Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Sweet Potato Gulab Jamuns (Ranga Alur Puli)

Kova Gulab Jamuns with Sweet Potato

The recipe that was in my mind to be tried is Sury‘s sweet potato dessert or Ranga Alur Puli. The fabulous food blogger, Sury from Delhi, not only writes about food but also studies American English. She recently published her first book “Making Out in America” on American vernacular. Congratulations Sury!

Few weeks ago, she blogged this recipe in her blog. The name of this sweet, the way it was prepared and the traditional Bengali aspect, all captured my interest. When I read her recipe, I did imagine the taste and I couldn’t wait to give it a try. Finally today I prepared this delicious sweet.

I did change the recipe little bit. Instead of adding flour and sugar to sweet potato pulp, I mixed it with gulab jamun powder. Also in addition to traditional coconut-milk-sugar fudge filling, I added some chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, just to create variety. I’ve been preparing gulab jamuns in this way, so I applied the same idea here.

Steam-Cooked Sweet Potato
Steam-cooked sweet potato (yam)

(for 15 pieces)
For Dough
1 medium sized sweet potato (yam)
1 packet of gulab jamun powder (100g)
For Filling
½ cup of coconut fudge (coconut-milk-sugar halwa)
¼ cup of chocolate chips – plain and butterscotch
To Deep Fry
2 cups of peanut oil or ghee
For Sugar Syrup
1 cup sugar
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of rose water
¼ teaspoon of powdered cardamom

Sweet potato-gulab jamun dough, coconut fudge, chocolate and butterscotch chips
Chocolate Chips, Coconut Fudge, Sweet Potato-Gulab Jamun Dough & Dough balls

1. Cook the whole sweet potato on steam until just tender. Remove the skin and mash the sweet potato to smooth paste.

2. Take gulab jamun powder in a vessel. Mix it with sweet potato paste. The moisture of sweet potato is enough to prepare a firm dough. After a rest period of 15 minutes or so, divide the dough into big marble sized rounds.

3. Make a dimple by pressing the dough ball with your thumb. Fill the dimple with a teaspoon of coconut halwa(fudge) or with chocolate chips. Cover the hole with dough from the sides; roll into smooth round ball. Prepare all the dough balls like this and keep them ready for deep-frying.

4. Meanwhile prepare sugar syrup. Take sugar and water in a big pot. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for few minutes (5 to 10 minutes maximum on medium heat). Have a taste and add more sugar if needed. This is just plain sugar syrup, do not thicken the syrup and do not cook it for longer period. Just before turning off the heat, stir in rose water and cardamom powder.

Deep-Frying the Jamuns
Deep Frying the Jamuns

5. Heat oil in a kadai or in a saucepan. Deep-fry the jamuns until golden on medium-low heat. One tip is, keep the heat medium and do not overheat the oil. Deep-fry the jamuns, slowly. The color changes from light gold to much deeper color gradually within 3 to 4 minutes. If the colour changes to brown immediately after dropping into oil, it is a signal that the oil is too hot. In that case, reduce the heat or turn off the heat for few minutes. You need to cook these slowly on moderate heat because the dough should get cooked evenly inside also.

6. Remove the jamuns and place them on a paper towel to dry off any oil that’s attached to them. Quickly and gently drop them into sugar syrup. Take care not to spill the oil into sugar syrup.

7. Keep them soaked in syrup for about 15 to 30 minutes. Jamuns will absorb the syrup and will increase in size a little bit. I would like to serve gulab jamuns cold, so usually, I keep them in the refrigerator for one hour before serving.

Sweet Potato Gulab Jamuns (Ranga Alur Puli) with coconut halwa filling
Sweet Potato Gulab Jamuns (Ranga Alur Puli) ~ For this week’s “Indian Sweets 101

They tasted great, just like I’ve imagined, particularly the coconut halwa filled ones (shown above) and the ones filled with butterscotch chips.

