Ever since I was a little girl Christmas Eve has been my favorite holiday. I’ll always remember that my parents knew how to throw a party, no matter what the occasion. My mom would start cooking days in advance, my dad always made sure we had party essentials, disco ball, strobe lights and a fully stocked bar (for the adults of course). In fact, I remember more of the dancing and performing all night long than anything else. It wasn’t uncommon to see my group of cousins and I, put on an Indian song and perform a dance skit for our parents, actually it was quite the norm.
As I’ve gotten older, Christmas Eve has been the holiday I love to host the most! There is something about having a full house of family and children running around that makes it feel like the holidays. Over the last several years our Christmas Eve has turned into an amazing potluck where everyone brings their best dishes. And let me tell you, we are never short on the desserts. From pineapple upside down cake to Oreo pie and my “famous” peppermint bark.
This sweet recipe is dedicated to Mrs. Bodh Mati Sharan (may she rest in peace). I know her by one name – Nani (maternal grandmother). She isn’t my actual Nani, she is the Nani of my two cousins Sheena and Shalina. I never got to meet either of my own grandmothers, so for me she was the closest thing to a grandmother that I’d known.
The entire family loved her cooking! My sister Poonam, was lucky enough to cook side by side with her to learn this Gulab Jamun recipe. My sister jokes that Nani didn’t measure anything so writing a recipe was not easy!
Right to Left: My Geeta Mami, Cousin Sheena,
My sister Poonam, Nani and Me (circa 1988)
I know that every time we make this recipe she is smiling somewhere. This is for the entire Singh family. My sister and I are so grateful to have this in our recipe book and I know you will too!
When my sister taught me the recipe of course they came out just perfect. When I tested it after that, the oil got too hot and I burned the second half of my batch. To be honest, I am the WORST at frying. I hate it, I avoid it, I just don’t fry anything in my house. Now that I am trying to learn many indo-fijian recipes, I have to get my frying act together.
First things first, I need to buy an oil thermometer. I know. I’ll add it to the thousand other things I want or need for recipe testing! If you’re an experienced home cook this won’t be an issue for you. Try to keep your heat on medium low (should stay around 350degrees if you do have a thermometer or deep fryer). If the oil gets too hot, the outside of the jamun will burn and the inside will stay gooey. You don’t want this. Other than the actual ACT of frying, this recipe was actually fairly easy for me to do all on my own.
My American friends have said it tastes like a SUPER sweet donut that they could only have one. A few minutes later they went back for a second. They can be addicting! Just watch! I’d love to know if you make it! Comment below.