Make no mistake...this is NOT a recipe for the common Gulab Jamun that you find in every Indian restaurant, Sweet shop, Desi market and Gits mix collection in the US....on the contrary this is a recipe for our beloved Bengali Pantua! This is the stuff that we would wait for in the evenings, eagerly standing around boiling pots of syrup in the sweet shops of Kolkata, just so we could catch them hot as they came out of the pot and onto our plates! A melt in your mouth goodness that just cannot be substituted by the frigid gulab jamuns in freezer boxes. There are several close cousins of the the pantua in Bengal, the langcha and ledikeni that are made with the same ingredients but with different finishes. This recipe is for home made pantua. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make it with ricotta cheese instead of chana and it tastes just as good. Try it out and you will be surprised
For the pantua dough:
1 cup milk powder
1 cup chana or ricotta cheese
2 heaped tablespoons all purpose flour (moida)
1 tablespoon semolina (suji)
1 tablespoon ghee
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon coarse sugar
Vegetable oil for deep frying
For the syrup:
1 cups of sugar & 2 cup of water
1. First mix the ingredients in a bowl and knead well to form a dough.
2. Now divide the dough into small balls and fill the center of each ball with either nokul Dana, or a cardamom (elaj) or a raisin. (This recipe will make about 10-12 pantuas).
3. Roll and shape the balls in the palm of your hand carefully ensuring no cracks in the dough.
4. Next heat up the oil for deep frying in a wok on high heat and then set to low heat. There should be enough oil in the wok to submerge the pantuas.
5. Test the oil with the first pantua to see if the oil is hot enough. The pantua should first sink and then rise and float. It usually takes a long time to brown on the low setting so you need to be patient here.
6. Once all the balls are fried to a nice brown color take them out of the oil and allow to cool for 10 mins.
7. In the mean time. mix the 2 cups of sugar in the water and boil for 5-10 mins to make a syrup of medium consistency ( not too runny or not too thick).
8. Once the syrup is ready, drop the fried balls into the syrup and boil for 1-2 mins and then leave in the wok to soak up the "rosh"!
9. Serve hot or cold with syrup- at least two per person