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  • Sushma Saksena

Gujiya

Mawa Gujiya is a traditional Indian fried pastry stuffed with sweet coconut and Khoya filling. Gujiya are a must make sweet for the festival of Holi in the North Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. I can say with conviction that mom made the best Gujiya ever!


Gujiya is known by various names in other States, such as:

  • Karanji (in Maharashtra),

  • Ghughra (in Gujarat),

  • Nevri ( in Goa) and

  • Purukiya (in Bihar).


Whatever you call it, all variants of Gujiya taste equally delicious and yum!


Holi is my favourite festival. Apart from getting drenched with colour made from the sweet smelling tesu flowers and smearing each other with tons of gulaal, I love the delicacies that we get to relish only on Holi.


When I was a kid, my mom used to make a variety of snacks for Holi. We used to have a special steel net almirah (jali ki almari) only for different types of dry snacks, which was always kept full. She made some dishes throughout the year, but a lot of her dishes were festival specific. Gujiya, kanji ke bade, namkeen sev, mathari, Aloo Ke Chips, Aloo Ke Papad and Papdi were her signature dishes for Holi.


But out of all the sweets she made, Gujiya was the best. It is more like a sweet dumpling made from all-purpose flour and khoya. But I never made gujiyas with my mom. After marriage, my husband was posted in Mumbai and my mother was in UP, so it was difficult for her to send gujiya to me even though I missed her gujiyas a lot.


I asked one of my sisters-in-law, who was staying in Mumbai and who also made delicious gujiyas, like my mother, to teach me to make gujiyas. Under her guidance, I became an expert in making gujiyas.


Keeping my mother’s tradition alive, I also make different sweets for each festival so that my children can celebrate all festivals in the way our family has been celebrating for generations.


Prep Time: 10 min

Cooking Time: 1 hr 10 min

Total Time: 1 hr 20 min


Ingredients for Gujiya:


For the dough:

  1. Maida (refined flour): 750gm

  2. Ghee (clarified butter): 150gm

  3. A pinch of salt

  4. Water


For the filling:

  1. Khoya: 1kg

  2. Sugar: 500 gm

  3. Desiccated or grated coconut: 1 big bowl

  4. Almonds: 20 to 25 (finely chopped)

  5. Cashew nuts: 20 to 25 (finely chopped)

  6. A handful of raisins

  7. Green cardamom powder: 2tsp


Sealant for gujiya:

  1. Maida (refined flour): 1tbsp

  2. Water: ½ bowl

  3. Fresh Earbud: 1

  4. Oil/ghee for frying


Instructions:


How to make gujiya dough:

1. Take flour in a big bowl. Add all the ghee and salt in it and mix maida well with ghee.


2. Now take some maida in your palm and squeeze it with your finger. See if the flour looks the same as shown in the picture. Now, your moin (stage before dough) is perfect, that is the amount of ghee in the flour is correct.



3. Slowly add water and knead to a soft pliable dough. The dough should be firm.


4. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.


How to make Gujiya filling:

1. Meanwhile, make gujiya filling.


2. Take a heavy bottom wok (kadhai). Heat it. Add khoya. Sauté the khoya over medium heat till it looks pinkish brown.



3. Turn off the heat. When the khoya cools, mix sugar, cardamom, grated coconut, almonds, cashew nuts.

4. Mix everything well and keep this filling aside.


How to make gujiya:

1. Now everything is ready. So, we can start making gujiyas.


2. Take some dough. Roll it on the chakla. Cut this roll in ½ - ½ inch pieces and make small balls.


3. Take one ball and make a thin poori, which should not be very big.


4. Press one corner of the poori.


5. Apply sealant on the edges of the poori.


6. Now put one spoonful of filling mixture in the centre of the poori.


7. Press the edges with your fingers to seal it tight.


8. Make a design on the edge by pinching and twisting all along the sealed edges. If you find it difficult, cut off the edges with a fancy cutter.


9. Make all the gujiyas in this way. Keep them under a cloth so that they won’t dry until we start frying them.



10. Heat ghee or oil in a kadhai. To check if the ghee/oil is hot enough put a piece of dough in it. If the dough comes up at once, add as many gujiyas as can fit in the kadhai comfortably.


11. Deep fry gujiyas from both sides on medium heat till they are light brown in colour.


12. Let the gujiyas cool before storing them in an airtight container.




NOTES:

  1. Instead of using oil, use ghee for moin. This will give a nice taste to gujiya.

  2. The dough must be covered with a moist cloth at all times. Otherwise, it will become dry and pooris would be difficult to make.

  3. After shaping the Gujiya, keep them covered with a cloth.

  4. You will need a mould to shape the Gujiyas, unless you are adept at sealing the edges using your fingers. So, make sure to buy the mould beforehand.

  5. Gujiya frying is a time consuming process. You have to be patient while frying gujiyas. If you are making gujiya alone then you should prepare all the gujiyas first and fry all the gujiyas afterwards.

  6. Make sure to seal the gujiya very well after stuffing. If they open while frying, their filling will come out and spoil the entire batch.

  7. Sometimes, one of the Gujiya breaks while frying and the filling starts to stick to other gujiyas. You have to remove that gujiya immediately.

  8. After removing the broken gujiya, strain the ghee/oil using a metal strainer and then only use the oil for frying.

  9. Fry those broken gujiyas in the last batch. Otherwise all the gujiyas would turn black in colour.

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