Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Making of Gujia, Handcrafted to Imperfection

I essentially followed Soma’s Gujia recipe and some of her measurements for this one. I also added khoya which Soma had chosen not to add in her recipe. Meanwhile, I grabbed hold of one of my childhood friends from New Jersey on an instant messenger window and sought more handholding on “moulding” these sweet empanada-like Indian fried pastries. I knew from her Facebook update she had made Gujias for Teej a few weeks ago.

IMG_1910 I had made the khoya last night, which made life easy. It was a Sunday, which meant P was around to break a coconut for me. A quick call to my Mum in India on how to handle khoya, and I had more confidence bubbling inside of me. I believed I was set to make Gujias for the first time. After all, I had three very experienced people backing me up. And the fourth, a curious but a rather inexperienced one when it came to Indian sweets was peeping down my shoulders. I could never let all these people down. Now could I?

Ingredients for Gujias are:

For the pastry dough:
One and half cup all purpose flour
3-4 heaped tablespoons of ghee
1-2 teaspoons of powdered sugar
Pinch of baking soda

For the filling:
1 cup khoya
1 cup grated fresh coconut
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
Handful of chopped cashew
Handful of skinless, slivered almonds
Few raisins
Half teaspoon cardamom powder
Pinch of dry ginger powder (Soma particularly insists on this)
1 tablespoon ghee

For deep frying:

In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda and ghee with your hands. When they become crumbly, add water and knead a smooth dough. Keep covered with a damp piece of cloth.

IMG_1897 Heat one tablespoon ghee in a pan, add the nuts and almonds, sauté for a few seconds and add the khoya.
IMG_1898 IMG_1899 Mix everything well before adding the grated coconut. Cook for a couple of minutes, add the cardamom and dry ginger. At last add the powdered sugar, give it a quick stir and turn off heat. Let the mixture cool down before you use it to fill in the pastries.

Heat ghee in a wok for deep frying the Gujias.

Roll little puris / little discs with the portions of the dough. Place a tablespoon of the filling at the center of the disc, fold making it a half-moon. Use water on your fingertips to seal the pastry. Pinch an ear of the pastry right at the top and crimp your way to the bottom, or use the tines of a fork make little patterns on the edges.

IMG_1900 IMG_1901 Gently release the Gujias into the hot ghee and fry on both sides till they look scrumptiously golden brown. Place them on baking racks to cool completely.

IMG_1909 My Gujias looked they were hand-crated by a first timer. But I am sure you will do a much better job.

IMG_1907 These quantities made about 14 Gujias. Oh wait, there were 16 actually, adding up the two P and I ate, piping hot, straight out of the fryer.

Keep the Gujias in an airtight box, till you have just one left, and four people to share it with.



Soma said...

Hope you liked them Pree. I think I will make them again. haven't made them for a long time. I see u have added the sugar in the dough, LOL I don't know that is actually done in the traditional recipe (as long as u are not complaining I am fine :-D ).

Pree hats off to u for making the khoya & grating coconut at home. I buy readymade shredded frozen coconut from indian store most of the times.

(forgot to link my post to your event. will do it right now)

PreeOccupied said...

"Like them" is an understatement. Both of us are already planning to count and separate our individual shares of the Gujias.

I added sugar to the dough, so that the crust tastes a little sweet, I did not do the sugar glaze like you mentioned in your post, I don't like my desserts and sweets overpoweringly sweet.

Soma, this was a dry run. I think I will do it again for a Diwali party later.

GB said...

okay, this was what i was planning on adding to my diwali "bhandar" this year. Sad we don't really have our friends here to share them with us.

how did you make the khoya? milk powder? send me the link.

PreeOccupied said...

@GB, For the Khoya, I slowly boiled 1 liter milk and 500 ml cream in a very thick-bottom pan. Keep stirring on low gas mark. It took me about 2.5 hours - 3 hours to get my khoya done. I got a cup of Khoya/Mawa out of this quantity.

Sadly, I don't know how to make Khoya with milk powder.

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Thats a pro' s job... lovethe gujias.... I will be making them for diwali too... Khoya from scratch - thats a lot of work!

Sulagna said...

Awesome work..They look just perfect !!

Best Regards

Sharmila said...

wonderful looking gujiyas pree! homemade khoya! wowie!
adding sugar to the dough does enhance the taste ... like we do for luchis ... but it also browns them faster. seeing the snaps am already getting the diwali diwali feeling ... now post something for mahalaya fast. :-)

Priya said...

Beautiful, droolworthy and wonderful looking gujia..

Jaya said...

That is awesome Pree..Home-made gujiyas ..festive season e er thkhe aro kicho bhalo hote parey ki..

hugs and smiles

PreeOccupied said...

@Soma, I just checked your recipe, I see even you have added sugar to your dough.

@Home Cooked Oriya Food, I lurveee Gujias, in Bihar where I grew up, they also fill suji/semolina to the Gujias and call them Perakia.

@Sulagna, Priya, Jaya, thanks much! Just trying to get the feel of India at home. :-)

@Sharmila, Mahalaya special ki? Luchi aar shada alur tarkari.

Lakshmi -Celebrations said...

what a feast...lovely,liked all the images and hats off to your enthu..

Satrupa said...

Dear Pree,

It's not fair you having all these awesome gujias all by urself ..... :) I wish I could grab some out of the picts. These beauties are a treat to the eyes and am sure your taste buds would have thanked you :D

Cheers n Happy Cooking,