desserts · mauritianfood · sweets

Happy Diwali ~ Indian Style Kala Jamun / Gulab Jammun

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A festival full of sweet memories!

Deepawali or Diwali is certainly the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals. It’s the festival of lights (deep = light and avali = a row i.e., a row of lights) which illumines with its brilliance, and dazzles all with its joy. This year Diwali falls on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. It is the celebration of life, of enjoyment and goodness as well as victory of truth/light over evil/darkness. It is undoubtedly celebrated everywhere in the world just like it is in Mauritius as well. Diwali has long been in the tradition here among the HIndu community in Mauritius.Still Mauritius being a multi cultural island, everybody celebrates Diwali in their own unique ways.

This festival is enriched with so much abundance that each time of the year, it brings back so many fond memories of my childhood. Mum would buy me new and vibrant coloured clothes and she would add, ”Everything should be shinning new including me! ” It is believed to be tradition to buy new clothes to wear on Diwali. A token as if to kick off new beginnings, to bring in more light into your life and also to remove all obstacles and thus making way for good things.It is really so much excitement whenever Diwali is around the corner.

Other than this there was one more thing that I have always looked upon to, that is to take out all the previously used Diwali clay lamps and wash them thoroughly to be used again for this year. A true joy really to be honest. Normally one week before we would all get going with cleaning everywhere and everything in the house, from back end to front yard to even the patio. Everything should be proper nickel! Then on the day of Diwali every one of us would get together in the kitchen to kick off the traditional Diwali sweets because by 6 in the evening everything should be ready to distribute evenly among our loved ones.

It is a festival of light but mostly a festival of love to me, where sharing is caring and definitely grows the love. Besides Gulab Jamun is surprisingly almost everyone’s favourite even if there are so many other sweets to die for really. Not to forget mine favourite too!  I wanted to make it the Indian way for a change compare to the traditional Mauritian ones. The only difference really is in terms of procedure and taste.

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Serves approx. 15 Kala Jamuns

Preparation time : 24 hours

Cooking time : 20 mins

Ingredients for the Evaporated Milk solids (Khoya) (As shown in picture below) :

  • 250G of powdered milk or 2 lts of Full cream liquid Milk
  • 2 lts of water

Method :

  • In a heavy bottom based pan, whisk the milk powder along with the water.
    Note : If you are using full cream liquid milk then do not add water to it.
    1. Bring the milk to a boil then lower the flame for it to simmer stirring from time to time.
    2.The milk will continue to reduce and thicken while still making froths each and every time.
    3.Scrape the milk solid to the side from the froths and repeat the process for 2 hours maximum on low flame.
    Note: Always keep stirring from time to time else the milk will be burnt.
    4.The milk will continue to bubble each time. You will know it is ready when all the milk has been reduced and no bubble is forming on top.
    5.Turn off the gas, remove and keep aside to rest until cooled down and then refrigerate overnight.

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Ingredients for the sugar syrup :

  • 250g brown sugar
  • 1 Ltr of water
  • 1 tsp of fennel seeds
  • 2-3 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 a tsp of Rose essence
  • 1/2 a tsp of vanilla essence

Method:

  • Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring generously from time to time.
  • You will know when the syrup is ready for it will  be slightly sticky in between your fingers.
  • Keep it warm on low flame while you make the Jamuns.

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Ingredients for the Jamun:

  • 250g of Evaporated milk solids (Khoya shown aboved)
  • 1/2 a cup of white sifted flour
  • 3 tsp of powdered milk
  • 2 tsp of water
  • Pistachios
  • vegetable oil for frying

Method for the Jamun :

  • On a flat surface or plate, knead the milk solids along with all the above mentioned ingredients until a soft dough is obtained..

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  • Divide the dough into several equal parts and roll out into an oblong shape.

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  • In a pan, heat some vegetable oil and slow fry the jamuns until dark brown.

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  • Immediately after frying them, drop each of them carefully into the warm syrup.
  • Leave the jamuns for approx. 3 hours into the syrup or overnight to soak fully all the syrup.

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You can even sprinkle over some crushed pistachios for a profound taste and flavour. Still it is optional but then the pistachios take the jamun to a whole new level and ouff so inviting really. A real feast to the eyes, isn’t it? Mmmm and one bite into this goodness and you will be hooked trust me. That spongy middle, so tender moist with the sugar syrup goodness oozing and rolling down your fingers. Dirty filthy jamuns! So dirty that for a second you will be confused as to lick that sugary syrup or continue eating this bad boy. They are so good that after every 2-3 hours or so, I am back in the kitchen for more. Another way of serving it is normally to roll them over in dry coconut flakes and then stack them on a tray.

I am sure even you are totally crazy about these little treats too! Aren’t you? I would love to know what are the sweets that you normally make for Diwali at yours.I have a lot more to get ready before this Wednesday and I can’t wait to get started with them. Hopefully the pictures were handy enough.Again if ever any difficulty encountered please do not hesitate to write to me on my Facebook Page or even via email ( peachytales@mail.com )

May you have all the joy your heart can hold, All the smiles a day can bring, All the blessings a life can unfold, May you get the world’s best in everything. Wishing you Happy Diwali 2015 all my beautiful readers!

Much love always!

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