Coconut Cream Gulab Jamuns

by Kiran on November 6, 2012 · 85 comments

in Desserts, Indian

Hello!!! And Happy Election Day, USA.

If you haven’t vote or still undecided — we hope you get a chance to do it today. Every vote counts and you should definitely exercise your right to vote in this democracy.

I wish we could vote here. Fingers crossed for the next election 😉

Enough of political coverage. You can get the dose from TV.

Instead, let’s talk about names.

We grew up in a family where having a nickname was common. My siblings had it, but not me. I’ve always been known as “Kiran” in the family.

I’m OK with that.

You should know some of the names my siblings had while growing up. It’s definitely chuckle worthy 😉

But I’m not a sister who air’s her siblings dirty laundry on her blog. Nope. I’m not classy like that.

But not having a nickname can be tricky too. Especially when we arrived in US.

Suddenly my name is literally slandered. I’ve been call a different version/slang/pronunciation of my name.

I’m OKAY with it. I’ve made my peace.

But if you just can’t pronounce my name, don’t further slander it with a wrong spelling 😉

Let me give you an example. I love my dose of Starbucks every now and then. And I usually just give my initials to my name whenever requested.


Sounds simple enough, right?


I’ve been from K, to Kay which is understandable.

But what about Kate? How do you explain that? 😀

You should hear the pronunciation of the Husband’s name. It’s mind boggling and funny all at the same time.

While we ponder on our names and how we are dealing with the pronunciations, let’s eat. And celebrate our right to vote, wherever it may be.

These jamuns are an Indian version of doughnuts. Dare I say, it’s better? 😉

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Makes about 44 to 48 jamuns


Spiced simple syrup

  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1+1/4 cup water
  • 3 to 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp rose water
  • a few strands of saffron


  • 2 cups khowa/khoya/milk powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup thick coconut cream
  • 50/50 ratio of vegetable oil and ghee for frying


  1. In a saucepan, add water and sugar to make simple syrup. Heat the pan on medium. Stir until sugars completely dissolves and syrup gently simmers.
  2. Cook it until syrup slightly begins to thicken. Keep syrup on the lowest heat setting on the stove so that it remains hot. Stir in cardamom pods, rose water and saffron threads.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine milk powder, whole wheat pastry and pinch of salt. Add in coconut cream and mix everything until combined into a soft dough. You want a dough that is soft and moist. If it’s too dry, add in more coconut cream.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a heavy bottomed nonstick saucepan on medium. Add enough vegetable oil and ghee for deep frying jamuns.
  5. While oil heats, divide dough into equal portions, roughly the size of an average small coin. It might be too small, but while deep frying and soaking in simple syrup, the jamuns tend to expand.
  6. Roll dough between palms and apply gentle pressure till the small dough balls are smoothly rounded. Make as many to keep ready for deep frying.
  7. Dough balls should appear smooth and without cracks. If it’s too dry, add a little more coconut cream in the dough.
  8. Turn down the heat on deep frying to low. Add a few dough balls at a time to avoid over-crowding.
  9. Dough balls would be afloat after a few seconds of frying. Using a strainer, move around the dough balls to lightly brown and cook all sides.
  10. If dough balls browned too quickly, the oil is too hot. Lower the heat and redo the rest of dough balls.
  11. Remove jamuns to drain on paper towels for 5 minutes. Then transfer it into hot simple syrup to soak for an hour.
  12. Continue frying all dough balls until done. Rotate soaked jamuns with jamuns that are awaiting to be soaked.
  13. Serve jamuns with drizzles of simple syrup, garnish with chopped pistachios and edible flowers.


Moral of the story is:

Call me K, or Kay. I’d still be the same. And Happy Voting, America!!

Also,  a very Happy Diwali to those who are celebrating the festival of lights this year.

Do you have a nickname while growing up? Has it been butchered before? 😀


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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa November 6, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Gulab jamun! A dessert I dream of making… Thanks for the wonderful recipe. They look divine.




2 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Rosa — thank you so much and I hope you get to make it, someday :)


3 Vidhya November 6, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Your pictures are just so beautiful Kiran!


4 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Vidhya — thank you so much! Hope you have a very Happy Deepavali :)


5 Ploy November 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Yeah — I’d agree. These are arguably the best pictures I’ve seen on any food blog.
Ploy recently posted..Hello world!


6 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Ploy — your comment truly made my day!! Thank you so very much :)


7 Gayatri November 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

My name is Gayatri. Enough said. I can’t even begin to explain how many ways it can be butchered in.
Gayatri recently posted..DRC Half Marathon


8 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Gayatri — Tell me about it 😉


9 Poornima November 6, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Gulab Jamun never looked better, love the clicks!!
I can so relate to your experience here, but seriously Kay and Kate sound so normal. You can’t imagine what they do to my name, I’m terrified of stepping into starbucks! There’s a different name on the cup everytime, Pudina, Poorma, Pooma…I could go on!!:)
Poornima recently posted..Creamy Pumpkin Kheer with Cashew Nuts


10 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Poornima — in no way I am saying that Kay or Kate sounds terrible 😉 But I can understand your sentiments. Don’t let it stop you from getting your cup of Joe!


