Why gulab jamun breaks while frying?

  • By: Emma
  • Date: May 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Table of Contents

Why gulab jamun breaks while frying?

Gulab means rose flower and jamun means berry fruit. It is an Asian sweet treat made of milk and wheat flour, deep-fried in sugar syrup.

There’s nothing more desi than a large piece of gulab jamun, which instantly satisfies our sweet cravings. This gooey milk and cheese-based dessert are really simple to make but many of us dread to make it. It is mostly due to the breakage of ball or dumplings while frying and it ends up turning into gulab jamun halwa.

Most of the people trying to cook it at home often tend to break their gulab jamuns even after doing every step right according to the recipe, at the end leaving them to the question that why does Gulab jamun break when frying? There is no one simple answer to this question, there are certain factors described below that are involved in the breaking of the jamuns

There are often plenty of questions, why do the jamuns not bind? is it due to the ingredients? or the temperature is not right? why suffer heartbreak and go to the nearest sweet shop and get a dozen packed?

All of these questions are covered in this article, with proper solutions, that’ll ensure perfect gulab jamuns without breaking.

Right Temperature and the right fitting pan is the key

The first and most important thing to make perfect gulab jamuns that jiggle like they are supposed to is temperature. The heat or temperature of oil has a direct impact on the cooking process and how it turns out.

If you’re trying to fry them in less hot oil (under 160 degrees Celsius), then they tend to break because under such low temperature the flour doesn’t turn into a dough and thus cannot bind together. If turned up slightly higher (to 180-190 degrees Celsius) then not only will they bind but also turn golden brown and crisp from outside while staying chewy and soft inside, which is perfectly done for this milk sweet treat.

Adjusting Temperature according to your needs

You can adjust the temperature according to your own need. If you’re frying them for a guest coming home, then fry them on lower heat setting around 150 degrees Celsius for some time. Drop these balls into slightly hot oil (180-190 degrees Celsius) and fry till they turn golden brown from outside. This will make them crispy as well as chewy inside.

If you want to enjoy this dessert right after making it, then increase the temperature of the oil to 160-170 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes before dropping in balls. When dropping these dough balls in hotter oil this way, it’ll instantly cook the exterior but still keep its soft inner part which is how Gulab jamun tastes perfect when served fresh out of oil.

Fitting of the pan or kadhai with oil

The second thing which breaks these balls while frying is the fitting of the round-bottomed pan with oil. As you drop these balls into hot oil, they keep on jumping up and down because of the rapid heat transfer that’s happening around them due to high temperatures.

To avoid this bouncing effect while deep-frying, always chooses a smaller-sized saucepan (not too large) that can fit into your wok or fryer in such a way that it stays quite low. This way even when risen high in hot oil by jumping jamuns, it’ll not overflow from the container and create a mess in your kitchen. And also have enough space for these balls in oil so that they don’t touch each other while frying.

Proper coating of flour and sugar solution

One thing to note here is, you must always coat the gulab jamun balls with slightly thickened sugar syrup (2:1 ratio water and sugar). Here get advice from your sweet shop owner on how much amount of cornflour should be used for coating them before frying. The coating of these dough balls with flour makes it easy for them to bind together after dropping into the hot oil.

Gulab jamuns keep on cooking inside even after taking out from hot oil and thus you need to soak them well in warm sugar syrup immediately after frying, which prevents further cooking or burning.

You can also add some raisins in warm sugar syrup while soaking these balls, which gives a nice flavor and taste to this dessert.

You can also add some cardamom or rose water while soaking them in sugar syrup and enjoy the aroma while gulab jamun gets cold and ready to be served.

One more important thing is that you should fry these dough balls only when the flame is high enough for frying purposes. This way you prevent your gulab jamuns from breaking.

To check whether oil is ready for frying gulab jamuns, drop a small portion of batter into hot oil, this batter ball must rise quickly to the top without any break or sticking to the pan surface. If it breaks then either lower the temperature or change the ting of kadhai with oil to get them fried.

Use of right flour for making gulab jamun

Always use fine quality flour to make sugar syrup-coated dough balls for frying. This type of flour will not give you any break while frying because its smooth and easy flow in hot oil will bind these dough balls together without breaking their surface.

And also don’t add water while kneading flour paste to prepare the outer coating, otherwise, it’ll become sticky and no one likes this feeling while swallowing gulab jamun pieces.

So when using good quality flour, there is no chance of breaking these milk balls while frying in hot oil which can happen due to low temperature or wrong fitting pan with oil. If still, your jamuns are breaking while frying, then you should check for temperature and fitting of oil with the pan.

Steps of making perfect and soft gulab jamun

To make perfect and soft gulab jamuns, you must follow the steps given below:

1- Knead a smooth dough from all-purpose flour. Add milk in its water form to this kneaded dough and prepare a smooth paste without any lumps. Just add the required amount of milk so that there is no breakage while frying it in hot oil after adding sugar syrup coating.

2- Now drop these prepared balls into hot oil by applying some pressure on them using your hand palms so they get cooked properly before swelling up which makes the ball shape instead of a flat one sometimes. Immediately fry these dough balls until golden brown for crispy outside while keeping their soft chewy inner part.

3- When fried gulab jamun will become golden brown in color, so immediately take it out from hot oil and soak them well with sugar syrup so that they don’t continue cooking inside.

4- Soak fried gulab jamun in warm sugar syrup for at least 1 hour (preferable overnight) to get soft pieces when serving later.

5- After soaking in sugar syrup, keep gulab jamun pieces in the fridge to make them cold before serving. You can also serve these dough balls directly after frying if you like to eat slightly crispy outside of these milk balls.

6- Before serving place gulab jamuns on a plate and pour some more warm sugar syrup all over these milk balls which increases the taste of this sweet dish when served hot with ice cream or rabri.

Quick Tricks for Ameatures/Beginners

  • Add some milk in oil to make kadhai milky instead of greasy. In this way when you drop dough balls into hot oil it gets coated with milk fat from the top which gives a soft coating to gulab jamuns, so they don’t break while frying in hot oil
  • Always cut a small piece from the prepared dough ball before dropping in hot oil for testing purposes because gulab jamuns should rise quickly after adding in hot oil. If they rise slowly or very slowly then check the temperature is right or not otherwise your gulab jamun will be raw inside even cooked outside because of the low temperature.
  • Soak fried gulab jamun in sugar syrup overnight or a minimum of 1 hour to get soft pieces when serving later.
  • Keep gulab jamun pieces in the fridge before serving so they become cold.
  • Before serving place gulab jamuns on a plate and pour some more warm sugar syrup all over these milk balls which increases the taste of this sweet dish when served hot with ice cream or rabri.

Final Thoughts

Most of the reasons due to which you face breakage and hardness of Gulab Jamun are comprehensively discussed above. I hope you must have understood the main reason for the breakage and hardness of these milk balls.

Above mentioned steps are most popular and tried by many people. It will surely give a nice crispy outside with soft chewy inside to Gulab jamun pieces after following all these points during the preparation of this milky dessert recipe.

So, if you are facing any type of problem while preparing Gulab jamuns then you should try some or all of the suggestions given above to get soft pieces when serving later. Keep in mind these points and enjoy making this quick and easy sweet dish.


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