The Best Vegan & Glutenfree Gulab Jamuns. Dairyfree Eggless Recipe

Vegan Gulab Jamuns - Dairy-free Recipe | Vegan Richa

Another Year, Another Indian festival. Holi marks the end of winter, celebrates the onset of Spring, and celebrates the victory of good over evil in several mythological stories. It is a carefree happy festival of colors celebrated for 2 days. On the first evening, bonfires are lit with old dried trees and leaves to make way for the new and for warmth. The bonfires also have several stories associated with them depending on the region. On the second day, people usually use dry or wet color to drench you in multiple colors.

Because sometimes everyone needs to indulge in the foods we grew up with(deep fried mozzarella! now that is also on the to-do list), I try to vegan-ize the not necessarily healthy desserts as well. I make these deep fried sweet balls or similar decadent sweets, two or three times a year. Once mainly during Diwali and then for other festivals if we decide to celebrate them with friends. 

This post has the new and improved version of the Gulab Jamuns. And if you dont like all that gluten from the wheat, I have an awesome gluten-free version in the post too. Nothing is Impossible. 2 recipes, same deliciousness. I served the wheat version to unsuspecting people at a Diwali get together last year, and most did not catch the missing dairy. No milk powder, No Khoya, Similar taste = everyone happy, including the cows and calfs. 

The top jamun with less cracks is glutenfree. 

Vegan Gulab Jamun/Jamoon

Please pardon the title, eggless and dairy-free seem to get thousands more search queries compared to the vegan keyword :).

The idea of using Sweet potato in the dough is adapted from Dr Varadarangan’s recipe. I dont have all purpose flour in the house anymore, so I use whole wheat flour and a little cashew and oat to add more texture to the Jamuns. The sweet potato adds the perfect moist denseness to the jamuns like the usual dairy ones. 
I love both versions. The wheat ones are softer while the Glutenfree ones retain their shape much better. There is a very slight difference in taste if you go looking for it. But in a bowl of both together, you wont find the gf ones. Oh, and did I mention, there is No Soy. No soy milk powder or tofu. :) Make them!

Most Indian Desserts can easily fit into a non-Indian spread. These GJs are somewhat like Sweet Potato doughnut holes. the difference being that these balls are soaked through with flavored sugar syrup instead of thick icing. Use your favorite flavors in the syrup(cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, gingerbread spice) and these can be your sticky soft  doughnut hole dessert.

More Veganized Indian Sweets collection here.

I love the texture of the GJs.


Mix all dry.

Add wet to dry and make dough . Wheat cashew dough below.

Glutenfree Oat batter dough below.

Let sit for 10 minutes. Make balls and fry.

Soak the balls in sugar syrup for half an hour before consuming.

Vegan Gulab Jamun/Jamoon – Fudgy doughnut Balls soaked in cardamom and saffron flavored sugar syrup.

Allergen Information: Dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free, soy-free, yeast-free.
Vegan: Makes 18-20
1/2 cup wheat flour
2 Tablespoons ground raw cashew (or almond)
1 Tablespoon Oat flour
1 Tablespoon ground raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a generous pinch of salt
a pinch of black salt/kala namak(optional)
1/4 cup sweet potato puree(well mashed boiled sweet potato or plain canned)
1 Tablespoon Oil
1-2 Tablespoons water

Allergen Information: Dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free, soy-free, yeast-free, nut-free, gluten free.
Glutenfree and Vegan: Makes 12-14
1/4 cup Oat flour
2 Tablespoons Brown rice flour
3 Tablespoons Tapioca starch
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons Sweet potato puree
1 teaspoon oil
2 teaspoons water
Variation: Add a Tablespoon of ground raw cashew for added texture. 

Sugar Syrup:
1 cup ground raw sugar or other vegan sugar
1 cup water
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder or 2-3 cardamom pods seeds crushed
1/4 teaspoon saffron strands

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add the wet and mix well.
The wheat dough should be soft and non sticky. Use a few teaspoons more water or wheat flour if needed.
The glutenfree dough will be soft, more like a very thick batter and will get a bit dryer and more dough like after the 10 minutes.
Cover the doughs with a towel and let sit for 10 minutes till you prep the sugar syrup and heat up the oil.
Oil your hands and Make balls of the dough with a light hand. 1/2-3/4 inch size balls.
Once the oil is hot, fry the balls on medium heat. The wheat balls will double in size and the glutenfree ones will increase to 1.5 times the size, so fry in small batches to keep enough space and cook evenly.
If the oil is too hot, the jamuns will get dark quickly and not cook from the inside.
Turn them around every 2 minutes. 
Remove the balls once golden brown all over, not dark brown.(6-8 minutes)
Let the balls sit out for a minute before adding to the hot sugar syrup.
Place the balls in hot sugar syrup. keep the sugar syrup on low heat.
Turn them around after 5 minutes and switch heat off.
The balls soak unevenly for the first few minutes and look uneven too, but will even out after some time.
Let them soak for at least half an hour. turn them around every 10 minutes.
Serve warm or cold.
Keep refrigerated for upto 3 days.

