Doughnuts with semolina

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Francois Oberholster

Indian doughnuts, gulab jamun, are traditionally made with flour and milk powder, then fried and dipped in sweet rose syrup. This South African version uses condensed milk and semolina and has a firmer texture. They are also sometimes cut into fingers and rolled in coconut. No matter how you like them, they are a wonderful sweet seduction!

Makes about 21 hearts

Preparation time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tin (385g) condensed milk 
  • 45ml melted butter
  • 125ml semolina flour
  • 15ml baking powder
  • 875ml (490g) flour 
  • pinch each cardamom and nutmeg
  • about 300ml oil for frying
  • 250ml castor sugar
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick

1. Make the syrup Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water over moderate heat. Stir in the spices and bring to the boil. Boil for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside. The syrup should be warm – not boiling – when the crispy treats are dipped in it.

2. Whisk the eggs, condensed milk and butter and add the rest of the dry ingredients to form a stiff dough. Knead until just smooth.

3. Roll the dough about 2cm thick and cut out shapes with a heart cookie cutter (3cm in diameter). Press the remaining dough together again and repeat until all the dough has been used up.

4. Heat the oil (about 3cm deep) in a pot on the stove and fry the hearts in batches until golden brown and cooked through. Don’t be in too much of a hurry; rather maintain the oil at a moderate heat and fry them a little longer to ensure that they are cooked through. Drain briefly on paper towels and then dunk them in the syrup while still hot. The hearts will soak up the syrup and become deliciously sticky on the outside. Serve lukewarm or cold, preferably freshly baked.

The hearts can also be cut open and filled with whipped cream.

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