Gulab jamun is probably one of the most familiar Indian desserts to Americans. It is a standard on the dessert menus of Indian restaurants and resembles donut holes floating in a light syrup.
1teaspoon ground cardamom
1cup (2sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
2cupsoil, for frying
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and cardamom. Cut in the butter using a fork, or in a food processor fitted with a plastic blade, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add the evaporated milk and condensed milk. Knead lightly to form a soft dough. Pinch off 2½-inch pieces of dough and roll into balls.
Heat the oil in a deep skillet. Test the temperature by dropping a pinch of flour into the oil. If it sizzles, the oil is ready. Add the dough balls in batches and fry until dark golden brown on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towels or a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
In a deep saucepan, bring 4½ cups of water and the sugar to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a thin maple syrup. Add the gulab jamuns a few at a time and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature immediately after dipping in syrup.