from Madhur Jaffrey's 'An invitation to Indian cooking', 1972
2lbs granulated sugar
3 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
6ozs powdered milk
3ozs ordinary flour
4 fl ozs veg oil
4 fl ozs milk
vegetable oil for frying
(NB you can substitute ground almonds for some of the powdered milk)
first, make syrup. In a 3-quart pot, mix 13/4 pints of water with the sugar and cardamom. Lower heat. Simmer 2-3 mins, or until all sugar has been dissolved. Do not stir.
pour half the syrup into a serving bowl. Leave the other half in the pot, with cardamom pods.
mix powdered milk, flour, oil and milk in a bowl. Make a soft dough. Form into smooth balls or sausages (this amount should yield more than 2 dozen round balls).
heat oil for deep frying in wok or other heavy-bottomed wide pot. You need at least 3 inches of oil. Keep on low heat - jamuns need to be fried slowly.
put a jamun into the oil as a test. If it begins to brown immediately, your heat is too high. Each jamun should take 4-5 minutes to get reddish-brown on all sides. If the first jamun does not turn out right, adjust the heat. It is better to take this precaution than to have the whole batch burnt outside and raw inside.
when the temperature is right, put in 6 jamuns at a time. Turn them as they go reddish-brown on one side. As they get fried, put them into the syrup in the cooking pan. Bring this syrup to the boil, and let each batch of jamuns simmer in the syrup for five mins. When they are 'syruped', lift them out with a slotted spoon and place in the syrup in the serving bowl. When cool, cover serving bowl with cling wrap, and refrigerate.
I would add some rosewater to the syrup in the serving bowl, but Madhur doesn't include this.