This is my contribution to “Blog Party – Bite Sized Desserts” hosted by dear Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chocolate,Indian Sweets 101,Mitai,Sugar,Sweet Potato (Wednesday April 19, 2006 at 10:06 pm- permalink)
Comments (42)

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42 comments for Sweet Potato Gulab Jamuns (Ranga Alur Puli) »

  1. Hi Indira,
    Yummy yummyyummy yummy yummyyyyyyyyyy.i love gulabjamun verymuch.I will try urs iam having chilakadadumpa with me.
    So iam taking ur gulabjamuns u take my “little hearts r palmiers”.

    Comment by vineela krishna — April 19, 2006 @ 10:31 pm

  2. That’s a fair trade. 🙂
    I like your palmiers, Vineela.

    Comment by Indira — April 19, 2006 @ 10:38 pm

  3. Indira: These look delicious and wish i could gulp one…. you are amazing with great recipes and astonishing photos. kudos to you again 🙂
    I have a question on cooking oils. Let me put it under questions section then…

    Indira replies:
    I got the idea from Sury’s blog, Karthi. All credit goes to her. 🙂

    Comment by Karthi Kannan — April 19, 2006 @ 10:39 pm

  4. Oh my goodness, Indira!!

    This is the reason I can’t stay away from your blog – every day I have to peek in and see what magic you’ve whipped up next. I wish I could make these right now! I will certainly try this fabulous-looking Indian Sweet. Hmm… I wonder how long they will keep, if made ahead? They would be perfect for my son’s upcoming graduation. Just the thing to get me thinking about the menu for grad. party. 🙂


    Indira replies:
    Hi Linda, they will stay fresh for about two to three days, when kept in a refrigerator. Before making these at home for a party, I’d suggest that you taste them first. Readymade ones are available at Indian grocery shops under the name of gulab jamuns, costs about 3 dollars. Checkout the taste, also you’ll get an idea about how they look etc. That would make it easy for you to try. Just my two cents.

    Comment by Linda — April 19, 2006 @ 10:58 pm

  5. LOVE IT ! jamuns are my fav and this one is the best looking jamunive ever seen. I bet it tastes as good as it looks. I love the idea of chocolate chips for the filling. Awesome !!!!!

    Indira replies:
    Hi Priya, I know, they are my favorites too. I really liked this sweet potato version, try it, Priya, but make them little bit thick, otherwise they will burst open when dunked in sugar syrup. Chocolate chips melt and create a gooey mass inside the jamuns.
    You changed to word press, congrats. I like this new version, looks much better and I changed the address of your link. 🙂

    Comment by priya — April 19, 2006 @ 11:34 pm

  6. Wonderful idea for Gulab Jamuns, Indira. I have some aversion to frying, otherwise I would have definitely tried them out. Can you not pack them in a tin and send them over to me in Germany? 🙂
    Jokes apart, this preparation of yours is very creative.

    Indira replies:
    I’ve your address and I’d love to send you some, if only. 🙂 With all the security etc., I don’t think they will reach you, Vaishali.

    Comment by Vaishali — April 20, 2006 @ 4:57 am

  7. I was searching for gulab jamuns and I found your site. This is an excellent way of preparing these jamuns, I think. Great recipe, great narration and great pictures.

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Jaya.

    Comment by Jaya — April 20, 2006 @ 7:10 am

  8. This is a Maha-Crime. Don’t do this to me. I am addicted to your blogs. This recipe is a must-try.

    Indira replies:
    Forgive me for my crime. 🙂
    I am sure you are going to like it, Krithika. Give it a try and let me know.

    Comment by Krithika Ramachandran — April 20, 2006 @ 7:47 am

  9. wow another great yummy recipe thanks for the recipe Indira mee intiki tappaka ravali:)

    Indira replies:
    Meeru tappakunda randi maa intiki, Tanuja. Manamu manchiga kalasi enjoy cheyochachhu. Thanks.

    Comment by tanuja — April 20, 2006 @ 8:53 am

  10. WOW…great idea…will definitely make these in place of the gulab jamoons next time :). Love your idea of stuffing the jamoons in chocolate chips. Neat pictures too!

