Kiwifruit is one of the fruits that we see almost year round, but not many people are familiar with it. Rich in Vitamin C, the Green Kiwifruit is sweet and tart with some black seeds scattered like confetti which give a nice crunch. I love scooping it out with a spoon and eating it straight, and also add it to my smoothies.
When I heard about the new ‘golden kiwifruit’ brought to us by Zespri, I was intrigued and excited. I mean we have heard of a new phone or a new music player, but a whole new fruit?
With high fiber and nutrients like Vitamin C, the Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit packs in a high nutrient density in a small package.
I ordered the fruit online via Bigbasket and it was delivered promptly the next day. The fruit was in ready to eat condition which was impressive. I love adding fruits to my salads, and also to Indian desserts like Rabri, but this time I wanted to try something different.
A Kiwifruit Martini beckoned but that seemed too simple. Then I hit upon the idea of making Gulab Jamuns. I rarely make these at home nowadays. But the idea of a fruit flavored gulab jamun grew on me. The golden Kiwifruit or SunGold Kiwifruit seemed more suitable than the green Kiwifruit. Green gulab jamuns may be the rage in a Dr. Seuss world or for kids, but a golden yellow color seemed more appealing to me.
The Sungold Kiwi fruit is also more fleshy and sweet than the green fruit. It has subtle tones of mango and melon flavors too which would taste really well in the gulab jamun, I thought.
Gulab Jamuns are balls of Mawa or Khoya (milk reduced to an almost solid form) which are deep fried and then dunked in syrup. Using a Gulab Jamun mix is the quickest and safest way to make gulab jamuns at home, especially if you are a newbie.
But I had to do things the hard way.
I went over to the local dairy and brought home half a kilo of khoya. Then the upper arm workout began. I kneaded the khoya for almost half an hour before I discovered it was not quite right. Aliens had invaded it, so I threw the whole lot away in a fit of frustration. Sometimes, the best intentions are thwarted by destiny.
The next day, I reverted to my gulab jamun mix. I use Chitale Gulab Jamun Mix and prefer it over other brands. I have used this for years and this was one item that I just had to carry back with me when I visited home.
I am sure you are wondering how I incorporated the fruit into the jamuns. After giving it some thought, it was obvious that the syrup would be made with the kiwifruit. I recently made a mango syrup at home for my eggless mango pancakes, so I thought I was good at this part now. But would that be enough to impart the fruit flavor?
I decided to add some pulp right into the dough so that there would be layers of the Sungold Kiwi fruit flavor.
The secret to successfully frying your gulab jamuns is that the dough should be super smooth. You have to knead it relentlessly such that there is not even a capillary or fine line visible in it. Why? Because this fine line becomes a crack when you dunk the dough ball in hot oil and it bursts open and disintegrates!
So the Kiwifruit seeds, as much as I love them, were a no-no for the dough. I pureed and strained the Kiwifruit and added it to the dough in place of water. I worked it in until the dough was really smooth. The flavor of the fruit is so intense that I could taste the tart-sweet flavor in the dough.
I kept the seeds in the syrup because they look pretty and also because I like the slight crunch they give. And, we are making Kiwifruit Gulab Jamuns! So we definitely want them to look a bit different from the usual gulab jamuns.
Traditionally, people add cardamom and rose water to flavor the syrup. I went in with just a pinch of cardamom and 2-3 strands of saffron. The saffron deepened the color of the syrup naturally and I prefer this over using color. Saffron also imparted a heady rich flavor to the syrup.
Now the taste test – These gulab jamuns tasted so fruity! They were obviously sweet being dunked in sugar syrup, but there was a tartness that matched the sugar. It tasted a bit like the moramba we make, and I thought it must be due to the cardamom, but it took me 3-4 days to realize that was because of the mango flavors in the Sungold Kiwi fruit. What a lightbulb moment!
Ok, so now that you have drooled over this crazy good fruit based dessert, roll up your sleeves and check out this step by step recipe. This recipe makes 12 medium sized Kiwi fruit gulab jamuns.
SunGold Kiwi Gulab Jamuns – Detailed Recipe
- 1 cup Chitale Gulab Jamun Mix
- ½ cup Sungold Kiwi fruit pulp
- 1 Tbsp oil for kneading
- 1-2 pistachios for garnish (optional)
- Oil for deep frying
- 2 Sungold Kiwi fruit
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Pinch of cardamom powder
- 2-3 strands saffron
- Puree two Sungold Kiwifruits to get about ¾-1 cup of pulp.
- Mix the pulp, sugar and water in a stock pot and bring to a boil.
- Add a pinch of elaichi powder or cardamom powder and 2-3 strands of saffron.
- The color of the syrup will gradually deepen.
- Switch off heat when syrup coats the back of the spoon very lightly. If the syrup is too thick, it won’t infuse the gulab jamuns.
- Chop and puree one Sungold Kiwifruit. Strain it through a fine mesh so that none of the seeds pass through and you only have fine pulp.
- Take one heaping cup of the Gulab Jamun mix and make a well in the center.
- Add 2-3 Tbsp of the kiwi fruit pulp and mix it in.
- Now add water very slowly spoon by spoon until a dough is formed.
- Knead this dough really well for 5-10 minutes until totally smooth. There should be no lines visible when you roll a ball of it.
- Make small balls of dough or jamuns by taking a little dough and rolling it between your palms. You will get 12 jamuns out of this easily. Remember, they will puff up later.
- Heat oil in a small wok.
- Note: There is a trick to frying the jamuns made with a mix. Your oil should be of medium temperature or lower. This is because there is baking powder in the mix and it takes time to activate. You also want the jamun to cook through. If your jamun becomes brown as soon as you drop it in oil, your oil is too hot. Switch off heat immediately.
- Add one or two jamuns at a time. They will puff up in size a little. Spoon the oil over them so that they are evenly browned. Transfer to a paper lined plate.
- Switch off heat in between to maintain temperature of the oil.
- Now add the fried gulab jamuns to the syrup very gently.
- Heat this mixture for 2-3 minutes and switch off heat. This will ensure that the syrup gets in deep into the gulab jamuns. The consistency of the syrup is also important here.
- Let the gulab jamuns soak into the syrup for a couple of hours before serving.
- Garnish with some pistachios and enjoy.
These Sungold Kiwifruit gulab jamuns were such a hit. They have to be tasted rather than seen. I made a small batch since it was my first time trying this recipe. But you can easily double or triple it according to your needs.
I promised July would be fun, didn’t I? Try out this super fun dessert and let me know how it worked for you.
Also, you can explore the Zespri brand and the interesting Kiwifruit varieties available in India here.