Sweet Potato Gulab Jamuns (Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo)

 Gulab jamuns, literally translated as ‘rose scented’ balls are a traditional Indian dessert that is now famous all across the world. If you have ever visited any decent Indian restaurant, you would have definitely noticed ‘gulab jamuns’ on the menu! The mention of ‘Gulab jamuns’ always makes me feel hungry and I start salivating!  The soft dough balls slightly crispy on the outside but fully moist and spongy on the inside soaked with sweetened and rose flavored syrup can help you forget about all your problems and give you a few moments of sheer ecstasy!

Having said that though, I am quite finicky about how the gulab jamuns should be. They cannot be too too sweet. Yes I repeat that. A lot of the gulab jamuns you find at restaurants are overtly and so overpoweringly sweet that you fail to taste the flavor of rose. And no thank you, no cardamom for me in Gulab jamuns please. Saffron is ok but no cardamom. For the same reason – it is Gulab jamuns for heaven’s sake – Gulab means rose, got it? Only rose flavor should be prominent.

You may wonder – all this fussiness for what? I cannot even eat the traditional gulab jamuns now since I have given up dairy and refined sugar. Yikes. So what do I do? Knowing me you can guess! Yes I came up with a vegan and paleo version of gulab jamun. Last year sometime I had seen a bengali dessert using sweet potatoes which was similar to gulab jamuns. And so I looked up recipes for that. That recipe however used rice flour and sugar and since I wanted to make a grain free and sugar free paleo version, I had to make some substitutions. I used arrowroot flour for binding. And then it also had to be refined sugar free so I made a syrup using maple syrup and honey. An instagram post of gulab jamun by one of my besties gave me a huge craving for it and so I instantly scrambled and put together this recipe this past week to satisfy my craving!  Turned out perfect! Yummy and healthy too!

Sweet Potato Gulab Jamuns (Vegan, Paleo)
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Healthy dessert
Cuisine: Indian, Fusion
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Sweet potato balls fried in coconut oil and soaked in a sweetened syrup made of maple syrup and honey flavored with rose flavor.
Ingredients
For the sweet potato balls:
  • 1 large white sweet potato(Indian or Japanese), boiled, peeled and mashed
  • about 2-3 tbsp arrow root starch
  • Coconut Oil for frying (or grass fed ghee for paleo version)
For sweet syrup:
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp honey (omit for vegan version)
  • 2 drops of pure rose extract
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, add the mashed sweet potato. Add arrow root starch 1 tbsp at a time and mix using your hands to form a dough - It will be slightly sticky. (You may need to add 2 to 3 tbsp of arrowroot starch depending upon how big your sweet potato is)
  2. Roll the dough into small ping pong size balls. You can apply some coconut oil in your palms to help roll into smooth balls.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a small frying pan (or deep frying pan)
  4. Add the sweet potato balls in batches of 4 and fry them on medium heat until reddish brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Place all syrup ingredients in a cooking pot except the rose flavor and heat for about 3-4 mins until you get a thickened syrup.
  6. Turn heat off and add the rose flavor.
  7. In a medium size bowl, place the fried balls and pour the hot syrup over them. Let the balls soak for about 15 mins before serving.

 

Salmon in spicy mustard sauce (Bengali Style Fish Curry)


Bengali style Salmon(Baked)When it comes to eating fish, I don’t think any other state in India can beat the Bongs (bengalis) or the Mallus (Keralites) 🙂 I am so relieved that my naturopath has asked me to continue eating fish as it is beneficial for me. So be prepared for a deluge of fish recipes! Nothing can stop this fish eating mallu now Ha Ha 🙂

Over the past few weeks I have made some variations of the traditional Kerala fish curry, which I will post soon. But today’s post is on the Bengali fish curry where mustard is the star. My friend Samita suggested this recipe to me recently one evening amidst all of us ladies bantering as usual at a recent gathering at her place. Samita, cooks up lovely lip-smacking dishes in a jiffy in her easygoing, carefree manner. She is not the one to fuss over recipes. Nor is she the one to note down exact recipes. And so what she told me went something like this – ‘Indu, why don’t you try making it Bengali style – just make a paste of mustard and green chillies and mix it with the salmon(elaborate hand gesture here showing how the paste is to be applied) and bake it. Mast hoga re! ‘

After that description from Samita how could I not give it a try! Plus it looked too easy! I checked out some online recipes for bengali curry and some of them used tomatoes which my diet does not permit. So in the end I really did what Samita had suggested. It came out wonderful and so tasty. Thank you Samita!

After that I have made it a couple more times now and I additionally strain the paste to get a fine texture for the curry plus it takes away the very pungent mustard taste.  I have also made it over the stove top. And this is one curry that I am sure has come to stay in my kitchen. And you know the best thing about this curry? – it is so darned easy to make!

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Linking to Throwback Thursday this week. Also linking to Fiesta Friday.

Salmon in mustard sauce (Bengali Style Fish Curry)

  • Servings: makes 4 servings when served with rice
  • Time: About 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

6-8 Salmon pieces (boned-in and with skin preferred), about 1 inch thick
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4 tsp mustard seeds(I used brown mustard only but you can use mix of brown and yellow)
4 green chillies
3/4 tsp red chilli pow
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water plus 1 cup more water

For tadka(oil garnish)
2 tsp olive oil(or mustard oil)
1/2 trp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp kala jeera (nigella seeds)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds

Method:

If using Stovetop:

Rub the salmon pieces with the salt and turmeric. Keep aside.

In a food processor, blend mustard seeds, green chillies, turmeric, red chili pow and salt with  1/2 cup water to form a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and blend again. Strain this mixture using a strainer and keep aside.

Take a medium size wide bottomed cooking pot and add the oil (under tadka). heat the oil and add the tadka ingredients. Let cook for about 30 seconds until the seeds pop. Add the salmon pieces to the oil and lightly fry for about 2-3 minutes on side.  Make sure the fish does not stick to the bottom of the pan (Do not Flip them before 2 minutes).

Add the strained mustard mixture to the fish now. Cover and let cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. Cook uncovered for last few minutes until you get curry of desired consistency.

Sprinkle with fresh cilantro leaves! Serve with some cooked plain rice.

If using oven:

Rub the salmon pieces with the salt and turmeric. Take an oven proof baking dish and place the salmon in it in a single layer.

In a food processor, blend mustard seeds, green chillies, turmeric, red chili pow and salt with  1/2 cup water to form a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and blend again.

Strain this mixture and pour over the fish.

Bake at 400 deg F (200 deg C) for 20 mins. (Covered for first 15 minutes and then uncovered for last 5 minutes)

In a tadka pan, heat the oil and add the tadka ingredients. Let cook for about 30 seconds until the seeds pop. Pour this garnished oil over the baked fish.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with some cooked plain rice.

Bengali style Salmon(Baked)