Gulab Jamun's served in a plate with some diya in the back for decoration
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Gulab Jamun Recipe (with Khoya)

Gulab Jamun is the most popular Indian dessert. Gulab Jamun’s are deep fried donut-like balls, soaked in sweet rose flavored syrup. Learn to make the best gulab jamun’s with khoya along with all the tips and tricks to get them melt-in-the-mouth soft.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Soaking time30 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: indian dessert balls, khoya gulab jamun, soft
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: Stovetop
Servings: 15 Gulab Jamun
Calories: 251kcal
Author: Meeta Arora


For Sugar syrup


Making the dough

  • In a large bowl, grate or crumble the khoya. Add all-purpose flour (maida), baking powder and cardamom powder to it. Mix it well.
  • Now add ghee and mix again. Add milk little at a time, so the dough starts to form. You don't want the dough to be sticky. We just want enough milk for it to come together. Don't over mix the dough. You just want it to be smooth and soft.
  • Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for 30 mins.

Making sugar syrup for Gulab Jamun

  • While the dough is resting, in a bowl, add sugar, water, cardamom pods and saffron.
  • Bring to a boil. Then simmer for 7 minutes. Do not overcook the syrup. The sugar syrup thickens when as it cools, so it shouldn’t look too thick.
  • Add lemon juice, rose water and stir well. By adding lemon juice, sugar syrup doesn’t form crystals.

Making Gulab Jamun balls

  • Grease your palms with some ghee. With your hands, knead the whole dough once.
  • Make small balls from the dough. Do not apply too much pressure while making the balls. When rolling to balls, make sure the balls are smooth with no cracks, else they might break when frying. 
  • The balls will increase in size after frying & soaking in syrup. Make equal sized balls, about 15 from this dough.

Frying and soaking the Gulab Jamun

  • Heat the ghee/oil well in a fry pan/wok before starting to fry the balls. Fry on medium-low heat. On high heat, they will get dark from the outside, but will not be cooked well from the inside.
  • Add them to the syrup while the syrup is warm (not boiling hot), so they soak in all the sweetness and become soft. If syrup is too hot, the balls might break. If it is cold, then the balls will not soak the syrup well. Soak for at least 30 minutes before enjoying. Soaking for up to 2-3 hours works great too.
  • Gulab Jamun's are ready to be enjoyed. 


Serving Gulab Jamun: We love Gulab Jamun’s served warm. Add 2-3 jamun’s to a small bowl. Top with 1-2 spoons of syrup in the bowl. Garnish with sliced pistachios or almonds. You can also serve warm Gulab Jamun with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. This is not the traditional way of serving, but sooo delicious!
Reasons why Gulab Jamun can break while frying:
  • Too much baking powder was added to the dough.
  • The dough balls had cracks and the dough was not soft. Knead dough again to make balls without cracks.
  • Oil was too hot when frying the gulab jamun.
Reasons why Gulab Jamun can become hard: 
  • The dough is too stiff or if it is over-kneaded.
  • The dough was pressed too hard when making the balls. You want to use soft hands while making the balls.
  • The balls were fried on high heat, which can make them hard from outside and uncooked from inside.


Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 36mg | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 232mg | Iron: 0.2mg