11 shruti November 6, 2012 at 2:44 PM

it’s funny how names get messed up ! nickname’s shruts. i’ve been called shetty , shudi, sruthi , shithi , shuti …..all in india 😉 i just have a good laugh 😀 that’s a classy twist on gulab jamun. i prefer homemade ones to store bought


12 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Shruti — oh my, and to think I was the only one 😉


13 Nash at Plateful November 6, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Oh my goodness, I’m so in love! Jamuns looks so soft and inviting, I’m definitely trying your version–yum! And where do you find such lovely vintage props… ? I want, I want!
Nash at Plateful recently posted..Eggless Strawberry Melting Moments—melt-in-your mouth sandwich cookies for the holiday season


14 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Nash — thank you so much, my friend. Do try and let me know how it tastes :)

I get all my vintage props from antique stores around the country. It’s a terribly costly investment. Oops.


15 Kathryn November 6, 2012 at 3:09 PM

We have a competition on my office to see whose names are most mangled by Starbucks (surprisingly it was someone called Emily who normally came off worst!)

Stunning pictures, love the idea of these jamuns. I don’t think I’ve ever tried them before!
Kathryn recently posted..mixed bean chili


16 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Kathryn — how can the name “emily” be so difficult, it’s mind-boggling.

I’m sure you get jamuns from many Indian shops in UK. Try it and let me know how it tastes :)


17 Dixya @ Food, Pleasure and Health November 6, 2012 at 4:39 PM

I never really had a nick name and talk about butchering the name- it gets difficult when you name has X and Ys and your last name is also long- ( try dixya bhattarai)..and I have tried, regretted, and given up and I am okay with whatever people can make out of my name :) Even though I am not a big fan of desi desserts, occasional gulab jamuns are always welcome. your pictures are stunning!! happy diwali


18 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Dixya — Hope you had a great Diwali too. Despite the occasional name butchering we all seem to go through :)


19 Choc Chip Uru November 6, 2012 at 7:48 PM

What a fantastic twist on gulab jamuns my friend they look so fluffy warm and delicious :)

Choc Chip Uru


20 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Uru — thanks my dear :)


21 Anamika | madcookingfusions November 6, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Lovely gulab jamun’s and the phtos too Kiran :)!
Anamika | madcookingfusions recently posted..10 Easy Diwali Indian Sweets Ladoo Recipes | Diwali 2012


22 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Anamika — thank you and hope you had a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali :)


23 Sammie November 6, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Whoa! What perfect looking gulab jamuns you’ve got there! My branch often orders this from the Indian store close by! We call them “Indian Timbits” lol. Have you tried Tim Hortons? Timbits are their mini donuts. hehe.. Great job on making this from scratch!! There’s quite a bit of ingredients I don’t quite recognize. And just in time for Diwali too!
Sammie recently posted..Pumpkin Swiss Roll with Cream Cheese Filling


24 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Sammie — I’ve never heard or tried Tim Hortons before. I tried simplifying the ingredients but kept to the originality in flavors. I hope you get to make it someday. It’s not that difficult 😉


25 Jidhu Jose November 6, 2012 at 10:01 PM

OMG, your pics r so superb…so tempting :)
Jidhu Jose recently posted..Day 538 : New Born


26 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Jidhu — thank you so much!!


27 Angie@Angie's Recipes November 7, 2012 at 12:17 AM

This is foreign to me. They look absolutely divine with your professional photography!
Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Apple, Ginger and Treacle Tart


28 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Angie — thanks a lot my friend. It’s like an American doughnut, but with milky deliciousness soaked in a sugary spiced syrup/glaze haven :)


29 Raymund November 7, 2012 at 1:47 AM

Wow another sinfully delicious dessert, so tempting
Raymund recently posted..Beef Tagine


30 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Raymund — thank you my friend :)


31 Julia | November 7, 2012 at 2:48 AM

From K to Kate? You’re too funny! Those little desserts (with a very unusual name which I will not attempt to pronounce or spell on my own :)) are cute! They look like little fruits!
Julia | recently posted..Chocolate cupcakes, with no frosting


32 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Julia — lol, you have a sense of humor yourself :)


33 Lakshmi November 7, 2012 at 6:53 AM

A great idea of using coconut cream! Your gulab jamuns look fabulous.
Lakshmi recently posted..Pumpkin & Rosemary Soup


34 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Lakshmi — thank you so much! It means a lot, coming from you :)


