This will be my last official post before the festival of colours –“Holi”. I am leaving for India in a few hours and as always have not scheduled any post for the time I will be absent. Each time I go on a holiday, I make big plans for the blog. About saving some of the recipes in draft and then scheduling them to be posted while I am away. But like always, this time as well, all my plans have gone into drain. Hats off to the bloggers who do that in a highly organised fashion!
Talking about Holi, that happened to be my most favourite festival during childhood. Splash of colours, with loads of sweets and snacks and meeting friends and family.. who wouldn’t love that? That used to be quite a busy time for me. Every year, I used to get ready before dawn to go for the “holika dehen” ceremony or as we called it- Holi Puja. In this traditional ritual, people pray circling around a bonfire singing traditional songs and greeting each other. This ritual is carried till the Sun rises, and then people return to their homes for a small prayer inside. And after that the fun part starts- playing with the colours! I used to play outside till afternoon, or till Mum screams out loud. After a rigorous shower (in an attempt to remove the colour from the body), Mum used to prepare hot masala chai with some snacks. And then a long afternoon nap, after which the usual meet and greet was continued.
It was the best of time, including the food. Some traditional dishes that were being made every year in my home were – Kaanji Vada ( Fermented carrot drink), Dahi bhalla (or dahi vada), Gol gappe (pani puri) and of course Gujhiya.
For those who don’t know what Gujhiya is – it is a semi-circle shaped parcel with a sweet filling made of nuts, semolina and mawa (solidified milk/khoya). It is a bit different from the Maharashtrian Karanji in terms of stuffing. Where in Karanji the main ingredient is fresh coconut, in Gujhiya it’s the Khoya. I especially love the taste when it is freshly fried. The hot and melted filling is something totally out of this world!! I may have exaggerated a bit here, but that’s the feeling I get when I eat it fresh.
Its believed to be a fairly complicated snack to prepare. Which is true to an extent, considering the no of steps involved in it. But its definitely worth all the effort and time. In the recipe below, I have tried to elaborate the procedure as much as I could to make it easier for you
I have prepared it using half Maida (APF) and half Atta (WWF), but traditionally only plain flour (maida) is used with loads of ghee (clarified butter) in the dough. This Ghee used is called “moyen” and it helps in making soft, flaky gujhiyas. I have reduced the quantity of moyen as well, but using it will definitely make better Gujiya.
What you need?
For outer cover:
- 2 cup All purpose flour (maida)
- 2 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
- ½ cup Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- Salt – a pinch
- ¼ cup fresh Yogurt or Milk
- 2 cup Mawa (Instant or traditional)
- 1 cup semolina
- ¼ cup crushed or chopped nuts (cashews & almonds)
- ¼ cup yellow raisins (kishmish)
- 1 cup Desiccated coconut
- ½ tsp Cardamom powder
- A pinch of grated nutmeg
- 1 ½ cup fine Sugar (you may use 2 cups of icing sugar instead which will yield better results)
- Ghee or oil – For frying
How to make?
- Melt the ghee and add to the flours. Add salt and knead into stiff dough. It should be like “poori” dough and not like soft “chapatti” dough.
- Cover with damp kitchen towel and keep aside for 30 minutes
Meanwhile prepare the stuffing: (known as “kasaar”)
- Heat a heavy bottomed wok or pan. Crumble the Mawa (khoya) and roast it on low-medium flame until its light brown in colour. Keep stirring continuously.
- Transfer the roasted mawa into a mixing bowl and let it come to room temperature.
- Now add sugar, nuts and remaining stuffing ingredients and mix it well. Let it cool completely.
- Knead the dough once again till its pliable enough. Divide it into 20-25 equal dough balls.
- Working with a small batch at a time, flatten these balls and roll them into a small circle, keeping them aside on a greased plate. I do that in the batches of 5-7 since this dough gets dry very quickly.
- Put the stuffing into the centre and fold one side on top of other (as shown in the pictures below). Seal it properly using fork, so it won’t open up while frying.
- Shape up all the gujiya and keep them aside on greased plates/surfaces covered with kitchen towel. This process is called “sleeping” in traditional language
- Once all Gujhiyas are ready and have “slept”, heat the oil or ghee for frying on medium heat.
- Once hot, fry gujiyas till they become golden brown and crispy from both sides. Drain extra oil on a paper towel and let it cool completely before serving.
- For the dough, flour and ghee proportion should be right. If you add more ghee than what is recommended, Gujhiya might break apart while frying
- Do not over stuff the gujiya, do some trial and error with the small batches till you get to your desired level.
- It has to be sealed tightly, if not then it will open up and stuffing will come out into the oil. which is the worst thing to happen in this case, since the stuffing will burn into the hot oil and get stuck to the outside of Gujhiyas. If this happens, remove all the gujhiyas already present in the wok, and strain the oil before reuse.
- Oil should be at right temperature. Check by dropping a little piece of dough, if it comes on top steadily then it is ready. If it comes on top too slowly or too fast then it is not good to fry
Looking for more Holi or snack recipes? Why not try this U.P. style Aalu tikki Chaat,
one of my favourites party snack.
Or another version of the sweet parcels is this Sweet Kachoris,
stuffed with paneer and choco chips.