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Gulab Jamun
(Rose-flavored balls in sugar syrup)
makes 25-30 balls

5 large roses
2 quarts (2 liters) cool, not iced, water

2 pounds (1 kg) sugar
2 quarts plus 1 pint ( 2 1/2 liters) water
2 tablespoons rose water

3 cups dry milk
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 pints (1 1/2 liters) of oil for deep frying.

Wash roses thoroughly in cold water. Pick off all the petals,
reserving a few for garnish if desired; put the remainder in a
large ceramic jar. Pour the cool water over them and set aside in
a dark place (away from any sunshine) for at least 4 hours. Strain
the rose water and discard petals.

In a heavy saucepan bring the sugar and water to a boil, then let
it thicken by cooking over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add
the rose water and keep the syrup warm at a low simmer.

In a large bowl mix the ingredients for the dough thoroughly to
make a stiff batter. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes to set.
Take a pinch of dough a little smaller than a golf ball and roll
it between your palms to round it into a neat ball.

Repeat with the rest of the dough.

In a wok or heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat until a haze
begins to form, just before it begins to smoke. Carefully add the
balls until the surface is covered. (If necessary, cook the balls
in more than one batch.) With a large spoon, start turning the
balls just as they begin to take on color. After about 3 minutes,
turn the heat down to medium-low, and continue to turn the balls
until they acquire a rich mahogany color.

When the sweetmeats have achieved a luscious deep color, turn the
heat up to high for 2-3 minutes to add still more color and to firm
the crust. Drain onto paper towels.

When drained, put the balls into a large bowl and pour the sugar
syrup over them. Let them rest until the syrup reaches room
temperature. They can now be eaten--but they will taste even better
if allowed to tighten until the next day. You can also store the
Gulab Jamun for a week or more in the refrigerator.


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