35 Samantha November 7, 2012 at 11:31 AM

proud to say I voted yesterday.
These are absolutely lovely. Beautiful!
Samantha recently posted..{Giveaway} The (Faux) Pastry Chef: How I Found My Baking Fix & Lemon Curd Tarts


36 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Samantha — thank you so much and am so glad you got to exercise your right as a citizen :)


37 Radhika @ Just Homemade November 7, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Who doesn’t love jamuns?
Your version with coconut cream and whole wheat pastry flour sounds just amazing! Love the last picture, K k k k Kiran (i bet no ones called you that! 😉


38 Kiran November 13, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Radhika — the Husband sings to me with K k k k Kiran…. Bet you know which song is it 😀


39 Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies November 7, 2012 at 1:35 PM

This happens to me too. How do you get Christine from Kiersten?! I usually just respond to anything beginning with a K at this point. 😉 Gulab jamun is my most favorite Indian dessert, so I’m just thrilled that you posted a recipe for it! 😀
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies recently posted..How To Roast Garlic + Roasted Garlic Grilled Cheese Recipe


40 Kiran November 14, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Kiersten — I totally relate to your predicament, my friend :)


41 kitchen queen November 7, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Love the twist in gulab jamuns.
kitchen queen recently posted..Bharva Baingan & Potatoes (stuffed baby eggplants)


42 Kiran November 14, 2012 at 3:01 PM

KQ — thank you!


43 Deb November 7, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I can see why the gulab jamun are better than donuts! A dunking in simple syrup with rose water, saffron and cardamom is just marvelous!


44 Kiran November 14, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Deb — :)


45 Richa November 7, 2012 at 7:12 PM

absolutely gorgeous pictures Kiran. you take the humble jamuns to one intricate and beautiful level!
i always give my name as rachel. most people auto assume it that anyway:)
Richa recently posted..Baked Namak Paare- Savory Potato Rice Crackers. Glutenfree Vegan Diwali Recipe


46 Kiran November 14, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Richa — Thank you :) and in regards to the name, Rachel sounds very nice too!!


47 Simply Life November 7, 2012 at 8:49 PM

I definitely celebrate my right to vote- thanks for the great reminder of this privilege!
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48 Kiran November 14, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Gina — :)


49 Juliana November 7, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Wow, I love these little balls full of syrup…so flavorful…love it!
Awesome pictures as always Kiran…hope you are having a great week :)
Juliana recently posted..Flan


50 Kiran November 14, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Juliana — thank you so much my friend, and hope you are having a great week yourself :)


51 Lisa November 8, 2012 at 12:13 AM

When I was a little girl..I had a friend from India. Her Mom used to make these and Jilebi for us. I’ve been dying to make both for quite some time now. Love the coconut cream twist!
Lisa recently posted..Pink October – Raspberry Mousse Almond Praline Mille Feuille aka Napoleons


52 Kiran November 14, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Lisa — oh my gosh, I love jalebi!! Have to make that soon!


53 Lubna Karim November 8, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Simple Lubna is L most of the times and it id lubu at times….nice new name….Jamuns look so perfect and yum…..looking melt in mouth… try this version….
Lubna Karim recently posted..Nutella Pudding – It’s Eggless


54 Kiran November 14, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Lubna — thank you and it’s definitely melt in the mouth!


55 Asmita November 8, 2012 at 11:10 AM

These gulab jamuns are making my mouth water. I love eating these warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Asmita recently posted..Chocolate Pudding


56 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Asmita — I need to try it with ice cream. Sounds soo delish!


57 dassana November 8, 2012 at 5:58 PM

happy diwali kiran. the gulab jamuns are looking gorgeous.
dassana recently posted..diwali recipes


58 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Dassana — thanks and hope you had a very Happy Diwali!!


59 amy @ fearless homemaker November 8, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Ooh, I get these at the local indian restaurant + they are absolutely wonderful. Yours look even better, though! =)
amy @ fearless homemaker recently posted..Raspberry Puff Pastry Turnovers


60 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Amy — I hope you’ve sampled it 😉


61 PolaM November 8, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Name butchered and spelled in all sorts of ways…. Those pastries remind me of the Italian pastry baba.
PolaM recently posted..#RecipeSwap: carrot quiche


62 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 10:17 AM

PolaM — I’ve never heard of Italian pastry “baba”. So curious now :)


63 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 9, 2012 at 2:35 AM

Hehe names are funny things aren’t they? I find myself taking extra care to pronounce people’s names as I grew up with a really difficult surname!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted..Lost In Paris: 24 Hours in The City of Light


64 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Lorraine — Glad we all share similar “awkwardness” in life 😀


65 Bikramjit Singh Mann November 9, 2012 at 5:50 AM

gulab jamuns hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

you get the point :)
Bikramjit Singh Mann recently posted..Thursday Challenge(44) : Orange