Sugar syrup:

Mix the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes until just about 1/2 string consistency.
Add cardamom powder and saffron strands and keep ready.

These recipes updated for even better gulab jamuns in my cookbook! Now Available worldwide!!

Approximate Nutrition Analysis:  for the contents before frying and soaking in sugar syrup. To help compare with the dry ready non vegan mix version.

Below from Caloriecount

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 135 g
Amount Per Serving



Calories from Fat 

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 


Saturated Fat 






Total Carbohydrates 


Dietary Fiber 





Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 7%
Calcium 13% Iron 25%
Nutrition Grade A
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
  • Low in saturated fat
  • No cholesterol

Below from

Calories: 482.3 kcal
Water 32.69 g
Carbohydrate* (63%) 78.9 g
Protein (12%) 16.01 g
Total Fat (25%) 14.5 g
   Monounsaturated 7.17 g
   Polyunsaturated 3.04 g
   Saturated 2.06 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary Fibre 10.97 g
Alcohol (0%) 0 g
Vitamin A 46.88 IU
Thiamin 0.51 mg
Riboflavin 0.18 mg
Niacin 4.43 mg
Pantothenic acid 1.13 mg
Vitamin B6 0.41 mg
Folate 45.93 mcg
Vitamin B12 0 mcg
Vitamin C 4.25 mg
Vitamin E 1.02 mg ATE
Calcium 150.79 mg
Iron 5.2 mg
Magnesium 194.67 mg
Phosphorus 629.67 mg
Potassium 964.44 mg
Sodium 11.71 mg
Zinc 3.99 mg
Copper 0.98 mg

Even though, the festival of Holi is about happiness and colors, it has several effects on people and the environment. Apart from the toxicity of the colors used(the colors are almost never tested and are toxic on the skin and eventually also end up in water sources), and the Holika Dahan bonfires(approx 30,000 bonfires each burning approximately 100 kg of wood are lit in one season), the other big impact is the usage or rather wastage of water. Water is an important commodity, with fresh water resources being used up rapidly and rampantly without a thought about the future. 
Please read the excerpt below and choose to celebrate this Holi with natural color dry powders(turmeric, beet, spinach, tomato powders etc) and with no water.

Aabid Surti is a distinguished Indian painter and author. Aabid has written around 80 books but no story so moved him as the truth about water scarcity on the planet. “I read an interview of the former UN chief Boutros Boutros Ghali,” he recalls, “who said that by 2025 more than 40 countries are expected to experience water crisis. I remembered my childhood in a ghetto fighting for each bucket of water. I knew that shortage of water is the end of civilized life.”

Once he was sitting in a friend’s house and noticed a leaky tap. It bothered him. When he pointed it out, his friend, like others, dismissed it casually: it was too expensive and inconvenient to call a plumber for such a minor job – even plumbers resisted coming to only replace old gaskets.
A few days later, he came across a statistic in the newspaper: a tap that drips once every second wastes a thousand litres of water in a month. 
That triggered an idea. He would take a plumber from door to door and fix taps for free – one apartment complex every weekend.

He began by simply replacing old O-ring rubber gaskets with new ones, buying new fixtures from the wholesale market. He named his one-man NGO ‘Drop Dead’ and created a tagline: save every drop… or drop dead.
Every Sunday, the Drop Dead team – which consisted of Aabid himself, Riyaaz the plumber and a female volunteer Tejal – picked the apartment blocks, got permission from the housing societies, and got to work. A day before, Tejal would hand out pamphlets explaining their mission and paste posters in elevators and apartment lobbies spreading awareness on the looming water crisis. And by Sunday afternoon, they would ensure the buildings were drip-dry.
By the end of the first year, they had visited 1533 homes and fixed around 400 taps. 
Conservatively, it could be estimated that he has single-handedly saved at least 5.5m litres of water till date.

Food for thought.
Global water Footprint Infographic.

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  1. says

    Ah… sweet potato. A really brilliant idea. I’d like to try your recipes… I’ve been evolving mine for a long time and am always looking for improvement and variations. Gulab Jamuns are always tricky, traditional or not! 😉

    • says

      True that.. these are slightly less moody compared to the traditional ones. i have had bigger messes with those some years back. these work out fine even with a bit different dough and all that:) You should definitely give these a go.. Sweet potato indeed.

