I shouldn’t take any credit for this recipe. The original recipe I got off Anita’s blog and the idea to tweak the recipe came for my mother. I only provided the labour that churned out the gujias.;)
I associate gujia (or karanji as it is called in Maharashtra) with Diwali. Its a popular mithai on Holi too but my grandmother used to make it on Diwali so in my mind Diwali=gujia. Of course as a child I was only interested in eating the gujia and never bothered to ask her what she put in it or how she made it. All iIknew was it had khoya(or mawa) in it and it was fried.
I have eaten shop bought gujias in Bombay and all of them have a good amount of coconut. I admit, living in this city has changed my tastes. I actually like coconut in my food now! I don’t think my grandmother ever put coconut in her gujia.Which self respecting north Indian would, I ask you? But I now like the flavour and aroma of coconut so when I read this recipe on Anita’s blog , I had to try it out. I tried a small batch with the recipe exactly as it apprears on her blog. The gujias turned out nice but I found the maida cover wasn’t as crisp as my grandmother’s used to be. May be I had done something wrong while kneading the dough or frying the gujia. My mom tasted a gujia and first suggested I reduce the amount of oil in the maida. A few seconds later she came up with this brilliant idea- “Why don’t you bake it?” We are on a weight reduction /maintenance programme at home and the festive season is really taking its toll. Its nice to keep saying no to all the mithais and dryfruits that come your way but every once in a while your resolve shatters shakes and you want to reach out to that kaju katli. Baking the gujias would use much lesser oil that deep frying so I set out to give baked gujias a try. If we can make baked samosa, why cant we make baked gujias?
If you want to make gujias the traditional way head over to Anita’s blog. I am sharing here the baked version of her gujias.
for the cover-
- 1C maida
- 2tbsp ghee
- a pinch of salt
for the stuffing-
( I basically follow Anita’s recipe proportions, just reduce it to get 1-1 1/4C of total ready stuffing)
- 1/4 C khoya
- 1/4C sugar
- 1/2C dessicated coconut
- 4-5 elaichis/cardamom pounded
- 1/8 C chopped dry fruits
- In a large bowl sift the maida and the salt. Rub in the ghee. Using small quantities of water, knead into a farily stiff dough. The dough shouldnt be so stiff that you cant roll it easily.Keep aside.
- In a kadhai (if you have a non stick, even better) add the khoya, coconut and sugar. Cook on slow heat for 7-8 minutes. Remove from fire. Add dry fruits and cardamom.
- Now for the not-so easy part. Make small balls of the dough(like we do for making chapatis, but make them much smaller), roll each ball into a circular disc, place the khoya-coconut mixture in the centre and fold the disc into half such that you get a semi-circular shape. Its quite a tricky business to give the traditional crickly edge. I really struggled with this one.I have seen my grandmother do it a hundred times so I thought it will be easy. Its not.(Anita I have new found respect for you after seeing how neat your gujias are!) So I found a simpler way to do it. Once you have placed the stuffing in the centre and wet the edge of the rolled out dough disc with a little water. Now when you fold the disc into half, it will stick easily. You can use a fork to press down the edges and get some sort of a design.
- Line a baking tray with lightly greased paper. Place the gujias on it.Bake at 180 deg.C for about 10 minutes, till the gujias take on an even golden brown colour.
- My gujias were larger in size than they should have been and I got 6 large gujias. If you make smaller, daintier looking gujias you should be able to get 9-10 pieces.
Notes: The baked gujias were a hit! They tasted really good and we indugled without guilt. 🙂
I made the khoya for the gujias myself. I suggest you dont do that, unless you are bored out of your mind or over ambitious as I strangely was that day. Making khoya is not rocket science so you can do it if you want to. But it is very time consuming. You have to bring milk to a boil and let it simmer endlessly till it reduces so much that it becomes khoya. While the milk simmers dont forget to stir frequently. I used 1 l whole milk and got about 1 C of khoya. Though I am proud that I was able to make the khoya at home, to be honestly all that stirring was just very tiring. Next time I am going to buy it from some shop and make my life easier!
I could do with neater looking gujias but I am not cribbing. May be they dont look as good as they are supposed to, but they taste great! The neater look is only going to come with practice. For a first time effort, I am quite happy. 🙂
This us a special post for two reasons-a- we’ve never done a Diwali post on this blog before and -b- this post is for baby A. You know who you are and you know you are special. Welcome to our world. You have no idea how much happiness, fun and laughter awaits you!!:)