially during the winters in Delhi. That is one memory that will live on in my mind forever!
I don’t recall my mother ever making this sweet at home. In India, all of these sweets are so readily available, and there are so many amazing sweet shops, that you never feel the need to make them.
But, of course, things are different in the United States. We have a few Indian sweet shops here, but the taste of the sweets is nothing like what we get in India. I always end up making my favorite sweets at home because of the quality that we get here.
All of my favorites are on the menu, especially during Diwali. I’m making these Kala Jamuns this time.
What exactly is Kala Jamun?
It’s an Indian sweet made with dried milk solids called mawa/khoya.
Mawa was always made from scratch in my house, which required hours of cooking the milk until only solids remained.
However, it is also widely available in stores. Frozen mawa is available in Indian stores in the United States; I like the one from Vadilal.
These milk solid dumplings are deeply fried and then dipped in a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom, saffron, and rose water.
They are similar to fried doughnuts.
These can also be made with the milk powder, but I prefer the khoya version.
The color and texture of gulab jamun and Kala Jamun are distinct. While gulab jamuns are golden-colored balls, Kala jamuns are a dark color that is only a few shades darker than black. As a result, the word Kala, which means “black,” was coined. This color is obtained by frying the jamuns for a short period of time over a low flame.
Gulab jamun and kala jamun are traditionally made with khoya or mawa. Basically, khoya is dried evaporated milk solids. These milk solids are made by continuously cooking milk on a low flame until the majority of the moisture evaporates.
Because Diwali is only a few weeks away, this recipe is ideal for small gatherings or parties. Make the jamuns a day ahead of time and store them in the sugar syrup in the refrigerator. These Kala Jamun will keep in the fridge for about a week.
And you can also visit other categories such as:
Kala Jamun Recipe Card:
Kala Jamun Recipe
For Kala Jamun, make a simple sugar syrup.
- 2 cups sugar ( 300 gram )
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/4 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp rose water
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 12 to 15 strands of saffron
To make Kala Jamun Balls
- 1 cup tightly packed khoya (mawa or dried evaporated milk solids) (250 grams)
- 1/2 cup tightly packed grated paneer (cottage cheese) 100 grams Paneer
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tablespoon milk▢oil or ghee (clarified butter) for deep frying
Kala Jamun Preparation
- In a plate or bowl, place 250 grammes of khoya. Soft khoya, also known as hariyali khoya or chikna khoya, is used to make kala jamun. Because this is a soft khoya, it mashes and kneads easily.
- Mash the khoya with your hands thoroughly. Set aside. The khoya should be free of lumps, small bits, and pieces. You can also grate the khoya and then mash it.
- Grate 100g paneer and set aside. 100 g paneer yields approximately 1/2 cup grated paneer.
How to Make Kala Jamun Balls
- To the khoya, add the grated paneer and 3 tbsp all-purpose flour (maida).
- 1 tablespoon milk Everything should be thoroughly mixed.
- Form this mixture into a dough by combining all of the ingredients. The dough should not be kneaded. Simply combine the ingredients and form a dough. If the mixture appears dry and does not cling together to form a dough, add 1 tbsp more milk.
- Pinch small marble-sized balls from the dough and roll them between your palms in a round shape. Roll lightly and sparingly.
- Roll the ball between your palms again to form an oblong cylindrical shape.
- Roll all of the jamun in this manner and cover with a cotton kitchen towel.
Making Kala Jamun Sugar Syrup
- In a saucepan, combine 2 cups sugar and 1.5 cups water.
- Keep this pan on the stove top on a low to medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- When all of the sugar has been dissolved, add 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice. The lemon juice prevents the sugar syrup from crystallising.
- Cook the sugar syrup over a low to medium heat until it reaches a 1/2 string consistency or becomes sticky.
- When the sugar syrup is ready, start frying the kala jamun. The sugar syrup must be hot when you add the kala jamun. On a low to medium heat, heat the oil for deep frying in a kadai or deep pan.
- Turn off the heat and add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder and 12 to 15 crushed saffron strands. 1 tbsp rose water is also recommended.
Making Kala Jamun by Frying
- Slid a tiny dough ball into the hot oil for testing.
- The ball should rise slowly, not quickly. This is the temperature at which the jamuns will be fried.
- Keep the flame low and fry this small jamun until it turns golden.
- Now slide the kala jamun gently. Don't overcrowd the pan and add the jamuns in batches as needed.
- When you see faint golden spots, gently turn the jamun over.
- Continue to turn them in the oil, like a gentle swirl with a slotted spoon, to brown evenly. When frying the jamun, it should be light and not heavy.
- Fry until they are a few shades darker than the golden fried colour.
- Place them on a piece of paper towel.
- Add them to the sugar syrup quickly while they are still hot.
- Fry all of the kala jamun in the same manner and then add them to the sugar syrup.
- Allow them to soak in the sugar syrup, covered. Once the sugar syrup has cooled, place it in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.
- Kala jamun can be served at room temperature or chilled as a dessert or sweet.
- To begin, maida is a binding agent, so if the jamuns break while frying, add a tsp more maida and knead thoroughly.
- Furthermore, knead the dough smoothly, adding milk little by little.
- Drop the hot jamuns into the hot sugar syrup as well. Otherwise, the jamuns will not absorb the syrup, resulting in hard jamuns.
- When making these at home, you must keep certain things in mind, just as you would with any other Indian sweet.
- The dough must be extremely soft and smooth. To make these kala jamuns, I use fresh chena (made by curdling milk).
- The combination of mashed mawa and fresh chena yields a soft and smooth dough. I didn’t need to add any milk to bring the dough together; the moisture from the chena and mawa did it for me.
- Remember to use soft mawa here, as that is what jamuns require. Using fresh chena also makes a difference. You can use paneer, but freshly made chena is preferable.
- Always fry the jamuns over medium-low heat. So, I burned these kala jamuns once because I fried them at low heat for far too long, probably around 25 minutes, to achieve that black colour, and they had a burnt taste by the end of it (even tough fried at low heat).
- Start with low-medium heat for these kala jamuns. You should put them in lukewarm oil and let them float to the top.
- When they begin to float, increase the heat to medium and continue to fry until they turn black. This ensures that they are perfectly cooked without burning.
- Of course, you should never fry on high heat because they will quickly turn black and be undercooked on the inside. If you fry them on high heat, they will become hard as well.
- In order for the kala jamuns to soak up the sugar syrup, it must be at the proper consistency. If the syrup is too thick or too thin, the jamuns will not soak it up.
- You don’t want any syrup or string consistency in this recipe. You only want the syrup to be sticky; if you overcook it, the syrup will thicken and the jamuns will become dry and hard.
- I also want to mention that I made a lot of sugar syrup because I wanted extra syrup, so you can easily cut this in half if you want. It is entirely up to you. Simply cut everything in half if you want to make less syrup and keep everything else the same.
- Do not deviate from the timings specified in the recipe for the syrup.
- Make sure the sugar syrup is warm before adding the fried jamuns. Remove the jamuns from the oil and immediately place them in the warm syrup. You should not wait for them to cool down.
- Finally, to make crack-free kala jamuns, grease your hands with ghee.
What exactly is the distinction between Kala Jamun and gulab jamun?
The color and texture of gulab jamun and Kala Jamun are distinct. While gulab jamuns are golden-colored balls, Kala jamuns are a dark color that is only a few shades darker than black. As a result, the word ‘Kala,’ which means black, was coined. Gulab jamun and kala jamun are traditionally made with khoya or mawa.
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