    • says

      Thanks Annie:) these are definitely an indulgence.. i had the post in drafts and posted it yesterday. hubbs saw the post and was like.. where are they. did you eat all by yourself 😉

  2. says

    What a lovely idea to veganise the gulab jamuns…why do we use potatoes in them? All in all, i am guessing you fry anything and drop them in sugary goodness with cardamom, anything should taste great!!!


    • says

      the sweet potato adds the fudgy moistness to them. I dint use them in my older veganized version. though that worked well too, but the potatoes take it even closer to the original texture and taste. anything would definitely taste great in crdamom syrup but others will know it is not jamuns.. with this, they dont realize it until i tell them.

    • says

      Nope. Tried it a couple of times and they always look too light colored and dont soak the syrup well. They will need a lot more fat in the dough and more leavening for baking as well.

    • says

      Thank you for the recipe Richa :). I made the gulab jamun’s using wheat and oat flour today, turned out awesome.
      One quick question, if i reduced the amount of oat flour or didn’t use it at all, would it matter? Thanks again.

    • says

      Thank you for the recipe Richa :) I made the gulab jamun today using wheat and oat flour. Turned out awesome.
      One question, if i reduced the oat flour or didn’t use it at all would it matter? Thanks again.

    • says

      It wouldnt matter much. I like the added texture from the oats. Regular jamuns are usually a bit dense. Oats are also a bit salty, so along with cashews it works to add a khoya-ish effect. but the cashews, wheat and sweet potato are enough as well. :) or just wheat and sweet potato. so glad they worked out so well!

  3. says

    I found your recipe through another blogger and just as I told her, my stepfather was Indian and I just love Indian food! Especially the desserts! Would love to make these for a housewarming party I am having! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. says

    Richa – any idea of the calorie/fat content in this versus the traditional GJ’s? I took some to a friends house for dinner last night and they loved it, and we were discussing this? Thanks….Kamini

    • says

      Hi Kamini, I added nutrition analysis from 2 sites on the post. they have slight variations because of the options available for calculation ounces and not tablespoons, sweet potatoes only canned and not boiled option and so on.

      The analysis is for the dry ingredients + sweet potato so that can be compared with the dry gulab jamun mixes. The next step would be the same for both, add water, fry and soak in sugar syrup.
      Here is the nutrition info for gits
      and for tops india
      Gits is serving size of 7 so multiply the values by 7.

      Vegan ones are much lower in Saturated fat, sodium and higher in Iron.

      If home made, then the cals are going to shoot up because
      Khoya 1 cup has 1,838 calories and
      and Whole milk powder 1 cup is 669 calories.

      But eventually all this is going to be fried and soaked in huge amount of sugar. so none can eb considered healthy by any standards:)

    • says

      It will not work well with just rice flour. You can double the rice flour and Add a bit of other flours if you can like sorghum or teff, and also increase the starch. and get the stiff batter consistency.

  5. says

    I love your pictures and recipes, they are mouth watering. Would love for you to share them with us at We are new but at we are not photography snobs, we are just foodies.

  6. says

    Your food photos are amazing. You can share your mouth watering photos with us at is a new food sharing site and we actually try our best to promote your food photos. At all your food photos will be published without any editorial review so I really hope you come and join us.

  7. Anonymous says

    just tried them (gf version). the crust was hard, and the insides were soft. there was difficulty in getting the sugar syrup to get inside. what do you suggest?

    • says

      fry the gf jamuns for a shorter time. if they get too brown, they tend to not absorb the syrup. if they still dont absorb the syrup, thin the syrup a bit with water and boil the jamuns for a few minutes in the syrup. heat + thinner syrup should work

  8. Manisha Gambhir says

    Thanks a TON Richa for sharing such amazing recipes. I really mean A TON!!!!! The secrets to making vegan versions of various dishes/desserts… I refer to your recipes so often. Its because of angels like you that we are able to challenge the traditional methods…

  9. Ashwini says

    This a wonderful recipe that I’d like to try.

    Is the raw sugar used here the same as brown sugar or different?

  10. Anu says

    Richa you are fantastic. My vegan son has not eaten GJs since becoming vegan 3 years ago!!! He loves these. Thank you so much xx

  11. Pallavi says

    Hi Richa, I just started experimenting with vegan desserts (just stayed away from sweets until this point or bought Jalebis at the Indian store when desperate). Love your recipes for Indian desserts and will hopefully experiment with them all .

