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.