Six Gulab Jamuns

July 15, 2009

My in-laws first caught a glimpse of the fruit of their endeavor twenty seven years ago. July 13.  Fractal’s birthday. Back in the USA, we would have brunch in suburban Atlanta, or stay at a North Georgia cabin. His family and my family would get together.  His mom would bake Syrian nutmeg cake.  I would bake marzipan cake. My mom would prepare appams, sweet Saturn-shaped pancakes made from fermented rice flour, that he craves for whenever he smells the aroma of her cooking.

Wanting to do something special, I decided to make something sweet, gulab jamuns, one of Fractal’s favorite desserts. Fried dough balls immersed in sugar syrup. Even though it could take a few years of life off his arteries, he might experience some culinary nirvana if I make them right.  Since it was my first try I bought a packet of Instant Gulab Jamun mix to make the job easier.

Pour the contents in a bowl, add half a cup milk, and knead the dough.  Roll it into small golf balls.  Before frying the dough balls, you make the sugar syrup.  300 gms of sugar dissolved in 200 ml of water, the sucrose quota prescribed for a happy birthday.

I cut calories by adding less oil and sugar, and more water.  The result.  Mushy gulab jamuns in watery syrup.  I tried two and couldn’t eat anymore of those turgid dough-balls.  To my surprise, Fractal ate six gulab jamuns.  He wanted more.  Glad that Fractal’s focus was on the thought behind the creation, rather than the quality of the dessert provided me some relief.  When a man insists that the jamuns are good even when they actually taste like uncooked dough (immersed in water) is when you know that the man loves you more than gulab jamuns.   Lesson Learned: no cut in sugar and oil next time.

I wanted to share some of the fat and calories, so I gave the rest of jamuns to our neighbor, but without explaining what they were.  I thought it was self-explanatory.  Some dough-balls in a syrup.  The next day Diana asked me why I put mendezzi (locally made fried doughnuts) in water.  When she tried to scoop one from the bowl, it crumbled into pieces.  Like a cell in a hypotonic solution.  Yum! Without knowing what exactly they were, Diana told me that she was confused on the method of eating them and ended up throwing them away.


2 Responses to “Six Gulab Jamuns”

  1. alex said

    hahaha this entry made me laugh to hear that Fractal just kept on eating them anyway and wanted more. thats the Fractal i know

  2. Karen said

    Diet gulab jamuns! Happy Birthdays, y’all! I think we exceeded the sucrose quota here at home last night; we had some delicious marzipan cake Fractal’s mom baked.

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