These Indian doughnuts, known as gulab jamun, are soaked in a sugar syrup until they double in size. We make them with ricotta at Tonka, so they're light and fluffy.
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- gold leaf, to decorate (optional)
- 10 green cardamom pods
- 1.125 litres water
- 750 g caster sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise
- 0.25 g saffron threads
- 108 g full-cream milk powder
- 20 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 25 g fine semolina
- 2 g baking powder
- 120 g fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp ghee, melted
- 1 tbsp full-cream milk
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time: 20 minutes
For the saffron syrup, lightly toast the cardamom pods in a small frying pan over medium heat until fragrant. Remove and bruise the pods slightly.
Combine the cardamom and remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer, while you prepare the gulab jamun.
For the gulab jamun, sift the milk powder, flour, semolina and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the ricotta, and rub in to break down any clumps.
Add the ghee and rub in so the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the milk and bring the mixture together into a dough.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly dusted work surface and gently knead until smooth. Do not overwork or dough will become tough.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave under a damp tea towel to rest for about 5 minutes.
Divide the dough into 22 g portions and roll each into smooth balls. You need to make sure the gulab jamun are perfectly round, with no cracks, or they will explode when they hit the hot oil.
Heat the oil to 130C. Add the gulab jamun, in batches, and cook until golden brown all over. Remove from the oil, drain briefly on paper towel, then immediately soak in the hot saffron syrup for at least 20 minutes. The gulab jamun will inflate slightly once adequately soaked.
Serve 3 gulab jamun with extra syrup poured over, topped with gold leaf.
Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel.
Adam D’Sylva is the head chef at Tonka. This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.
This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.