    Indira replies:
    Just for variety, LC. Chocolate chips are easy filling and they melt, create a gooey mass inside the jamuns. Taste real good, like drinking chocolate syrup.:)

    Comment by Luv2cook — April 20, 2006 @ 9:05 am

  11. I’ve made gulab jamuns from milk, powdered milk and a little self-rising flour before. Your variation looks really interesting. I like the idea of filling them. You are right about the importance of low heat. But I wonder, the 1st time I made these, I was lax in following the very exact directions about oil temperature and the gulab jamuns deflated when I placed them in the syrup. The next two times, I was very exact and all came out well. What temperatures do you suggest for this variation? Medium-low heat seems ambiguous.

    Indira replies:
    Hi Susan, adding sweet potato pulp adds another layer of taste and texture.
    About the deflation – I think the main reason for that is cool or very thick sugar syrup. When, just out of the oil, hot jamuns are placed in a very cool or very thick sugar syrup, they shrink and deflate instead puffing up like ballons. Do not the thicken the sugar syrup and keep the syrup warm. That will solve the problem.
    After staring this blog, I started using measuring spoons reluctantly mainly to answer the questions. I don’t think I’ll ever going to use oil thermometer to check the temperature of oil.
    If you drop the jamuns into oil, they turn brown immediately – that’s too hot.
    If they limp without rolling – the oil is too cold. That’s all the tips I’ve about oil temperature.
    Hope this helps.

    Comment by Susan in Italy — April 20, 2006 @ 9:53 am

  12. Fantastic!!! what creativity!! and my gosh, those pictures – to die for!!


    Indira replies:
    Hey, you are the creative one. 🙂
    Thanks SF.

    Comment by Saffron Hut — April 20, 2006 @ 10:14 am

  13. Wow as usual great Indira. You are just amazing with your creativity 🙂 I havent ever had a Gulab Jamun with some filling in it. Wanna definitely try this.

    Indira replies:
    You are too generous, KG.
    If you don’t want to prepare filling at home, buy the storebought stuff and fill the jamuns with it or with chocolate chips KG. Minimal effort, way to impress your guests.:)

    Comment by Kerala Girl — April 20, 2006 @ 11:29 am

  14. Indira, I’m so happy you could come to this month’s party! It looks fabulous, and Matt *loves* Gulab Jamun…mmmm.

    Thank you so much for joining in!

    Indira replies:
    I am glad I made it to the party, Stephanie. Looking forward to the roundup at your blog. Thanks!

    Comment by Stephanie — April 20, 2006 @ 11:39 am

  15. I get a little sidetracked from blog hopping and what do I find when I return? This is amazing, Indira. You took the puli to a new level altogether–they look tantalizingly fabulous! Hats off to your culinary skills.

    Thanks for all the plug about me in the post; I am really blushing hard now :P.

    Glad it turned out so nice for you 🙂

    Indira replies:
    Vijay and I, both really enjoyed this recipe, Sury. Finished off all jamuns by this afternooon. That good. 🙂 Thank you!
    I did change the recipe little bit. Also I changed the shape from traditional ‘puli’ shape to round jamun shape. I hope that’s ok.
    I’m very much interested in your book, definitely going to place an order online. Good luck with the book!
    Hey, did you know Tom Cruise named his new born baby “Sury”? 🙂

    Comment by Sury — April 20, 2006 @ 12:26 pm

  16. wow, chala bavundi Indira. mi chetullalo what u say.jadu vundi.

    Comment by Lakshmi — April 20, 2006 @ 3:27 pm

  17. Thanks Indira for your explanations. You are (I think) a feeling cook and I am a measuring one (at least when it comes to baking and sweet making). I’m impressed you can come to your lovely results without a candy thermometer!

