I am so excited to share this recipe for gluten-free gulab jamun with you guys! You won’t believe what these are made out of…
If you’ve ever been to an Indian restaurant, you’ve probably wondered: are gulab jamun gluten-free? No, they’re not. They are traditionally made with milk powder and flour. Well, this famous Indian dessert is getting a paleo makeover! Think: sweet fried dense donut-like dumplings soaked in an aromatic sweet syrup! Those of us who have to be gluten-free or who would just prefer a cleaner version of this dessert can enjoy gulab jamun once again!
Gluten-free, Paleo & Allergy-Friendly Gulab Jamun:
Not only are these gulab jamuns gluten-free, they are PALEO-friendly too! That’s right this is a Paleo Gulab Jamun recipe! That means they are dairy-free and grain-free. My recipe is also nut-free! So many exclamation marks – can you tell I’m excited?! I know a lot of paleo desserts call for nuts but these heavenly little deep-fried balls of sweetness are made with coconut flour!
I know coconut flour gulab jamun may not seem decadent but trust me, they are. Yes, this dessert is a bit healthier than regular gulab jamuns BUT it’s still very rich and decadent. You are going to absolutely love this recipe.
I came up with this recipe for gulab jamun several years ago when I was following a strict paleo diet. Those of you who have my eBook, South Asian Persuasion: 100+ Paleo Indian Recipes, have had this recipe for awhile now. I figured it was about time that I share it on my blog – I know many of you still follow a paleo diet or would prefer a cleaner version of this classic Indian dessert. Plus, Holi (an Indian festival) is coming up so what better time to make these!
In my ebook, I have two recipes for gulab jamun: an almond flour gulab jamun and a coconut flour gulab jamun. Today I’m sharing my recipe for coconut flour gulab jamun! I hope you’ll check out my eBook for other gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly Indian recipes!
What is Gulab Jamun?
Gulab jamun is a sweet dumpling soaked in a rose and cardamom flavored sugar syrup. This dessert is served during weddings, holidays and other celebrations!
There are so many Indian desserts that exist (we tend to like sweets!), but to me, gulab jamun is the quintessential Indian sweet. You can find this dessert at nearly every Indian restaurant and it’s almost always served during a special Indian occasion.
I absolutely love gulab jamun and so several years ago, when I found out that I had to start eating a gluten-free diet, I was pretty devastated about the fact that I’d never eat a gulab jamun again. That’s because this sweet is traditionally made with flour as well as an ingredient called khoya which is a milk product.
So I put my experimenting
cape apron on and spent a lot of time in the kitchen recreating all of my favorite Indian sweets so that they would be gluten-free and dairy-free: gulab jamun, rasmalai, kufi, two types of jalebis! Why? Because it doesn’t matter whether you have celiac disease, are gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant or just prefer to eat a paleo/clean diet – we all deserve to eat gulab jamun 🙂
This is a picture of the gulab jamuns right after they come out of the oil – they look just like fried donuts:
Coconut flour does an amazing job at soaking up liquid – this is what they look like after soaking in syrup for a bit:
Holi, a spring festival known as the festival of colors, is just days away so I figured this would be a great time to share this recipe. Make these gulab jamuns along with thandai, a popular Holi drink. After what has seemed like a very long winter, I am ready to celebrate spring! I’m excited about longer sunny days and spending more time outdoors with my kiddo. I’m also excited about making and eating these gulab jamun – I can’t wait to hear what you think of them!
- 1 cup arrowroot flour
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
- palm oil (sustainable), avocado oil or neutral fat of choice, enough to fry
- 1 cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Pinch of saffron, optional
- Crushed pistachios, optional for garnish
To Make Gulab Jamuns:
- Heat oil in a wok or a deep, wide bottomed pot to 360°F.
- While you wait for the oil to get hot, combine the arrowroot flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar and baking soda to a bowl and mix well. Then, add the eggs and coconut milk and mix well.
- When the oil is hot, use a small cookie scoop and drop the dough into the oil.
- When one side of the donut becomes golden, flip it over and cook the other side for about 3 minutes, or until golden. Fry 3–4 donuts at a time.
- Place the fried donuts onto a paper–towel–lined plate.
To make the Syrup:
- Add all of the syrup ingredients to a saucepan over low–medium heat and cook for 5–8 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, add the donuts to the saucepan and allow them to soak in the syrup for 5-10 minutes.
- Garnish with crushed pistachios if desired and serve warm.