This has been one of my favorite desserts as a kid. My mom & grandma made like the best gulab jams in town & I would gulp several ones of them skipping lunches & dinners. Ever since I came to US I gave up eating them since I never really liked the milk powder version of gulab jamuns made in the indian restaurants. A discussion with a friend some days ago led to a revelation for me that frozen "khava/mawa" is available in the indian grocery stores. Well, just the next day I got a bag full of it & gorged on one of my all time favorites! Interestingly they are very easy to make, the recipe follows.
Ingredients: 1 bag of frozen khava (~2 cups), 1/2 maida, pinch of soda, 1 tbsp cardamom powder, 6 cups of water, 2.5 cups of sugar, 1 tbsp of rose water (optional)
1. Heat the frozen khava (called khoya or mawa in hindi) in the microwave for 1.5 mins so that it is mildly roasted. One bag of khava is about 2 cups of khava. Mix khava, maida, soda & cardamom powder & knead to make a loose dough. Make small size balls such that they should not have a crack on the surface. If there are any cracks, the balls may break while frying.
2. Fry these balls in oil until they are brownish in color.
3. Heat water in a container & add sugar to it. Heat it for like 10 mins or so. Prepare the sugar syrup & make sure it doesn't get too thick. Sugar syrup for gulab jamuns is usually thin so that it penetrates the jamuns easily. Add rose water to this syrup. Turn the heat off. Add the fried jamuns to this syrup when the syrup is hot. Serve hot or cold as per your preference. This makes around 24 jamuns.