Holi special gujiyas

For me the festival of Holi is about more than colors. Okay, let me rephrase. For me, it is not about the colors at all, it is about gujiyas. And now since this festival is around the corner, every shop is offering these fried sweet dumplings and every household is gearing up to prepare them as well.

Gujiyas are sweet, fried dumplings prepared with mawa, dry fruits, and glazed with sugar syrup. The filing is extremely simple to make. Some mawa (homemade or market bought) combined with dry fruits of your choice and sugar are enough to create the most yummy filing.

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Original form of Gujiyas

Gujiyas are called pirakiya in Bihar. There are two types made in Bihar: one stuffed with suji roasted in ghee with sugar, cashew, grated coconut, cardamom, raisin and nuts and then deep fried in ghee; while the second one is pure khoya is mixed with nuts and sugar and then deep fried.

Gujiyas also have their own form in Gujarat as ghughra, as karanji in Marathi, karachika in Tamil Nadu—each is a form of fried sweet dumplings made of wheat flour and stuffed with dry or moist coconut delicacies. Goan Hindus prepare it on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi and call it nevri.

This delicacy is also quite similar to the Spanish empanadas, we don’t which one came first.

The ones we get in the market or eat are the simple and humble gujiyas, but I am not that simple when it comes to cooking. In fact I am interested in changing the avatar of our everyday Indian dishes into world class dishes, something that everybody wants to eat and take a picture of. My version is also a mix of gujiya and pirakiya. Instead of just using mawa, I have added semolina for the added crunch. I have also added sesame and ice cream (because I like them both). Having said that, you can of course make this dish the way you like, classical, modern or with your own twist.

For the Dough

Ingredients Quantity
Maida 1 cup
Sooji (Semolina) 1 tbsp
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter or Ghee 1 tbsp
Milk 1- 2 tbsp
Salt A pinch

How to cook cook cook!

  1. In a big mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together.
  2. Knead a soft elastic dough and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Ensure to cover it with a piece of cloth.

Gujiya Mixture

Ingredients Quantity
Crumbled Khoya/Mawa 1 cup
Superfine Sugar 1/4 cup
Sooji (Semolina) 3 tbsp
Milk 2 tbsp
Almonds 15 pieces
Cashews 15 pieces
Dates 8 pieces
Cardamom Powder 2 tsp

How to cook cook cook!

  1. Heat a heavy-bottom pan
  2. Add crumbled mawa and toast it for 15 minutes on a low flame or when the mixture turns light brown in color, take it off the flame and let it cool in a separate plate.
  3. In a separate pan lightly toast the almonds and cashews on a medium flame.
  4. In another pan, lightly toast the sooji on a medium flame till it become golden brown. Let it cook in a separate flame
  5. Mix all these ingredients together with dates, sugar and milk until everything is well- blended.
  6. This mixture should be moist.

Sugar Syrup

Ingredients Quantity
Sugar ½ cup
Water 4-5 tbsp
Cardamom Powder 2 tsp
Rose water (optional) 1 tsp
Saffron strands (optional) Few

How to cook cook cook!

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a pan and on a medium flame bring it too a boil.
  2. Make one string sugar syrup.
  3. To test – press the sugar syrup between your forefingers and thumb together. Start pulling them apart (do not touch for the first few seconds, it will be very hot).
  4. Drain the syrup.
  5. Dip each gujiya in this syrup for 2-3 minutes and take them out on a clean plate.

I will first tell you my version of deconstructed gujiya and then a simple note on the classic gujiyas.

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Deconstructed Gujiya with Toasted Sesame Seeds and Pistachio Ice Cream

My Version:

  1. Roll the dough in to 2 mm thickness, and cut them in strips
  2. Fry them in hot ghee until golden brown or bake them at 180 degree
  3. Dip the strips in to sugar syrup and assemble however you want, or follow the picture for inspiration.
  4. I have put the strips as the base, and the sprinkled the gujiya filling around with tossed sesame seeds and pistachio ice cream quenelle.
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Raw Gujiyas

Classic version (I used a mold, but you can try your hands to fold them as well):

  1. Roll a round disc like chapati.
  2. Put the disc on top of the mold.
  3. Fill the gujiya mixture at the base.
  4. Seal the edge by applying water.
  5. Flip over the top and firmly press the mould – seal the edges
  6. Trim off the excess dough.
  7. Gujiyas should be sealed properly or they will open up during frying
  8. Fry them until golden brown
  9. Dip them in the sugar syrup for 2-3 minutes

Whether you are making my modern version or age old classic version, be assured that these gujiya will taste heavenly and you will get so many compliments from your family and guests. You can thank me later.

Happy Holi!

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