    Comment by Susan in Italy — April 20, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

  18. Hi Indira,

    What do people call sweet potatos here. I bought yams thinking sweet potatos and when I cut them they are red in color. I don’t know what to do with them except for trashing. I love sweet potatos, can you plz help mee

    Comment by Rohini — April 20, 2006 @ 7:00 pm

  19. I Loved this post Indira.
    Its so neat with so many good things in it.
    I have not used gulab jammon powder in a looong time. Make them with milk powder.
    Will see If I can use it with milk powder…

    Comment by Santhi — April 20, 2006 @ 9:02 pm

  20. Wow…I am speechless. They look so yummy. I have seen Raj bogh in the Indian Stores…they have a cardomom filing.
    But it never occured to me to put filling in Gulab Jamuns. Hats off to you…

    Comment by Pavani — April 20, 2006 @ 9:59 pm

  21. Who knew sweet potato can look that pretty?
    Indira, you are a genius!
    Photos are really breaktaking.

    Comment by Kela — April 20, 2006 @ 10:13 pm

  22. Love it love it love it! Though I generally stay away from deep frying, guess I can treat some guests to this amazing stuff
    Wonderful work Indira- as usual!

    Comment by Nandita — April 20, 2006 @ 11:50 pm

  23. I saw your tweaks with the recipe, Indira and that’s great! Glad you and Vijay liked them :). The shape looks awesome too, no problems there.

    Thanks for offering to buy my book. I do feel honoured. I hope you enjoy reading it. Will keep you posted.

    I did hear about Tom Cruise’s daughter and broke into a slight smile. I had only shortened Suryamukhi when my American friends couldn’t pronounce it, and what do I know, it turns out to be a name in reality!

    Comment by Sury — April 21, 2006 @ 11:01 am

  24. Hi Indira,

    I came upon this website by chance and find it most fascinating. This recipe of sweet potato gulab jamuns sounds delicious, but can you also give the recipe for the coconut fudge filling.

    Thanks a lot

    Indira replies:
    Hi Nirmala, please check the coconut burfi recipe in “101 Indian sweets”. Instead of water, prepare it with whole milk or evaporated milk for coconut fudge or halwa.
    Hope this helps.

    Comment by Nirmala — April 25, 2006 @ 7:17 am


    Comment by MONJUR — April 27, 2006 @ 10:17 am

  26. Great website! Everytime i look at it i get really hungry… and the best thing about your food blog is that it shows Indian food can not only be delicious but also healthy. Keep the entries coming in…

    Indira replies:
    Hey, thanks Kumutha! Looking forward to your input on my blogged recipes.

    Comment by Kumutha — April 29, 2006 @ 10:30 am

  27. Hi Indira,

    I was just browsing through a couple of websites via google for few recipes and guess what! I came across your website, my God! your blog is wonderful and those pictures makes me taste your recipes virtually…Keep it up,very Good work!!!

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Priyaks, appreciate your nice words about my blog.

    Comment by priyaks — May 5, 2006 @ 3:48 pm

  28. Dear Indira,
    Everything is so very good about ur site.Thanx.i’ve a big problem.i love gulab jamun like anything! but whenever i try to make it,it never comes ok 🙁 either too hard or it burns! Can u please help me out? & what if i don’t use jamun powder in ur sweet potato dish? what else can be put?
    Thanx a loooooot.

    Comment by Amena Rashid — June 9, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

  29. […] Sweet Potato Gulab Jamuns (Ranga Alur Puli)(Ranga Alur Puli)”>Comments (27) End comments ~ Vijji 10Jun05 –> […]

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  30. Hi,

    Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww What a excellent site indira…really really wonderful and pictures also very nice,keep it up…….mi site nundi chesinavi anni baga vastunnai……

    Comment by Latha — August 16, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

  31. Hi Indira, Although Iam a regular visitor to your blog, I have not commented on any of your receipes so far. Love your receipes, ideas
    and pictures. I tried making this today, man they turned out great. I made quick coconut halwa by microwaving condensed milk and coconut. They turned out soooooo goooddd. I have tried so many of you other receipes but this one tops in my list. Keep up your good work and Happy Diwali to you!