    I tried making this recipe for gj’s yesterday ( the wheat flour version) they became really dense and absorbed very little syrup, even after cutting in half and boiling them. I know I overworked the dough when making the balls and will avoid doing that, but not sure how to avoid over kneading the initial dough. Do you just fold everything in with a spoon or knead it like chapati dough to mix well.

    Any suggestions (more baking powder?) Also what temperature do you heat the oil to? Thanks

    • says

      hmm.. they should soften when you slice them and boil in the syrup. here are a few things to check for the next time.
      1. make a really soft dough. (add just enough flour until it comes together into a somewhat sticky ball. use a spoon. then let it rest. do not knead like chapati dough. use oiled hands to make balls.
      2. check the baking powder. maybe the baking powder is too old and isnt working. The balls should expand to atleast 1.5 times the size. if the baking powder is too old, then adding more will not work anyway.
      3. if the sugar syrup is too thick, it wont absorb well. (it can happen with some types of sugars or cooking for too long), thin it out a bit with more water.

      i cook the gulab jamuns on medium heat, once the oil is hot. cook them till they get golden. they will continue to darken slightly when out.
      hope this helps.

  12. Emily says

    hi! I have been talking non stop about wanting gulab jamun and my husband found your recipe on Pinterest (when I say non stop I mean it’s been a week of me saying whyyy are all of the recipes including milk powder) so he found the recipe and I didn’t have sweet potato so I used pumpkin purée. It totally worked! Thank you so much for making my vegan dreams come true <3


  1. […] For new, no white flour Gulab Jamuns and also a gluten-free option see here. Traditionally, Gulab Jamuns are made of milk powder, and khoya(milk solids), deep fried and then soaked in flavored sugar syrup. (Probably deep fried in Pure ghee(clarified butter) for adding to the indulgence). The milk powder GJ texture is thick, chewy and slightly salty. Its basically a milky doughnut. For the salty and grittyness, I added some Oats. For the powdery, chewy proteinness I added almonds and the rest of the base was self rising flour(or all purpose flour + baking powder) I made them in 3 batches with experimentation in size of balls, and time of cooking. I will make these again this weekend.. Will update the recipe if need be. Most of the milk powder gulab jamun recipe tips apply here too. Tips: Dont make too big a ball, dont press too hard while rolling into a ball, Fry them well at a good medium hot temperature till golden brown(5-7 minutes, moving occasionally), if brownining too quickly then the oil is too hot. Let soak in sugar syrup for half an hour before eating( the most difficult part;)) Soak in simmering syrup. Syrup should not be too thick. Turn balls around every 5 minutes. The balls will look misshaped when absorbing the syrup on the sides which are dipped in the syrup, so turn them around till all sides absorb the syrup. Please do try these and give me some feedback so I can make them even better! and beat the Milk powder GJs to a far away land! Check out my round up of Indian Vegan Sweets/Desserts posted a week back here! (gluten free goodies too). More goodies to celebrate this month! Gulab Jamuns Ingredients: 10-12 balls depending on size […]

  2. […] Gulab Jamuns Cashew Barfi Truffles (Veganosaurus) Coconut Almond Laddoos Kheer – vermicelli in almond milk (Veg Recipes of India) Gajar Halwa (Veganosaurus) Apple Jalebis with Rabri cream  Badusha (Holy Cow Vegan Recipes) Besan Quinoa Laddoo Almond Kheer (Holy Cow Vegan Recipes) Plain Jalebi  Pink Coconut Laddoo Dry Fruit Laddoo (Veg Recipes of India) Kaju Katli – Cashew fudge Adhirasam (Holy Cow Vegan Recipes) Oil-free Wheat Choorma And you can also get 15 more recipes, all of the ones in the below Table of contents photograph in my Vegan Diwali Sweets Ebook! All the proceeds from the book sale will be donated.  […]

  3. […] Gulab Jamuns Kesar Peda – Almond Saffron cookies Fudgy Coconut Ladoo Mango Burfi – Mango fudge  Cashew Barfi Truffles (Veganosaurus) Coconut Almond Laddoos Kheer – vermicelli in almond milk (Veg Recipes of India) Amaranth Coconut Burfi Gajar Halwa (Veganosaurus) Apple Jalebis with Rabri cream  Badusha (Holy Cow Vegan Recipes) Besan Quinoa Laddoo Almond Kheer (Holy Cow Vegan Recipes) Plain Jalebi  Pink Coconut Laddoo Dry Fruit Laddoo (Veg Recipes of India) Kaju Katli – Cashew fudge Adhirasam (Holy Cow Vegan Recipes) Oil-free Wheat Choorma […]

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