Festive season is upon us. Time to make sweets and bake. Gujiya is a puffed fried pastry stuffed with different fillings and usually made during festivals of Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi and Diwali. This is a traditional recipe that I remember making with my mother as a child.
- The dough is made similar to a pie crust but using less butter/ghee/oil. Buttering or oiling the flour is called moin in Hindi.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (maida) Or 3 1/2 cup maida to 1/2 cup fine cream of wheat (suji) – sieve the flour
- ~ 8 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or soft butter or vegetable oil (1 cup flour to ~ 2 to 2 1/4 tbsp moin)
- ~ 1/2 cup cold water – use enough that will require to make firm dough so that when frying it does not form bubbles on the shell (usually in baking I will fork the crust or shell gently)
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp sugar (optional)
- – Vegetable oil for frying
- – Glue/binder – mix 1 tbsp all-purpose flour and 1tbsp water
- Sieve and mix flour with ghee, salt and sugar nicely by rubbing between the hands, then add cold water little at a time to make a firm dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and keep aside. When the filling is ready, knead the dough once more.
- ~ 2 1/2 cups Khoa/Mawa (concentrated milk solids) – available at the Indian stores
- 1/4 cup cream of wheat (suji) or besan (garbanzo flour) – optional
- 2 tsp ghee
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- ~ 4 tbsp broken cashews – or slice round
- ~ 2 tbsp broken pistachio – or slice round
- 1 tbsp melon seeds – usually cantaloupe or honey dew melon
- 1 tbsp charoli/chirongi nuts
- ~ 4 tbsp golden raisins
- ~ 1/4 cup grated coconut – unsweetened desiccated or fresh grated
- 1 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds – grind it in the mortar
- Pinch of clove powder (long)
- 2 tsp rose water
- 1/4 tsp saffron (make powder by rubbing between the palms of your hands) – optional
- Heat ghee in a pan on medium low and add cream of wheat for a min. Then add nuts, seeds, raisins, cardamom, coconut and khoa. Stir for few minutes until khoa mixture turns light golden. Turn off heat and mix in the sugar and rose water. Don’t have to over cook the khoa mix as it will cook during frying.
- Divide the dough into 4 parts and make a log one at a time. Keep the rest of the dough covered with the damp cloth. Cut the log into ~ 1″ pieces to make balls. Press and roll each about ~ 4″ in diameter circle (puri size and thickness should be thin). Brush half edge of the circle with glue and place about ~ 1 1/2 tbsp of filling on that side. Cover the filling by the other half and press the edges firmly. While rolling don’t flour the surface, roll and lift in a circular fashion and repeat the process until 4″ circle. Use little oil to help roll.
- Make a decorative edge by pinching and folding all the way and press lightly just above the edge so that the gujiya doesn’t open when frying. Or cut the edges with a cookie cutter or fork it depending on time and desired aesthetic.
- Using a mold may be easier for some.
- Heat canola oil on medium. Test it by putting a small piece of dough and when it sizzles to the top, the oil is ready for frying. When gujiyas sizzle and float to the top, turn them over and repeat a few times until golden brown for about 10 min. Slow fry so that it cooks inside and out.
- Place the gujiyas on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Cool before serving, but some do like it hot. Handle the gujiyas with care as they are very delicate.
- Glaze in quick dip in warm sugar syrup or brush it on one side to garnish with powdered pistachio. Put the glazed gujiyas on the rack.
- Sprinkle with powered sugar.
- Cover with verk (silver leaf)
- Sugar syrup – 1 cup sugar + 1/2 cup water – Bring it to boil (230*) on medium high heat to get one thread strand.
- There are so many different variation of fillings from sweet to salty – fruits, nuts, chocolate, cheese, etc. This is a traditional recipe made during festivals.
- Don’t overwork the dough as it tends to spring back at the time of rolling.
- Homemade Khoa – 1 cup milk powder + 1/2 cup whipping cream + 2 tbsp ricotta cheese – Stir and cook cream, milk powder and ricotta on medium heat in a pan until moisture evaporates and sightly golden. Also when the aroma comes through and the mixture is soft and runny indicates that it is ready. Don’t make it crumbly!