    Comment by Gowri — November 8, 2007 @ 11:54 am

  32. Wow! this recipe looks gr8! I am going to give a try very soon. I had eaten gulab jamuns in rabdi base or milk base. Do you by any chance know how this is made? Do we first soak the jamuns in sugar syrup and then drop them in the milk base or do we directly drop the jamuns in milk? If you know about this, please let me know. Thanks a lot…PB.

    Comment by PB — November 9, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

  33. Has anbody tried baking the gulab jamuns? If so, please let me know how u made it. Thanks.

    Comment by PB — November 19, 2007 @ 7:03 am

  34. Hi Indira,

    I was actually looking at different websites on how to reach ‘Mahanandi’ and i came across this site. Trust me, i am deeply impressed with you.
    Wonderful site, you have taken care of the intricacies and inserting the telugu meaning has made it more beautiful. I have copied a few recipes made of Banana for my two daughters. I am sure they would love. Your efforts are really commendable. Keep up the goodwork. Now i know which site to browse for those awsome recipes.

    Comment by Sailaja — November 27, 2007 @ 12:28 am

  35. Hi,

    I tried this recipe for Diwali. It turned out well. Whoever I gave this sweet liked it and kept on asking me wat did you make with?
    They enjoyed the filling,also they are all my seniors in cooking.

    Your photos are really good and you have been my inspiration for my blogging attempt.

    Do visit my blog… Just 3 entries…


    Comment by Esha Karthikeyan — December 14, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

  36. do you have any ideas on how to make a non-sugar syrup gulab jamun? i am diabetic and sweet potatoe is very good for me so gulab jamun made of sweet potato and coconut/dark chocolate(85%) is excellent. But if i sink it in sugar syrup all the good work is destroyed. what about just a dip made with water, cardommom, cinnamon,vanilla and dark chocolate. then dip the gulab jamun into the hot dip and eat a la fondue!

    Comment by radhika — February 6, 2008 @ 11:55 am

  37. Hi,
    I’m a pastry culinary student and doing a project on Indian desserts. I love the look of these and am excited to try them. Do you have the recipe for the Gulab Jamun powder you mention in the recipe?

    Hi Nichol,
    Usually the dough is prepared with milk powder(1) and all purpose flour (1/4) – in 1:1/4 ratio. Few tablespoons of powdered sugar, ghee/butter, and the dough is gently mixed with water.
    Indian stores carry readymake gulabjamun powder packets. They also work great.
    Please let me know how you like this recipe when you try. Thanks.

    Comment by Nichol Squelch — June 1, 2008 @ 6:56 pm

  38. Wow…that’s really great recipe…looks yummy!!!!!!!
    will give a try very soon……..

    Comment by Kalyani — October 5, 2008 @ 11:35 pm

  39. Hi Indira,
    I tried your jamuns. But I don’t know for some reason, they are not that soft, jamuns didn’t observer the whole of syrup. I’m bit worried. Can you tell me what should be the consistency of the jamun dough?

    Comment by Kasturi — August 17, 2009 @ 4:00 am

  40. hi,

    I love this recipe very much, can anyone tell me that “instead of gulab jamun mix can i use milk powder?” is it ok if i use Indian sweet potato?


    Comment by archana — February 27, 2010 @ 4:10 am

  41. love love love these jamuns, i stumbled on this website when looking for sweet potato desserts. this is the best idea. i mixed only 3 ingredients sweet potatoes, flour and baking powder. honey, water & freshly ground cardamom. YUMMMMMMMMMM. will play around w recipe & do it again!!!!!!!!!!!.

    Comment by mua — March 14, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

  42. I’m drooling here, seeing your pictures of the jamun 🙂 Yummy with an innovative twist 🙂

    This is my first comment on your blog although I have visited it before (Sorry about not leaving comments earlier). The website is meticulously organized and the variety of content is just mind-blowing! Will come back again and again 🙂


    Comment by Divya — September 24, 2011 @ 3:24 am

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