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Easy Gulab Jamun

Easy gulab jamun are soft and spongy, milk-solid based balls of fried dough. Super sweet and delicious, these make the perfect Indian dessert in no time. And the best part is, they are not complicated so anyone can make them anytime! Fry the balls or Air Fry them in a fryer or you Instant Pot using an Air Fryer Lid, either ways you will enjoy this treat. Video Recipe.

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gulab jamun recipe

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What is Gulab Jamun

Gulab jamun is a traditional Indian sweet treat made with milk solids and smothered in a flavored syrup. Golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside, these golden, sweet, and soft globes are bound to please the entire family. 

Why you will love this gulab jamun recipe

Do you have a sweet tooth, like me ? If yes, then you will absolutely love this gulab jamun recipe. 

It is made using milk and milk powder which are easy to find unlike the traditional khoya. The other ingredients are also easy to find at most grocery stores or at your local Indian market.

Though traditionally deep fried, you can follow the instructions to make slightly healthier air fried versions. They contain a lot less oil but are just as sweet and flavorful.

These spongy and soft globes are super easy to make. They also take less than 30 minutes of prep time!

Air Fryer Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious gulab jamun recipe at home. 

For the Gulab Jamun Balls themselves, you’ll need:

  • Full fat milk powder
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking soda 
  • Ghee or oil 
  • Milk 
  • Oil - for frying
  • Crushed pistachios - for garnish
  • Dried rose petals - for garnish

For the sugary syrup, you’ll need:

  • Sugar - white granulated sugar is the kind you need
  • Green cardamom pods - these add a lovely flavor and aroma.
  • Water
  • Fresh lemon juice -  if you only have bottled lemon juice, you can use that instead

How to make Gulab Jamuns at home

Here’s how to get the gulab jamuns ready for air frying.

Prep the syrup

  • First, prepare the syrup. To do this, heat a deep pot or pan over medium and add the sugar, cardamoms, water, and lemon juice to it. Cook the syrup for  about 10 minutes or until the syrup has reached a sticky consistency. 
  • Turn the heat off and allow the syrup to rest. The lemon juice will help keep the syrup from solidifying as it cools.

How to make Gulab Jamun

Prepare the dough

  • Next, prepare the dough. In a large bowl, add the milk powder, all purpose flour, and baking soda and give it a stir.
  • When the dry ingredients are combined, add the ghee or oil and mix it well so the ghee or oil evenly mixes with the flour mix.
  • Slowly stir in the milk to form a soft sticky dough. Do not over mix the dough! Mixing too much can cause the gluten to activate and the texture won’t be right!
  • Finally, form the dough into balls by greasing your palms with oil and dividing the dough into 10 equal portions about 1 inch around. Roll the dough into crack free balls. If a crack appears, it means the mixture is too dry. Add a little more milk to the dough and gently mix it in. 

how to make gulab jamun

Fry the dough

  • Once the balls are formed, heat enough oil in a heavy bottom wok or fryer to submerge the balls. Set your burner to high heat to get the oil hot.
  • When the oil is hot, reduce the heat from high to medium.
  • Next, test the oil temperature by dropping a small pinch of a ball or left scrap of dough in the oil. If the piece comes upward immediately without changing color, the temperature is correct. If the ball comes up and changes color to brown, the oil is too hot and will burn the balls. Allow it to cool down before testing again!
  • Carefully slide 3 to 4 balls into the fryer or wok and reduce the heat to low. It’s important that the oil is hot when you drop the balls, but they need to be cooked on low heat to make sure the entire ball is cooked.
  • As they are cooking, use a mesh ladle to give the balls a gentle stir. Fry the balls until golden brown, which takes about 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Carefully transfer them to  the sugar syrup and allow them to soak for 2 hours before garnishing and serving.
  • Repeat the same process with the remaining balls. But keep in mind, it is important to reheat the oil each time before adding the balls to fry them. Just don’t forget to immediately lower the heat once you add the ball to the oil!
  • Once the balls have rested for 2 hours in the syrup, garnish with crushed pistachios and rose petals and serve either warm or cold.

