A rustic sweet from the Bengali kitchen, these are sweet potato doughnuts or gulab jamuns stuffed with a coconut, fried and soaked in cardamom scented syrup. This recipe is great for a vegan variation on gulab jamun.
Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 4 cups of water
- 2 cups of sugar
- 4 to 5 pods cardamom, bruised
- 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
- 3 tablespoons rice flour
- 3/4 cup freshly grated coconut
- 11/2 tablespoons sugar
- Oil for frying
- 3 tablespoons of soy milk powder
- Oil for frying
- Slivered Almonds for garnishing
- Place the water, sugar and the cardamoms to boil in a heavy bottomed pot and boil for about 15 minutes until the syrup is fairly thick, about a 1/2 strand consistency. The syrup should gently coat the back of a spoon.
- While the syrup is cooking, pre-heat the oven and bake the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes, alternately boil until just soft. Note, the sweet potatoes can be boiled or baked ahead of time.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, gently cook the coconut and sugar until fragrant and sticky. Cool and shape the mixture into 10 balls. This size is between that of a raisin and a grape. Note, as I mentioned before, this filling can be skipped if desired.
- Peel and mash the sweet potato with the rice flour and shape into larger balls, make a deep dent and stuff with the coconut filling and cover. Take care to completely seal the balls. When complete, place in the freezer for 10 minutes
- Heat the oil in a heavy wok, add the balls about 3 at a time and fry in a gentle even level on medium low heat. At first let it cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, and then keep turning to allow them to turn uniformly golden. This process will take some time, but do not rush it.
- When the balls are crisp and uniformly browned, drain them well and place in the syrup. Let them soak for at least 15 to 20 minutes for a light coating and up to 1 hours for a richer deeper sweetness.