Eid with Empress Market’s exquisite Gulab Jamuns

We’re delighted to share the recipe for Empress Market’s exquisite Gulab Jamuns to celebrate your lockdown Eid this weekend. Head Chef Numra’s family recipe is infused with tales of cooking the mithai through generations. The sweet smell of the frying dough balls and cardamom syrup wafting through her home the day before Eid evoke Numra’s childhood memories of Eid in Pakistan. We hope you manage to make your own batch of fried, syrupy sweetness this weekend – wishing you all delicious Eid.

Dough balls

100g fine semolina (Suji)
25g plain flour (maida)
20g evaporated milk powder
30g clarified butter (ghee)
1tsp baking powder
60ml whole milk
200g caster sugar
400ml water
4 crushed cardamom pods
Splash of pandan flower water (kewra)
Flakes pistachios
Dough balls
  1. Combine the ingredients to form a firm dough
  2. Roll 2tbs of the dough into balls between the palms of your hand. Smooth out any cracks
  3. Let the dough balls rest for 20 mins in a cool place. This will allow the semolina and flour to absorb the liquid and fat
  1. Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and dissolve the sugar on a medium heat till there is a gentle rolling boil.
  2. The syrup should reach the greasy and tacky ‘Vaseline stage’ at 104degreesC.
  3. To test, take a small amount of the syrup in a spoon, let it cool enough to put on the finger. The syrup should have a sticky, greasy feel
Deep fry the dough balls
  1. Heat the vegetable oil on a medium heat and carefully immerse the dough balls.
  2. Gently roll the balls in the oil while frying to control the heat and cook and brown evenly
  3. Remove the balls and place on parchment to drain the oil
Soak the dough balls in the syrup
  1. Immerse the fried balls into the syrup
  2. Bring the syrup to a gentle rolling boil on a medium heat
  3. Let the balls boil for 2-5 minutes
  1. Place the Gullab Jamun on a serving plate
  2. Sprinkle with kewra and flaked pistachios


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