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Gulab Jamun in Kunafa Nests

An Asian fusion treat that makes quite a showstopper at any gathering and also tastes fantastic!

These are Kunafa nests with a fresh cream base and mini Gulab Jamuns, additionally topped with chopped pistachios.
The kunafa is also sweetened with a sugar syrup, and using an unsweetened cream base really helps balance the taste of this overall sweet dessert.

This is more of an assembling idea, but I felt it deserved a detailed post, so I had to share it here.

I used a Gulab Jamun mix following the instructions of the packet but instead of making the Jamuns large, I made the dough balls only around 1-2cm in diameter. Their size grows as we fry and soak them in sugar syrup which will later fit perfectly in the Kunafa nests.

The Kunafa or Kataifi dough used in this is basically shredded Arabic Phyllo/Filo Pastry. It is used in many arabic sweets and is often found in the Frozen section of the supermarkets in the UAE.
If you can’t spot it in any stores near where you stay, you may find it online.

The process to make the nests is pretty simple, you’ll need a hollow cupcake tray and some melted butter with loosened up, long strands of Kunafa dough.

I wish I could’ve taken some visual shots to make it easier for you to see, but instead I’ve written the process in detail below so do check it out and I really hope you enjoy making this dessert!

Gulab Jamun in Kunafa Nests

Recipe by Aysha Saiha Course: DessertCuisine: FusionDifficulty: Medium


Total time






  • 250gm Kunafa dough

  • 1/2 cup melted butter

  • 180gm Gulab Jamun Mix

  • 150gm Fresh Cream

  • Pistachio, for garnish

  • Sugar syrup
  • 3 cups granulated white sugar

  • 4 cups water

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 5 Cardamom pods

  • 1 Tsp Saffron


  • Start with the Sugar syrup, add the sugar and water in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir until all sugar is dissolved and let it come to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and mix in the lemon juice, cardamom and saffron. Pour 3/4th of this syrup into a wide dish, this will be for the Gulab Jamun to be soaked in and the rest would be used to pour over the Kunafa nests later.
  • Follow the instructions of your Gulab Jamun mix to make the dough.
  • Make smaller balls with the dough about 1-2cm in diameter and deep fry them as per instructions until you get a golden brown exterior and it is cooked all the way through.
  • Soak the Gulab Jamun for at least 45minutes in the prepared dish with sugar syrup.
  • Meanwhile, prepare a cupcake baking pan by greasing it with non-stick spray and preheat the oven to 180ยฐC.

  • Take a thin strip of the kunafa dough, it should be a little long and using the melted butter and a pastry brush, coat the dough with butter evenly on all sides.
  • Now, using your fingers twist the dough strands to create something like a nest about the size of your cupcake mould and stuff it into it. Ensure the base and the sides have enough Kunafa and is lightly pressed, so that it holds shape after baking.
  • Create all the Kunafa nests and bake for about 12-15 minutes until the dough turns crisp and gets a light golden colour. Let it cool.
  • For arranging, first put your Kunafa nests in the serving plate, apply a layer of fresh cream on the base. Put around 2-3 mini Gulab Jamuns on top and pour a little sugar syrup which was set aside on the Kunafa nests.
  • Repeat for all, serve with chopped pistachios on top and enjoy!!


  • The measurements of the ingredients are all approximate, you can alter it slightly based on your requirement.


  1. Your recipe for ‘Gulab Jamun in Kunafa Nests’ is an absolute masterpiece! The fusion of the classic Gulab Jamun with the crispy and delicate Kunafa is a stroke of genius. The step-by-step instructions and clear explanations make it seem achievable even for those not so skilled in the kitchen. I can’t wait to try this unique dessert and savor the blend of flavors and textures. Thanks for sharing this creative and mouthwatering recipe.


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