Today was Matt's 20th birthday. Of course, I had to do something. Normally I bake some type of dessert bar for my friends on their birthday, but Matt isn't just any old friend. Aside from being one of my bests, Matt is pretty much an honorary desi. And one of his most favorite desserts in the world happens to be one that I've grown up with: gulab jamun.
Now, I don't really know how to describe gulab jamun well, but it's basically balls of dough (charmingly called "waffle balls"), deep fried, and soaked in sugar. Honestly, you can't go wrong.
Though, I like to pride myself on having one of the best gulab jamun recipes out there. And believe me, I've had a lot of gulab jamun in my time.
Before I type the recipe up for you guys, let me be clear. As traditional and old as this dessert is (it was introduced to the Indian subcontinent by the Arabs during the Moghul Empire), my ingredients are rather...unconventional, for lack of a better word. Gulab jamun is normally made from milk solids (usually khoya) mixed with flour. Mine? Well, here's the recipe. Mom and I have been trying to perfect it for years, and I think we've finally gotten it right.
So delicious. I do like them a lot with the pancake mix; I think it's because they turn out lighter than they would if I were to use flour.
Plus, pancakes are delicious.
And these things are called "waffle balls" anyway, and that's basically the same thing, right? Right.
After Matt's had cooled down, I sprinkled them with a bit of shredded coconut and ground almonds, just for some texture (and feigned professionalism). Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up some decent containers from Kroger when I went grocery shopping yesterday, which was the entire reason I went to Kroger in the first place, so I had to resort to Tupperware to "gift-wrap" them.
Still, I'd say a treat from the homeland beats cupcakes any day.
(yes, I still hate cupcakes.)