Sweet lockdown surrender

Lockdown 2.0, they are calling it. Version 2 of everything in this age and is it not plagiarism? Not the lockdown as this is necessary. Instead, take a break from whining and complaining and sweeten your quarantined life a bit. How you ask? Toshali
Mandal is all set in her kitchen to guide you how to make these delicious desserts in this time of shutdown.

Gulab Jamun with three spoons of milk powder


1/2 cup of sugar
3 green cardamom pods
2 cups of water
3 teaspoons of milk Powder
1 teaspoon of all-purpose flour
1/5 teaspoon (a small pinch) of baking powder
1 teaspoon of ghee/white oil
2-3 teaspoons of milk
Oil or ghee for deep frying


Take sugar, green cardamom pods and water in a deep pot or pan. Heat it over medium flame and cook until it reaches half string consistency or turns little sticky while stirring occasionally. It will take around 8-10 minutes on medium flame to reach the required consistency. When the sugar syrup is ready, turn off the flame. Take milk powder, flour and baking powder in a wide-mouthed bowl. Mix it well with a spoon and then add a teaspoon of ghee or white oil. Mix well. Use your hand to mix it so that the ghee/oil mixes evenly with milk powder. Sprinkle two teaspoons of milk evenly over the mixture and gently mix it. If required, add a few more teaspoons of milk. The mixture should be soft. It may be sticky but do not worry about it. Do not over mix or knead the mixture or else gluten will form and the sweets will turn dense and will not absorb sugar syrup properly. Rest it for 10 minutes covering the sticky dough with a small bowl/plate. Grease your palms with oil and divide mixture into marble-sized small portions (around 7-8). Take each portion and make a round-shaped crack-free ball from it. If crack appears, it means mixture is dry. Add a teaspoon of milk (or few drops of milk) to the mixture, mix well and make the ball. Do not make larger balls as its size will increase to almost double after deep frying and soaking in sugar syrup.
Heat ghee or oil for deep frying in a deep kadai or a small pan over medium flame. When oil is medium hot, pinch a small portion of the mixture and drop it into hot oil, if it comes upward immediately without changing its color the oil is medium hot and ready for deep frying. If it comes upward immediately and turns brown then oil is too hot and needs to be cooled a bit, if it doesn’t come upward then oil is not hot enough and needs to be heated little bit more. Slowly drop 3-4 balls (according to the size of a kadai) from sides of a kadai and reduce the flame to low.
Stir gently with a slotted spoon and deep fry over low flame. Within 2-3 minutes their colour will start to turn light golden. Deep fry until they turn golden brown. It will take around 6-7 minutes. Transfer them over to kitchen napkin to absorb excess oil using slotted spoon. Maintain the temperature of oil even by increasing or decreasing the flame to medium or low. Increase the flame to medium and deep fry remaining balls.
Add the deep fried jamuns in the syrup. Keep the jamuns in it for at least two hours before serving to allow it to absorb the syrup properly. You will notice size increasing as syrup gets absorbed. Jamuns are ready for serving at this time.

Coffee Cake


1/2 cup of oil
1 tablespoon of instant coffee
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1/3 cup of milk (optional)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder


In a mixer, combine oil, coffee, eggs, sugar and vanilla essence. Sift the flour and the baking powder together in a medium bowl. Combine the egg mixture with the flour. Use milk if needed (optional). This should not take more than a minute. Pour the batter into a well-greased cake tin of your choice. Bake in a pre-heated OTG (for five minutes) at 180°C for 20-25 minutes. All the ingredients must be at room temperature. Never open the door of the OTG/oven to check your cake before the cook time set.

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