Crispy and flaky traditional Gujiya recipe is rich and delicious. Packed with the goodness of desiccated coconut and dry nuts, its a perfect sweet for any Indian festival.
As spring nears, every Indian household gears up to celebrate the most colorful festival of the year – Holi! Holi also associated as Basant Utsav (Spring Festival) is the festival of colors which is celebrated across India with great cheer and happiness.
With festivities in full swing, you can feel the energy and enthusiasm in the air. Back home, every street vendors and dessert shops would be selling festival favorites. This is what I miss the most here. To make it feel like a festival, I have to make an extra effort. Decorate the house and cook delicacies.
Talking about delicacies, today I am sharing with you a drool-worthy gujiya recipe that is a must-have on Holi. Gujiya is one recipe that is always welcomed in my house. Whether it is a family gathering, festival or potluck, this light, and flaky Gujiyas are a serious crowd pleaser!
Before I advance any further let’s talk about Holi!
Why is Holi celebrated?
As per Hindu Mythology, Holi festival symbolizes the win of good over evil. Hiranyakashap, an ambitious king tries to kill his devotee son Prahlad by using his sister Holika. Holika was immune to fire and had a boon that she would never get burnt, but due to the blessing of Lord Vishnu Prahlad came out from the fire safely but Holika was consumed in that fire. Read more about Holi here.
To mark this legend, huge bonfires made with dry twigs and leaves are lit on the eve of Holi, to commemorate Holika Dahan. Metaphorically, the fire is meant to signify the destruction of evil (burning of ‘Holika’). The very next day, celebrations continue with people applying Gulaal and Abeer (festival colors) on each other. These festive colors signify the arrival of spring and all the vibrant colors it brings to nature. Therefore, it is pronounced as ‘The Festival of colors.”
To celebrate this festive occasion, huge parties are hosted. And –
- Motichoor ladoo,
- Boondi ladoo,
- Mawa burfi,
- Coconut ladoo, and
- Gulab jamuns are some of the sweets that are consumed on the happy moment of Holi. But for me Holi without Gujiya is incomplete.
What is a Gujiya?
Gujiya is a stuffed deep-fried dumpling made with sooji and wheat flour dough. Gujiya can be prepared either sweet or savory. Since it’s the occasion of Holi, I plan to make the sweeter version. My kids love sweet gujiya and call it sweet, flaky pastries.
The one that is filled with mawa– coconut mixture and glazed with sugar syrup. The filing is extremely simple to make. Homemade mawa combined with desiccated coconut, sugar, and dry nuts creates the yummiest filing. Don’t have mawa on hand, try making it at home. Follow this link to homemade mawa.
How to make Gujiya?
Begin the recipe by making the dough for the outer crust. Knead a soft, pliable dough, cover and let it rest for 30 minutes. While the dough is resting, let’s prepare the filling. This filling is-
- nutty and
- extremely versatile.
Dry roast mawa and coconut together. When it turns light brown, take it off the flame and set it aside. In a separate pan, toast the nuts. Toasting nuts release their essential oils and bring out their fullest flavor. It maximizes their taste and is later ground to the ideal consistency and texture. This powdered mix is then added to the mawa-coconut mix. Mix well to combine.
The sweet filling is ready. Tuck this filing in the dough, shape it like a gujiya and deep fried until golden. After the gujiyas are cooked and cooled, soak them in chasni/sugar syrup. Soaking will not make them too sweet because the outer crust (the dough) has no sugar added to it. But again it’s optional. You can enjoy them as is without any sugar coating. They taste equally good.
Tips to consider, What could possibly go wrong!
- About stuffing – this is a common mistake that can be easily overlooked. After stuffing, make sure gujiyas are sealed tightly. Apply little water to seal and secure the edges. A slight hole in gujiya will make them disperse in oil making a huge mess.
- For a crispy layer – fry gujiya in medium hot oil. Do not rush through this process
- These gujiyas will be soft from outside when freshly coated with sugar. But as the sugar crystallizes – the outer layer will become crisp with a soft and chewy coconut filling inside.
- Do not have mawa on hand. No worries store bought mawa can be used. If possible try making mawa at home.
- Mawa can be substituted with roasted sooji (semolina) and toasted nuts. Use the same measurements and continue with the recipe.
