Gujias are fried pastries filled with coconut or khoya (thickened solidified milk) and dry fruits.
It is a festival sweet and mostly prepared during Holi, but what the heck?! Why not during Diwali or any other festival too? During these days of Durga Puja, and all the upcoming festivals I was actually craving for Gujias which I had years ago when we visited India during Holi. My hubby’s Aunt had prepared these delicious Gujias, & till date I have not forgotten them. Unfortunately, I did not get an opportunity to ask her the recipe. This is what I came up with and it might not taste like the unforgettable ones back in India, but these did taste delicious too.
Gujias slightly vary from region to region. In the Northern parts of India, the filling is made with sweetened khoya and dry fruits & nuts while in South Western States, it consists of shredded coconut, nuts and jaggery/unrefined cane sugar or sugar. We are not very fond of Khoya, so I made these with coconut. A lot of times Gujias are further coated in sugar syrup to form a glazed coating and add to the sweetness. I have not done the glazing… See the “Notes” to how it can be done.
Gujia: Pastry filled with Coconut, Dry Fruits & Nuts
For the dough:
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons of Ghee
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar
For the Filling:
- 1.5 cup fresh grated coconut
- 3 tablespoons cashew nuts, chopped fine
- 3 tablespoons raisins, chopped fine
- 3 tablespoons dates, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup almonds, cut into very thin slivers
- 3/4 cup sugar (Use more or less according to your your taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- A Pinch of ginger powder
- A pinch of saffron, crushed
- 1 tablespoon Ghee
Optional: (You may use half the amount of khoya and half the amount of coconut for the filling)
For deep Frying:
Mix the flour, Sugar, baking soda and ghee to form a texture and consistency of bread crumbs that just about holds together. Add water a little at a time and knead to form a stiff dough. Cover the dough with a damp towel. Keep aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a pan. Add the cashews & the almonds and fry them for a few seconds. They should not turn brown. Add coconut, sugar, cardamom powder, dates, raisins, saffron and ginger powder. Stir fry the coconut on a very low flame till it is a pale brownish color & dry and flaky. Keep aside. This is how it should look like.
Divide the dough into equal sized-portions and make them into balls. Roll these balls out into circles about 5″ diameter. (Tip:You can use a glass or bowl to cut out the circles)
Put a tablespoon of filling in the center of each circle and fold over into a half moon. Dip your fingertips in water & press the edges tight & pleat the edges (like a Dumpling ) to seal. (If it takes too long to pleat, just press and cut little lines with knife tip as I have done). Repeat the filling process for all the circles. Keep these aside.
Heat Ghee in a pan and deep fry the gujias while occasionally turning them, till they light brown in color. Drain on Paper Towels.
Note: To add extra sweetness to the Gujia, they are coated in sugar syrup.
This is how:
You will need about 1/2 cup sugar, a pinch of saffron and 1/4 cup water.
Boil sugar, saffron & water together on medium heat until syrup can be stretched to about one thread.
Gently dip the gujias into the sugar syrup making sure they are coated with syrup all around. Place the gujias on a wire rack to drain & cool.
Store the Gujias in airtight containers after they are cooled.