Gulab Jamun Fiji style is one sweet you cannot have only one of. Growing up with my mum, aunts and Nani (grandma), I really loved any sort of festivity because that is when we all got together. One core part of the celebrations was sweet making. We often reserved making Gulab Jamun for occasions like Diwali because it can be quite time consuming. This is because we would all have to roll out the dough and in batches. Then you had to make syrup, fry the jamuns and also make sure they do not get soaked for too long or they get soggy and overly sweet. It is all about multi-tasking with this sweet hence I marked it as a tricky recipe. But if you are a masterful cook, it should be quite easy to follow.
The fun thing about making Gulab Jamun in our Fiji style is definitely the shape. You can quickly rub them between your palms and fly them across to the tray. Once you make it enough times, you can really have fun with it but it can be quite a process the first time you make it. Like I always say in all my recipes, practice makes perfect. You must keep trying, you will learn and adjust by failing.
In India, the Gulab Jamun is actually round and brown and sits laying in the syrup. With the round shape of the Indian jamuns, the syrup does not soak as easily as with the Fiji Gulab Jamuns. The rasgulla in Fiji actually looks like India’s Gulab Jamun and India’s rasgulla is white. It is very fascinating how everyone in Fiji just began making this finger shaped sweet that is actually meant to be round. I am always amazed by these innovations in Fiji that gets mass adopted across the islands.
One tip before you begin cooking, be mindful of the heat, it should be low. Also, if your Gulab Jamuns begin splitting while frying, your mixture might have too much baking powder. Make a note and make sure the next time you make the jamuns, you lower the amount of baking powder or make your own mixture and ditch the self-raising flour. Try out these other sweets to get a hang of making Fiji style sweets. Happy cooking!
1 Cup Powdered Milk
4 Tbsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
1 Tin Condensed Milk (395g)
1 1/2 Cup Self-Raising Flour
8 Elaichi (Cardamom) Pods (Peeled and Ground)
¼ Tsp Jaifar (Nutmeg) (Ground)
½ Tsp Golmirch (Black Pepper)
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
2 Cups Sugar
2 ½ Cup Water
- In a basin mix powdered milk, flour, elaichi, jaifar, golmirch, ghee and vanilla. Rub well to combine
- To the mixture, add condensed milk slowly and make into medium firmness dough. (Make the dough in small batches to avoid it from becoming firm while rolling out the dough)
- Take a small amount of the dough and roll into the shape of a finger. Repeat with the rest of the dough and place into a ghee greased tray to avoid sticking
- Prepare 1 thread syrup by boiling the sugar and water (10-15 Minutes to make a 1 Thread Syrup. Remove from heat and keep aside.
- Heat ghee for deep frying into a karhai (deep frying pan) and fry the jamuns (shaped dough) in low heat till golden
- Remove the cooked jamuns into a plate to drain some ghee then transfer into the syrup for 3 – 4 minutes (or till soaked through)
- Remove the gulaab jamuns from the syrup and place on a tray. Cool and enjoy. Store in an airtight container.