Home / Desserts / Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun (gluten-free, vegan)
27 October, 2016

Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun (gluten-free, vegan)

Comments : 12 Posted in : Desserts, Indian sweets on by : apsara Tags: , ,

Gulab Jamun made with sweet potato

Gulab Jamun made with sweet potato

Happy Diwali/ Deepavali!!!

One of the advantages of being a food blogger is that one will always get inspired to try new things in the kitchen. Yes. Having connected with other food bloggers, it is hard to just sit there and watch as your friends are posting new recipes for Diwali.

With three days to go for the most popular Indian festival, I decided to try my hand at Gulab Jamun, the to-die-for sweet balls , deep fried and dunked in sugar syrup.

I could not just buy a ready-made mix available out there. Having given up gluten (wheat/flour), it has been a few years since I even tasted this sweet, leave alone making it at home. But I had some sweet potatoes lying around…. And I had heard of this awesome variation of the dish… and tried it out. Seriously, we are so happy the way it turned out, just perfect!

Those who know me well, are aware of my reluctance for deep-frying. With a good quality avocado oil that withstands high temperatures (500 °F) yes, I did deep fry these balls but in a paniyaram/ appe/ Aebleskiver pan. This made sure I was using only as much oil as they needed, without much wastage.  

Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun

  • Servings: 28-30
  • Time: 40-50 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


steamed and mashed sweet potato- 1 cup (from a big yam)

gluten-free flour- 3-4 tbsp.

baking powder- 1 /2 tsp.

Cashew (or any nut) pieces for each jamun

salt – a pinch

avocado oil- for frying

For sugar syrup:

Raw sugar- 2 cups

Water – 1 cup

Cardamom powder- 1/2 tsp.

Saffron strands- a few

rose water- 1 tsp. (optional)


1.  To prepare 1 cup of mashed sweet potato, you will have to steam a big yam till tender, then peel and mash with a potato masher. Alternatively, the yam can be cooked in a pressure cooker, but make sure not to add any water with it or the yam becomes a watery mess.

2. Add 2-3 tbsp. of gluten free flour. I used a homemade flour blend with oat, sorghum and tapioca flours. Any  flour blend or all purpose flour can be used.

3. Add baking powder, salt and knead into a firm dough. It is sticky though!

4. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

5. While the dough is in the fridge the sugar syrup can be prepared.  Add the sugar and water in a deep saucepan and mix over medium heat. Also add cardamon powder. rose water and saffron, stir till a thick syrup forms.

6. Take the dough from the refrigerator.  With oiled hands take a small portion of the dough, flatten it on the palm. Place a cashew or another nut in the center and roll into a ball. Make more balls till the dough is finished. (see Notes below)

7. Heat a paniyaram pan and add 2 tsp. oil to  each pocket. At medium  heat fry the balls gently turning them over for even frying. Alternatively, these can be deep-fried.

8. Drop the fried balls into the sugar  syrup gently.

9. Let the gulab jamun soak in the syrup for a few hours before serving. Can be refrigerated for longer storage.


1. The reason for placing a nut in the center is to ensure that the center is not undercooked. I learned this trick from other gulab jamun recipes.

2. If the syrup consistency is too thin, there is a chance that the balls can break when added to the syrup.


Linking this at Healthy Vegan Fridays #123 hosted by Mary at VNutrition, and at Fiesta Friday #143 co-hosted by Judy @ Cooking With Aunt Juju and Maggie @ Spoon In A Saucepan


12 thoughts on : Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun (gluten-free, vegan)

  • October 30, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Like you said blogging teaches you so many new things – like the nut in the center. Great recipe – thanks for sharing and Happy FF!

    • apsara
      October 30, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Yes, Judi. I have learned so any new things thanks to the blogging journey. From experienced people and those that share the knowledge unselfishly. Thank you for hosting the FF party!

  • October 31, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I have learned so many new things and have been inspired by so many other bloggers too!

    These look delicious! I have never heard of Gulab Jamun before but I’m excited to try these. I’m going to show my student workers from India this recipe too.

    Thanks so much for linking up with us for Healthy Vegan Fridays! I’m Pinning and sharing!

    • apsara
      October 31, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Thank you so much, Mary. It is amazing how much my knowledge has expanded because of blogging. Thank you for hosting the lovely blog hop!

  • November 1, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Wow! I don’t know if I’ve ever had this dessert but I think some of my Muslima friends shared something similar with me at Eid a few years back. I couldn’t stop eating it. Unfortunately, I don’t know what it was called, or even what it consisted of, but it was a ball of fried goodness in syrup!
    By the way, that pan is just ah-mah-zing! It’s so pretty and functional.

    Thanks for sharing with us and linking back to our blogs! Happy Fiesta Friday.

    • apsara
      November 2, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Thank you, Maggie. Yes, the Aebleskiver pan is so versatile, I love it. This dessert is something that you would remember for sure, I’m not surprised that you recall having something similar! Thanks for hosting FF!

  • November 2, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Happy (belated) Diwali! This definitely inspires me to try making more food from different cultures. These sound so tasty! I really appreciate coming across another vegan, gluten-free blogger too =)

    • apsara
      November 3, 2016 at 6:31 am

      Thank you for visiting my blog, Kimmy! I’m so glad to find new like-minded bloggers too. Hope you try this dessert sometime.

  • November 16, 2016 at 8:37 am

    What a great idea! Sweet potato sounds perfect for gulab jamuns. Some of the ingredients are new to me such as tapioca flour and avocado oil. I am very intrigued. Thanks for sharing!

    • apsara
      November 16, 2016 at 9:14 am

      Thank you, Shinta. I’m glad you are intrigued by this recipe. Thank you for visiting!

  • Shweta
    April 14, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Awesome recipe! One more tip.. just like cashew piece.. you can replace that with a sugar : am not sure what you call it.. but somethjng you give in Prasad… those coloured sugar balls or transparent small sugar cubes.. both are offered as Prasad.. that actually melts and make it hollow plus after melting the balls are sweeter from inside because of that too..

    • apsara
      April 14, 2019 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you Shweta. That sounds like a great idea. Will look for those balls and make these with the sugar balls

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: