Vegan Gulab Jamun

Neelam Pokhrel

Vegan Gulab Jamun

This classic Indian spherical dessert of fried sweet potato dough and sugar syrup is irresistible.

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Serves: 4

Typically made from a base of milk solids, flour, and a leavening agent; this veganized recipe from Veganbell’s Indian Vegan Cookbook uses sweet potatoes, cashew flour, and buttery coconut oil to replicate the traditional sweet. 

What you need:

For the dough:
2 cups boiled and finely grated sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cashew flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil

For the sugar syrup:
2 cups water
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon rose water
¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
8 to 10 saffron strands

Oil, for frying

What you do:

  1. For the dough, in a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix well until soft.
  2. Divide dough into 10 even portions and roll each portion into a smooth ball, making sure there aren’t any cracks.
  3. For the sugar syrup, in a large saucepan over medium heat, add sugar and water. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens, reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add rose water, saffron strands, cardamom powder, and stir. Remove saucepan from heat, cover with a lid, and set aside.
  5. In a heavy, shallow pan over low-medium heat, add 2 inches of oil. Once oil is hot, gently add 1 to 2 dough balls at a time. Cook for 30 to 40 seconds, or until balls turns light brown. Gently flip and fry for 8 to 10 minutes, or until color changes to dark brown. 
  6. Immediately transfer to sugar syrup in reserved pan. Stir and drench both pieces. Remove and set on a separate plate and let cool for 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough balls. 
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