A classic Indian sweet dish, the gulab jamun is part of almost every celebratory meal, weddings and festivals. The juicy, decadent Indian sweet dish is made with solid milk soaked in cardamom flavoured sugar syrup and usually served for dessert. But have you ever heard of the savoury version of the Indian sweet dish called gulab jamun ki sabzi?
The gulab jamun ki sabzi is a traditional Jodhpuri dish made using gulab jamuns. But instead of dipping the fried dough balls in sugar syrup, they are added to a tomato-based gravy. According to celebrity chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, gulab jamun ki sabzi is said to be invented by the Rajputs. It was traditionally prepared at home using the gulab jamun that was sold by vendors in Jodhpur. The Rajput women invented this unusual curry made using unsweetened gulab jamuns. The recipe soon became part of wedding feasts and a part of royal Rajasthani cuisine. This rich and creamy royal dish is not widely available anymore but if you want to savour it, here is how you can make this traditional Rajasthani dish at home.
Gulab Jamun ki Sabzi Recipe
1 cup paneer
1 cup khoya
2 tablespoons refined flour
1 green chili
1 teaspoon of roasted cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg powder
1 teaspoon of ginger paste
1 teaspoon of garlic paste
Pinch of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 cup fresh curd
2 tablespoon of cashew nut paste
Salt as required
Coriander sprigs for garnish
1. Making gulab jamun ki sabzi from scratch includes making the gulab jamun as well. To make the dough for the gulab jamun, mash equal quantity of khoya and paneer with some refined flour and salt. Mix all the ingredients well to make a dough. Roll the dough into small balls. (For expert tips on perfecting your gulab jamun recipe, check out this rookies guide!)
2. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan, pour enough oil to deep fry the dough balls. The oil should not be too hot. Gently toss the dough balls into the oil and fry them on a low flame. Once they turn golden brown, remove from the pan.
3. For the gravy, add chopped onions, tomatoes and green chillies in a mixer or blender. Blend all the ingredients into a smooth puree and keep aside.
4. Take some oil in a fresh pan and add a roasted mix of cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg powder. Add chopped onions and cook till they are translucent. Top it with a teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste and pour some water so that the ginger-garlic paste does not burn.
5. Add a pinch of turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and mix well. Pour in the onion and tomato puree followed by curd. Stir continuously. When the oil separates from the mixture, add cashew paste mixed with some water.
6. Pour in a cup of water, mix well and then add 1/4 cup of khoya to it. Gently put the fried dough balls into the gravy and cook for some more minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.
Leftover Gulab Jamun
Chef Harpal says that you can make the gulab jamun ki sabzi recipe using leftover dessert as well. (If you have a lot of leftover gulab jamun, how about baking it into a whole new dessert? Read more about the baked gulab jamun and rabri dish.)
To make gulab jamun ko sabzi using leftover gulab jamun, all you have to do is simply remove the gulab jamun from the syrup. You will require about 10 to 12 pieces of leftover gulab jamun for this recipe. Here's how to make gulab jamun ki sabzi recipe using leftover gulab jamun:
1. Heat some oil in a pan, add a 1/2-inch cinnamon stick, few green cardamoms, black cardamom, bay leaf, 2 mace blades and some cumin seeds. Sauté till they splutter then add some ginger-garlic paste to this and saute for another minute.
2. Add a cup of tomato puree and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Add some coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.
3. Mix the puree well and then add 1/4 cup of brown onion paste (you can prepare brown onion paste by blending a cup of golden fried onions with two spoons of full-fat yoghurt). Add about 3-4 cups of water, mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.
4. Strain this gravy and transfer into a pan, add a dash of roasted kasoori methi powder and some garam masala. Mix well and bring it to a boil.
5. Add the leftover gulab jamun pieces and mix well. Garnish with coriander spring and serve hot. You can pair this curry with steamed rice or chapati.
With inputs from chef Ajay Chopra and chef Harpal Singh Sokhi
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