Chefs' Recipes

Tonka’s gulab jamun

These little golf-ball sized sweets are a popular dessert in just about every South Asian cuisine.
Gulab jamun

Gulab jamun

Sharyn Cairns
4 - 6
1H 30M

Gulab jamun give you the best of both worlds: crisp and caramelised on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside. “I wanted a traditional dessert on the menu, and this ticks the box. Our pastry chef perfected it and added a saffron syrup,” says Tonka executive chef Adam D’Sylva.


Saffron syrup



1.For saffron syrup, stir ingredients and 500ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until a light syrup forms (15-20 minutes), then set aside and keep warm.
2.Combine milk powder, semolina, flour and baking powder in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add ricotta and 80ml clarified butter, rub in with your hands, then add milk and mix to form a dough, adding a little extra milk if necessary. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly to form a smooth dough (1-2 minutes), cover with a tea towel and rest for 15 minutes.
3.Roll 20gm pieces of dough into balls, keeping remaining dough covered, and place on a lightly floured tray. Cover with a tea towel until required.
4.Heat remaining clarified butter in a saucepan to 120C. Fry balls in batches until golden all over (12-15 minutes). Drain with a slotted spoon and transfer to saucepan of saffron syrup. Serve gulab jamun warm or at room temperature with syrup drizzled over and topped with silver leaf.

Note Smooth ricotta is available in tubs from supermarkets. It has a wetter consistency than ricotta from the deli counter and is perfect for this recipe. Silver leaf is available from select delicatessens and art supply stores.

Drink Suggestion: Kracher Beerenauslese Welschriesling & Chardonnay Blend 2009, Burgenland. Drink suggestion by Travis Howe


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