For the gulab jamuns:
- 2 1/2 cups fine white bread crumbs (about six to eight slices of bread. Trim off the crusts and use the white portion only) It is important that the breadcrumbs are ground pretty fine, so you get smooth, even jamuns.
- 1/2 cup cashews blended with 1/2 cup water into a very smooth cream
- Oil for deep frying the jamuns
- 2 tbsp chopped nuts like cashews, almonds or pistachios, for garnish (optional)
For the syrup:
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 8 pods green cardamom, crushed with a mortar and pestle so the seeds are ground.
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Make the sugar syrup:
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to a simmer, add the cardamom and lemon juice, and let it cook for another five minutes. Turn off heat.
Make the gulab jamuns:
Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix in the cashew cream, a little at a time until you have a smooth, pliable dough that’s not too stiff or dry.
Divide into 14 equal sized pieces and roll each into a ball. You want a very smooth ball with no visible cracks on the surface. You can use some oil to grease your palms, which will help you shape the jamuns more easily.
Heat oil in a wok or a fryer. You don’t want to oil to be too hot, around 300 degrees is ideal. If the oil is too hot, the jamuns will brown very fast on the outside and not cook all the way through.
Now place the jamuns, a few at a time so as to not clutter, into the fryer or wok. The oil should bubble only slightly. Don’t let the jamuns settle at the bottom. Use your spider or a slotted ladle to keep moving them around until they become a deep, reddish color.
Remove them to a plate lined with a paper towel. When the jamun is still warm but can be handled, use a very thin pin or needle to poke holes all around. This will help it better absorb the syrup.
Place the jamuns inside the syrup while the syrup is still warm but not very hot. They should be completely immersed. Let them stand for 3 hours before serving, so they have enough time to soak up the syrup.
Serve jamuns with a drizzle of the syrup and a sprinkling of nuts (optional).