- FOR A HEALTHIER VERSION – Try baking these gujiya @ 400 Degrees F for 20-25 minutes until light brown. G
This is one of my most favorite must-have recipes for Holi. Go ahead and give it a try and if you happen to make this recipe, please comment below and leave your feedback below. If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them.
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FOR THE DOUGH
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon Sooji (Semolina)
- 1/8 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1/4 cup Unsalted butter or Ghee
GUJIYA MIXTURE INGREDIENTS
- 1/4 cup Dessicated Coconut
- 1 cup Crumbled Khoya/Mawa
- 1/4 cup Superfine Sugar
- 2 tablespoon Milk
- 12 pieces of Raisins
- 15 pieces of Almonds
- 15 pieces of Pistachios
- 2 tablespoon of Cashew pieces
- 2 teaspoon Green Cardamom powder
- 1 teaspoon Saffron strands
SUGAR SYRUP - OPTIONAL
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 4 tablespoon Water
- 1/2 teaspoon Green Cardamom powder
- 1 teaspoon Rose water
- Few pieces of Saffron strands
- In a big bowl combine all the ingredients listed under "FOR THE DOUGH."
- Take lukewarm water and knead a soft pliable dough. The dough should be firm.
- Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile let's begin with our gujiya filling. Assemble all the ingredients.
- In a heavy bottom pan add mawa, dry coconut and toast them on low heat. Toast for 15 minutes on a low flame and as shown in the third picture when the mixture turns light brown in color, add saffron strand. Mix and take it off the flame.
- In a separate kadhai add nuts (except raisins)and toast them on a medium flame. Once they start omitting their aroma, take it off the flame and allow it to cool completely. Ground them in a coffee grinder until it turns into a fine powder. Add this nutty mixture to the mawa mixture along with raisins.
- Stir it well. Add sugar, milk and mix until everything is well- blended.
- This mixture should be moist. To check - take some mixture in your hands, squeeze and if it forms a soft ball, its perfect and if its still crumbly add few more drops of milk to form a soft ball.
GUJIYA WITHOUT MOULD
- Making Gujiyas without the mould. Take a small golf size ball of the dough.
- Roll it in a thin circle.
- In the half fold, place some gujiya mixture.
- Fold gujiya into half.
- Apply water along the edges and seal it tight.
- Using a fork SECURE the edges by making imprints of the fork.
- Gujiya is ready for frying.
GUJIYA WITH MOULD
- If making gujiya with a mould, follow the directions below.
- Roll out a disc shaped circle.
- Like a blanket place this rolled out dough over the mould.
- Fill the gujiya mixture at the base. Apply water along the edges.
- Flip over the top and firmly press the mould- seal the edges.
- Using a knife trim off the excess dough and mix it with rest of the dough.
- Perfectly shaped gujiya in a mold. This is how the finished gujiya looks like.
- All the gujiyas should be sealed properly or they will open up during frying, leaving a mess. The one on the far left corner in the picture is not fit for frying.
- Gujiyas are ready for an oil bath.
- Heat oil in a pan. When ready for frying, lower the flame and fry gujiyas until golden brown in color. The key to crispy gujiya is - patience! Gujiyas should be fried in a medium hot oil for a crispy layer.
- Remove from oil and drain it on the paper towel.
- Gujiyas are ready.
- Let's prepare the sugar syrup. Combine all the ingredients in a pan and on a medium flame bring it to a boil. Scum will start forming on top of the liquid. Using a spoon, collect and discard. I had to remove it twice during the whole boiling process. Keep boiling till the liquid is reduced and it starts to thicken.
- Lower the heat, dip spoon in the syrup and remove. Do not touch for the first few seconds, it will be very hot. Touch the syrup with your finger and if it coats your finger it means that it is about to reach it's first string consistency.
- I have prepared one string sugar syrup for this recipe. To test - press your forefinger and thumb together. Start pulling them apart. If the thread/string between your finger and thumb doesn't break after pulling apart, a single thread or 1 string sugar syrup is ready. Take it off the flame and continue with the recipe. Drain the hot syrup.
- Dip each Gujiya in this syrup for 2-3 minutes and set it on a clean plate. If baking the gujiya - follow the same procedure.
- The inner look.
- Sugar glazed Gujiyas are all set and ready to be eaten!!