Most of us (Indians) have fond memories associated with a special dessert known as Gujiya or Gujia. Holi, the Indian festival of colors is incomplete without these sweet delight. They are made in home in bulk quantities to ensure that each guest and relative should have them, they are shared within family and friends, and children just love them.
It has many names and innumerable variations across India. From Mawa Gujiya or just plain Gujiya in North Indian belt to “Pedakiya” in Bihar, “Karanji” in Maharashtra, Ghughra in Gujrat, “Nevri” which is specially prepared in Ganesh Chatuthi in Goa, “karjikayi” in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and “karachika” Tamil Nadu. Whatever be the name, basic way of making Gujiyas across India is same and are made to celebrate festive occasion. Presenting below my version of these beautiful, rich and flaky fried sweet dumplings aka Gujiya, do try!
3 cups of plain flour (Maida)
1/2 cup of clarified Butter (Ghee)
3/4 cup of water
1 and 1/2 cups of Khoya or Mawa (dried evaporated Milk)
1 and 1/2 cup of granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon of Cardamom (Elaichi) powder
1/3 cup of Raisins (Kishmish)
1/3 cup of Almonds (Badam)
2 tablespoon of Charoli (or Chironji) seeds
2 tablespoon of Melon (Magaz) seeds
1/2 cup of desiccated Coconut ( Nariyal Bura)
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour or Maida and 3 tablespoons of water for binding Pedakiyas
Oil for frying Gujiyas, I have used refine sunflower oil.
1. In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup of clarified Butter (Ghee) into the plain white Flour (Maida).
2. Mix it gently with fingers of your hands such that it achieve crumbling consistency. The texture should be like if you bind the mixture with your hand it will form a lump as shown in picture below.
3. Now add Water into the mixture as required to form a dough, I have used around 3/4 cup of water.
4. Cover the prepared dough with a damp cotton cloth (as shown in the picture below) or wrap it with cling wrap and refrigerate the dough for minimum an hour (the more the better).
5. Meanwhile, in a heated pan on medium flame, put dried evaporated Milk (Khoya or Mawa),
6 Cook evaporated Milk (Khoya or Mawa) on a medium high till it gets light brown in color. Switch off the heat and leave it aside to cool down.
7. Make fine powder of granulated sugar by grinding it in a Mixer/Grinder.
8. Its very important that cooked evaporated Milk (Khoya or Mawa) has cooled down completely and is at room temperature before mixing the sugar into it. Once cooled, add desiccated Coconut (Khopra powder / Nariyal ka burada) and Sugar powder into it.
9. In a chopper or mixer Jar, put Raisins (Kishmish), Almonds (Badam), Charoli seeds (Chironji) and Melon (Magaz) seeds and chop/grind them to form a coarse powder having small chunks of all the nuts and seeds.
10. Add coarsely grounded nuts and seeds and Cardamom (Elaichi) powder into the bowl with powdered Sugar, desiccated Coconut and Cooked evaporated Milk or Khoya.
11. Mix all things thoroughly with your hands so that there is no lump and a homogeneous mixture is formed. Your Gujiya filling is ready now.
12. Take the dough out of fridge roll it up and divide it in four equal parts.
13. Repeat division of each dough lump till you have a approximately a lemon size lump.
14. Roll all the lumps to form round balls out of it and put all the balls in a bowl and cover them with a damp cloth.
15. In a small bowl, add a tablespoon of Flour (Maida) and add enough water just to make a running batter out of it, mix them well to form a thin paste which will be used to stick and bind the edges of Gujiyas. Now take out one dough roll from the container and start rolling it using a rolling pin (Belan).
16. Roll it a bit thin or just to fit in your Gujiya mould. Open the Gujiya mould and place the rolled crust into it. Apply the thin paste prepared in above step over the edges of crust using your finger.
17. Fill in the Gujiya filling in the mould (I have used two teaspoon of mixture) just enough to fill the mould.
18. Press the mould on the edges and scarp out the left over crust dough from your hands.
19. If you are not having Gujiya filling mould/frame, you can do it using your hands. After rolling the dough, place the crust at the center your of left hand palm, apply flour based sticky paste around the edges and place the Gujiya filling at the center. Fold the round Gujiya Pastry, by bringing both the edges together and pressing the edges into a semi circular shape.
20. Remove extra crust from the Gujiya if required using a knife to make it a semi circular.
21. Carve the edges of Gujiya using your fingers.
22. Using your finger you can carve it as shown below or you can just simply twist the edges using fingers.
23. Heat sufficient Oil ( I have used refined Sunflower Oil, however if you want you can use clarified Butter or Ghee also for rich taste) in a Wok or Kadai such that 3-4 Gujiyas can be submerged for frying. Before putting Gujiyas into hot oil, ensure Oil is hot enough for frying by putting a small chunk of pastry/crust dough, if it come on top of oil along with bubbles, then your Oil is ready. Turn the flame to medium and gently slide 4-5 Gujiyas into it.
24. When the side immersed inside the Oil turn light Brown in color, flip them gently so that they get cooked evenly from both sides.
25. Once they turn light Brown in color from both side, strain them out from the heated Oil.
26. Make and fry all remaining Gujiyas as mentioned in above steps. Place them on absorbing paper, cover it with a cotton cloth and leave them aside to get cool down completely. Once cooled down completely, store them in an airtight container and they stay good for about 7 to 8 days.
Absolutely delicious, flaky and divine Gujiya is ready to be served. Make them in advance on any festive occasion such as Holi and Deepawali (Diwali) and share them among your friends and relative, Trust me they will love the taste and texture of these yummy Gujiyas.
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Note: Instead of frying, you can bake these Gujiya in an Oven. After preparing all the Gujiyas, pre-heat the Oven at 180 degree Centigrade or 350 degree Fahrenheit. Grease a tray with clarified Butter or Ghee, place all the Gujiya in the tray and glaze each of them with clarified Butter or Ghee. Bake Gujiyas for around 15-20 minutes or till they turn golden Brown in color. Your baked Gujiyas are ready to be served, once cooled.