Gulab Jamun is one of the delicious Indian sweets which is surprisingly easy to veganise with few simple ingrediants. I chose this as my first blog post here because it came out quite good in the first attempt itself, unlike others which I am still experimenting on a no. of times.
When I was looking for recipes for Gulab Jamun, there were various options which I found. One was using khoya made at home from soya milk. Sweets made from soya milk have an aftertaste which spoils the fun. Some recipes used muffin batter and other such batters, made balls from them and fried and soaked them in sugar syrup. I used sweet potatoes as the main ingredient in my recipe.
Even in the traditional gulab jamun made in the sweet shops, boiled poatatoes are used to reduce the cost. I made mine using boiled sweet potatoes. The trick is to use freshly boiled sweet potatoes and mix them in white flour in way not not to knead them too much or they become dense and dont absorb the syrup. To achieve this, I shredded the peeled sweet potatoes while they were still little warm. Then I sprinkled white flour mixed with baking powder and lightly mixed it together and formed smooth balls.
I offered them to my colleagues in office and weekend guests at home, noone could correctly identify the ingrediant and they all said that it tastes just the same as traditional ones made from dairy khoya. A bengali friend commented that they had a bengali sweet dish which was prepared by her grandmother in the exact same way. I highly recommend this recipe to sweet toothed amateur vegans like me who would like to try out something simple and interesting! all the best!
Ingredients: (makes 8-9 medium sized balls)
For the balls
Sweet Potato – 1 large
Self raising flour – 1/2 cup
(can be substituted by all purpose flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder)
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
For sugar syrup
Sugar – 1 cup
Water – 1 cup
Cardamom – 1 tsp
Boil the sweet potato (takes longer than normal potatoes, about 15 min) so that its thoroughly cooked. Let it cool a bit and then peel and shred it spreading it on a large dish. Mix the self raising flour and baking powder properly and sprinkle it over the shredded sweet potato. Lightly mix them together so that the balls do not become dense. Make smooth balls and meanwhile heat oil for frying in a deep fry pan.
In another pan heat water and sugar together till one thread consistency and then add cardomom powder. When all the balls are done deep frying till golden brown, let them cool on tissue paper and then put in syrup. Dont put the balls in syrup when hot else they will fall apart. Let the balls soak for a few hrs and then refrigerate. Warm the jamuns in microwave before serving and enjoy!