3 tablespoons (30g) fine semolina
150ml-200ml whole milk plus extra if required
300g whole milk powder
3 tablespoons (30g) flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons (40g) butter or ghee plus a little extra for oiling hands
sunflower oil for frying
1-2 tablespoons dried rose petals (optional)
2 tablespoons pistachios, chopped, to serve
500g sugar
2 teaspoons green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons rose water

Most countries have a version of doughnuts and the Indian one is deliciously indulgent. The fried doughnuts are dunked while still hot into a warmed, fragrant sugar syrup to soak up the flavours. They are traditionally made with khoya which is a cooked milk solid, but a speedier version made with milk powder is also popular, especially with the addition of a little flour and fine semolina to keep the mix soft and tender.

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1.Soak the semolina in 100ml milk for 20 minutes.
2.In a large bowl, combine the milk powder, flour and baking powder.
3.Rub in the butter until you have a sandy crumb.
4.Add the semolina milk, then add the remaining milk a tablespoon at a time to form a stiff but sticky dough (I used around 150ml milk in total).
5.You may not need all of the milk. Try not to overwork the dough as it will make the dough tough.
6.Take around 10g of dough and roll into a ball (greasing your hands with butter or ghee makes this easier).
7.You don’t want cracks to appear on the balls but if they do, try wetting your palms with some of the extra milk to smooth out the crack.
8.Put onto a baking paper-lined tray. Repeat with the remaining mix.
9.Put the oil in a saucepan and heat to 150°C. In batches, add the dough balls.
10.Cook until golden all over – about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
11.Allow to cool for a minute, then add to the still-warm syrup. Allow to soak for a minimum of 4 hours.
12.After that, if not using straight away, you can refrigerate the doughnuts in the syrup for up to 2 days.
13.I found it best to put the gulab jamun and syrup in a wide dish so the balls get a chance to evenly soak up the syrup.
14.To serve, warm the gulab jamun in a wide pan with the syrup, covered, over a low heat until heated through.
15.Then put 3-4 balls into each bowl along with 1-2 tablespoons of the syrup.
16.Top with the rose petals, if using, and chopped pistachios.
17.Also great served with ice cream and excellent with chai tea alongside.
19.Put the sugar, 500ml water, cardamom and lime juice in a saucepan.
20.Bring up to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes until slightly thickened (test by putting a drop on a plate and press between finger and thumb; it should feel sticky but not form a string).
21.Remove from the heat, but keep warm.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Jess Hemmings