Air fryer gulab jamun

How to Air Fry Gulab Jamun

  • Follow the steps above to create the dough balls. Once they are made, follow these steps to make a slightly healthier version of gulab jamun.
  • Air fry them in a Fryer or in your Instant Pot using an Air Fryer Lid.
  • First, preheat your air fryer to 350°F.
  • Once it is heated, transfer the balls to the air fryer basket, leaving some space between and spray the balls with cooking spray.
  • Next, cook the balls for 5 minutes and then increase the heat to 400°F and cook until golden brown. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Lastly, dunk them in sugar syrup for a couple hours before your are ready to garnish and serve them. 

Air Fryer Gulab Jamun

Pro tips and tricks

Here are some tips to make the best gulab jamuns everytime.

  • Make sure you don’t make the balls too big. They will double in size in the fryer!
  • Once the oil is hot, add the 3 to 4 balls and then REDUCE heat to low. This prevents burning and cooks them all the way through.
  • Don’t skip adding lemon juice to the syrup, this keeps it from solidifying.
  • If using the air fryer, don’t overcrowd the basket. 
  • When you form the balls, make sure they don’t have any cracks. 

Gulab Jamun recipe

Why does my Gulab Jamun break when frying?

If your dough is too dry, the balls can crumble. You can gently knead in a little more milk if they crack when making the balls. Cracked balls are a sign the balls will likely break apart and have a dry texture after cooking.

Why are my gulab jamun hard and not soft and spongy

Hard gulab jamun is due to a lack of moisture. If your dough is not moist enough, the texture can become dry or can harden when cooking. 

Hard balls can also be a sign you over cooked them. If they cook too long, they’ll lose some of the moisture and harden a bit.

Soaking them in the sugar syrup will help, but if the dough is too dry, they still won’t get the nice spongy texture.

How to make sure the gulab jamun is cooked entirely or why are my gulab jamuns not cooked from the inside

The best way to make sure the balls cook through is to start with hot oil and then reduce the heat to low when cooking. This gives them the slightly firmer outside and allows them to cook through on the inside.

When you don’t reduce the heat to low, the balls can cook too fast on the outside and not enough on the inside.

If you use the air fryer, you should cook them at a lower heat for a few minutes before blasting them with higher heat. When you do this, the balls should cook through.

Finally, a good indicator that the balls are ready is that they will turn a nice golden brown color on the outside. 

How to make Gulab Jamun inAur Fryer

How long to soak gulab jamun in syrup

When you make the balls, you’ll want to soak them for at least 2 hours in the syrup. Any less time and the balls won’t absorb the moisture and won’t have the right texture and taste.

Flavor Variations

  • You can add additional flavors to the balls either through the syrup or directly to the balls.
  • Another traditional Indian take on gulab jamun is to add sugar to the dough. When you add sugar, the balls with become darker because the sugar will caramelize as it cooks.
  • For less authentic but still good flavor, you could add a few drops of your favorite extract, like vanilla extract, to the dough. You can experiment with different flavors this way.
  • If you like cinnamon, you could sprinkle the prepared balls with ground cinnamon or use a whole cinnamon stick when cooking the syrup.

Why is my gulab jamun too soft

Gulab jamun can become too soft if you use too much milk. If the balls can’t hold their shape when you roll them, it’s a sign you have too much moisture. Even when they cook, they will be too soft and won’t have the right texture. You can try to add a bit more milk powder or flour to help the dough firm up a bit.

My gulab jamuns did not soak up the syrup

When your gulab jamuns do not soak up the syrup, it is a sign the syrup was either too thin or too thick. The syrup should be only a little sticky and still thin after cooking. Don’t overcook it! It will thicken some as it cools.

How to make Gulab Jamun

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Check out these other favorites of ours. 

Let us know what you think

If you make this gulab jamun recipe, don’t forget to let us know what you think and how you served them! Be sure to take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind!

Easy Gulab Jamun Recipe

Air Fryer Gulab Jamun

Easy Gulab Jamun Recipe (Fryer and Air Fryer Recipe )

Yield: 10 balls
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Easy gulab jamun are soft and spongy, milk-solid based balls of fried dough. Super sweet and delicious, these make the perfect Indian dessert in no time. And the best part is, they are not complicated so anyone can make them anytime! Fry the balls or Air Fry them, either ways you will enjoy this treat. Video Recipe.

