Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gujiya -- Sweet Coconut Pierogies

For Holi, I made Gujiyas. As mentioned in my earlier post about Holi, making and distributing gujiyas is a Holi tradition and true to the culture, I made gujiyas at home and distributed them. Since this was my first time, I made just eight gujiyas but they turned out to taste quite nice. So here is my recipe -- a mix of recipes from my Mother-in-Law, my Mum and stuff I made up along the way :p


For dough
2 cups of all-purpose flour (maida)
1/4 cup of gram flour (besan)
3 tbsp ghee (or unsalted butter)
Water for kneading 

For filling
2 cups of sweetened coconut flakes (If you don't have the sweet ones, use whichever available)
1 tbsp ghee
10 cashew nuts, finely chopped
10 almonds, finely chopped
3/4 cup raisins
Pinch of nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
Pinch of ginger powder
Pinch of cinnamon powder 
1 cup powdered sugar (If you don't have the sweet coconut flakes, you'll need to add another cup of sugar. Taste check and add accordingly.)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream


1. In a bowl, add the flours, rub in the ghee and slowly add water to knead into a stiff dough. Cover it with a moist cloth and set aside.

2. Chop up your almonds and nuts. I had serious issues with chopping the almonds so I roughly chopped them like in the picture below. It worked just fine. However, I would suggest, you blanch the almonds, peel them and then chop them. It'll just be easier. But if you don't have them ready, chopping them up the way I did is fine, too.

3. Now if you have cardamom powder, great. If not, you can grind the seeds with a mortar and pestle, too. I like them ground that way because I feel it gives out a better flavor.

4. Once you have your ingredients for the filling ready, go ahead and cook it. Sweetened coconut flakes can be easily found in any Walmart. But if you don't have those at hand, you can use the unsweetened ones. Just remember to add more sugar to it.

5. In a pan, heat some ghee.

6. Add the almonds and cashews. Fry for a minute, then add the coconut flakes. Mix well.

7. Cook this mix for 2-3 minutes and then add nutmeg powder, powdered sugar, ginger powder, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and cream. It should look like a nice and sticky mixture like in the picture below.

8. Cook for 6-7 minutes. Once you feel it tastes good and is cooked enough, turn off the heat and add raisins. Mix them well. They will become moist and soft when mixed into the hot filling. Let it sit aside to cool.

9. While the filling is cooling, make little 2 inch balls with the dough.

10. Use a rolling pin to roll them out into 4-5 inch discs. Rub some water with your fingers on the edge of the disc. This helps the dough to stick better when folded. 

11. Put some filling on one side of the dough. The more filling the better but you sort of have to make sure there isn't too much of it because the dough will break when you try to fold it. This is where you guess and figure it out. This part is the most time-consuming of the entire process. Once you figure this part out, the rest will be quick and easy.

You can also make this process waaay easier if you can find a gujiya mould. For people who live outside India, it's the same as a pierogi dumpling mould (available on Amazon).

12. Now fold over from one end and seal. I used the twisty method to seal it but you can seal them in any way that seems convenient and easy to you. The key is to make sure the filling inside is secure. If it hasn't been sealed properly, the gujiya will open up when you try to fry it. It's not as hard as it may seem. A lot of people told me it's hard but it's really not once you begin to do it. None of my gujiyas opened up when I fried them. If I can do it, so can you!

13. In a frying pan, heat oil. Once the oil is hot, put the gujiya in and fry until it's golden brown on both sides.

14. Place the fried gujiyas on a plate covered with tissue papers and let them cool. Once they are all cooled, gujiyas are ready to serve :)

Enjoy your festival :)
Happy Holi.

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