From Persia to your plate- Tracing the origins of Gulab Jamun

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From Persia to your plate- Tracing the origins of Gulab Jamun

Did you know that the gulab jamun is not from India?

From Persia to your plate- Tracing the origins of Gulab Jamun

Say ‘Gulab Jamun’ and see a big smile on the face of Indians. There is hardly any celebration or occasion where gulab jamun is missing. It is one of the favourites and most popular desserts, gulab jamun is ball-shaped deep-fried sweets, soaked in a delicious syrup of sugar and cardamom powder. 

This delicacy is not only the favourite in India but also popular in neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Myanmar. Gulab Jamun is considered the national sweet of Pakistan. 

This delicacy has time and again added sparkle to your meal as a dessert. But did you know that the gulab jamun is not from India? 

You will be amazed to know that gulab jamun hailed from Persia (medieval Iran). It is similar to an Arabic sweet dish named Luqmat-al-Qadi which was introduced by the Mughal emperor in India. 

Research reveals that in Iran, this dish was made from flour and soaked in honey. Those who love to make it sweeter could sprinkle sugar on it. 

According to another theory, it is believed that gulab jamuns are one of the mistakenly prepared dishes. It was accidentally prepared by the Mughal emperor shah Jhan’s personal chef but there is no evidence to claim this theory true. 

The word “Gulab '' has originated from the Persian word “Gol” which means flower and “ab” meaning water, referring to the rose water. On the other hand, "Jamun" or "jam" is the Hindi word directed towards an Indian fruit name ‘Jamun’ with a similar size and shape, commonly known as a black plum in English. Luqmat- al- Qadi is similar to the Gulab Jamun due to their connection with rose water. 

Old Delhi is the most popular place known for the best serving of Gulab Jamun. In India gulab jamun is also known as Laal Mohan and Gulab jam. There are two sorts of variations in this sweet dish; Gulab jam and Kala jam. 

Gulab Jamun comes in many shapes and sizes and is generally served with silver wraps and almonds. One can consume it hot, cold or at normal room temperature. 

Here is the easy recipe you can try this holiday season to make your gatherings more flavorful:

You require the following ingredients to prepare yummy gulab jamun (30 servings) : 

  • ½ tin (200 gm)Nestlé Milkmaid
  • 2 cups (200 gm )Flour
  • 600gm, gratedPaneer or khoya 
  • 200 gmSooji/Rava
  • 1½ tsp baking Powder
  • 1 tsp baking Soda
  • Oil
  • 2 litres water
  • 1 kg sugar
  • Cardamom powder
  • Saffron

Method of preparation:

  • Boil sugar and water to prepare syrup, remember to do it properly on medium flame. 
  • Now remove the syrup from and add cardamom and keep aside to cool.
  • In a mixing bowl put the flour, paneer or khoya whatever you have, sooji, Nestlé Milkmaid, baking powder and baking soda. Knead everything gently.
  • Now divide the mixture into 30-35 small portions and gently roll into round gulab jamuns. Fry in the oil at a very low flame till they turn light golden. 
  • Now pour all the fried gulab jamuns in the prepared sugar syrup, once all the gulab jamuns are in the sugar syrup, bring it to a boil for 20 minutes and remove from flame.
  • Now garnish the sweet with strands of saffron and serve it warm, or cold.

And the next time you serve gulab jamun, combine it with an interesting story of its origin.