Ingredients

For Gulab Jamun Balls

  • Full fat milk powder ¼ cup
  • All purpose flour ¼ cup
  • Baking soda ⅛ tsp
  • Ghee or oil 1 tbsp
  • Milk 2-3 tbsp
  • Oil for frying

For Sugar Syrup

  • Sugar 1 cup
  • Green cardamom pods 3
  • Water 1 ½ cup
  • Fresh lemon juice ½ tsp

Garnish

  • Crushed pistachios 1 tbsp
  • Dried rose petals 1 tbsp

Instructions

How to make Gulab Jamuns at home

Prep the syrup

First, prepare the syrup. To do this, heat a deep pot or pan over medium and add the sugar, cardamoms, water, and lemon juice to it. Cook the syrup for  about 10 minutes or until the syrup has reached a sticky consistency. 

Turn the heat off and allow the syrup to rest. The lemon juice will help keep the syrup from solidifying as it cools.

Prepare the dough

Next, prepare the dough. In a large bowl, add the milk powder, all purpose flour, and baking soda and give it a stir.

When the dry ingredients are combined, add the ghee or oil and mix it well so the ghee or oil evenly mixes with the flour mix.

Slowly stir in the milk to form a soft sticky dough. Do not over mix the dough! Mixing too much can cause the gluten to activate and the texture won’t be right!

Finally, form the dough into balls by greasing your palms with oil and dividing the dough into 10 equal portions about 1 inch around. Roll the dough into crack free balls. If a crack appears, it means the mixture is too dry. Add a little more milk to the dough and gently mix it in. 

Fry the dough

Once the balls are formed, heat enough oil in a heavy bottom wok or fryer to submerge the balls. Set your burner to high heat to get the oil hot.

When the oil is hot, reduce the heat from high to medium.

Next, test the oil temperature by dropping a small pinch of a ball or left scrap of dough in the oil. If the piece comes upward immediately without changing color, the temperature is correct. If the ball comes up and changes color to brown, the oil is too hot and will burn the balls. Allow it to cool down before testing again!

Carefully slide 3 to 4 balls into the fryer or wok and reduce the heat to low. It’s important that the oil is hot when you drop the balls, but they need to be cooked on low heat to make sure the entire ball is cooked.

As they are cooking, use a mesh ladle to give the balls a gentle stir. Fry the balls until golden brown, which takes about 6 to 7 minutes.

Carefully transfer them to  the sugar syrup and allow them to soak for 2 hours before garnishing and serving.

Repeat the same process with the remaining balls. But keep in mind, it is important to reheat the oil each time before adding the balls to fry them. Just don’t forget to immediately lower the heat once you add the ball to the oil!

Once the balls have rested for 2 hours in the syrup, garnish with crushed pistachios and rose petals and serve either warm or cold.

Air Fry / Air Fryer Lid Gulab Jamun Recipe

Follow the steps above to create the dough balls. Once they are made, follow these steps to make a slightly healthier version of gulab jamun.

Air fry them in a Fryer or in your Instant Pot using an Air Fryer Lid.

First, preheat your air fryer to 350°F.

Once it is heated, transfer the balls to the air fryer basket, leaving some space between and spray the balls with cooking spray.

Next, cook the balls for 5 minutes and then increase the heat to 400°F and cook until golden brown. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes.

Notes

  • Make sure you don’t make the balls too big. They will double in size in the fryer!
  • Once the oil is hot, add the 3 to 4 balls and then REDUCE heat to low. This prevents burning and cooks them all the way through.
  • Don’t skip adding lemon juice to the syrup, this keeps it from solidifying.
  • If using the air fryer or air fryer lid, don’t overcrowd the basket. 
  • When you form the balls, make sure they don’t have any cracks. 
Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 2
Amount Per Serving Calories 138Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 5mgSodium 28mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 0gSugar 20gProtein 1g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. We are not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on TheBellyRulesTheMind.net should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though we try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of our ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

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