66 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Bikram — hahahaha, yes I do 😀


67 Nami | Just One Cookbook November 9, 2012 at 6:14 PM

What a gorgeous styling and photography! Even though I’ve never tried these before, I know I’d love them. A very happy Diwali to you! hugs!
Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Chicken Katsu チキンカツ


68 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Nami — thanks so much my dear friend. xo


69 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen November 10, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I’m always called Sylvia rather than Sylvie and have just stopped correcting people at this point b/c it just makes everyone feel uncomfortable. Now I want to hear you say your name so I can get it right if we ever meet!
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen recently posted..Raw Kale, Cabbage and Carrot Chopped Salad with Maple Sesame Vinaigrette


70 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Sylvie — I’ve stopped correcting so many people now. K is just fine and I hope to get your name right whenever we meet too :)


71 Honey What's Cooking November 11, 2012 at 2:09 AM

This is one dessert I am so intimidated of making. Dough, frying, it’s just too much. Only you would take this to a whole new level by adding coconut. I’m dreaming about how delicious it probably tastes.
Awesome pictures!!!
Honey What’s Cooking recently posted..Dining in London | UK


72 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Honey — thanks love. I’ve never tried making gulab jamuns from scratch before. This turned out so good. You won’t really taste the coconut cream. It just tastes like any gulab jamuns, but better 😉


73 mom November 11, 2012 at 6:14 AM

Awesome amazing!! Pictures. the jamuns mouth watering! so clever kiran


74 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Oh mom. I love you :)


75 Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb November 11, 2012 at 8:49 AM

The first time I had Gulab Jamun was in the ASEAN young leaders convention in the IC in goa. I never dared before to try it because I was still wary at that time of Indian food. lol Oh how much I love the first sticky sweet soft bite of this treat, you should have seen my face Kiran! So if we ever get to meet each other, I ll try to make this and present you, lets see if I can manage it! =P
Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb recently posted..Comment on Carrot cake and a GIVEAWAY by Balvinder


76 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Helene — oh, you are such a sweetheart!! :)


77 jehanne@thecookingdoctor November 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I love jamuns but not confident enuff to make them @home…love to try your coconut milk version..but can I just ask, do u not add any baking powder at all in the dough?
jehanne@thecookingdoctor recently posted..How to make the Best Garden Salad


78 Kiran November 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Jehanne — I’ve never tried making jamuns from scratch before this recipe. This recipe is so easy. It has coconut cream not milk. You can substitute it with coconut milk but make sure you first add 1/2 cup and see how the dough goes from there.

I used whole wheat pastry dough that is essentially cake flour. It has baking powder in it already.


79 Sneh | Cook Republic November 20, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I feel your pain. It is usually the coffee places too that get it all wrong. In Australia Sneh is pronounced “Sn-aye” which is fine but my local coffee place has a mind of their own. I have been “Snake” and “Shen” … where is that even coming from, lol?

Love this version of the jamuns with coconut cram!
Sneh | Cook Republic recently posted..Latte Granita


80 Kiran August 26, 2013 at 3:46 AM

Sneh — yikes! the nerve of some people. i just wish they would just ask the proper pronunciation instead of playing the guessing game 😀


81 Kate@Diethood November 21, 2012 at 10:59 AM

These sound waaaay better than ordinary doughnuts… my goodness, they look amazing!

I love your name! My husband’s name is also hard to pronounce in this corner of the world… his name is Goce, pronounced Go-tse… poor guy has been called Goat Cheese, George, Jay, Gee…you name it. :)

What does “Gulab” mean? In Macedonian it means pigeon.
Kate@Diethood recently posted..{Slow Cooker} Country Style Garlic Mashed Potatoes


82 Kiran August 26, 2013 at 3:48 AM

Kate — awww, i thought I had it difficult. people can be so rude with names.

Gulab means “rose”!! i snorted water upon reading the Macedonian meaning 😀


83 Ash-foodfashionparty September 10, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Omg..Kiran these gulab jamuns look amazing. Was browsing Pinterest and got to these amazing stuff. I’ve never make good jamuns..don’t know why..I will try this version out, looks good with the coconut cream.
I am glad my parents gave me a simple name:)..but I hear even the simple ones are butchered.


84 Kiran September 10, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Ash — thanks so much! i’ve never tried jamuns ever before this recipe. glad it turned out pretty good the first time. and i love coconut cream in place of butter. try it and let me know how it tastes :)


85 Anu October 26, 2014 at 12:37 PM

You gave an awesome twist to the traditional Gulab Jamun! Sounds incredibly indulging, just can’t wait to try them :-)

Have a lovely time!

Anu recently posted..Do You Know How To Keep Berries Fresh For Longer Time [Kitchen-Tips]


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