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In the US, all celebrations are on the weekend, Holi is being celebrated on Saturday-Sunday (March 18-19). Sonali shares the recipe of baked Gujiyas, the traditional sweet pastry that is served during Holi. Though it is normally deep fried, baking it makes it oil free and healthy, cutting down the calories and oil content. Here’s the recipe, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
India is a land of diversity and there are so many festivals to observe. We just celebrated the Holi, the festival of colours which ushered in the Spring! People celebrate the festival with warmth, joy, and mirth while throwing colours on each other. This festival of colour has even been popular on the foreign soil and equally enjoyed by the Westerners.
No celebration is complete without good food. Special drinks, sweets, and snacks are served during this time. Gujiya, an Indian sweet puff is specially made during Holi. A sweet pastry is rolled and filled with sweetened milk solids (mawa), dried coconut and mixed nuts and then sealed to give a typical pattern. These pastries are then deep fried and sometimes dipped in sugar syrup.
I prepared some baked Gujiyas for our weekend Holi party at our place. These Gujiyas taste delicious without the added calories. The pastry is crisp on the outside and melts in the mouth inside with the mildly sweet stuffing. A sheer pleasure to the taste buds!
Try baking these Gujiyas during this festival season and enjoy with your friends and family!
Preparation Time: 30 min
For the Dough
1 cup all-purpose flour or maida
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
¼ cup or more water at room temperature
For the Stuffing
1 cup grated khoya or mawa
6 tablespoons granulated or castor sugar
½ cup chopped nuts and raisins (almond, cashews)
¼ cup desiccated coconut powder
2-3 pods of green cardamom crushed
2 teaspoons melted ghee (to brush on top)
1 tablespoon chopped pistachios (for garnish)
In a bowl, add the flour, salt, and sugar and mix well. Add the oil and mix with hand to form a coarse sand like texture. Gradually add water and knead to form a soft dough. Transfer the dough on a bowl and cover with a damp cloth for at least 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the mawa stuffing. In a pan at medium low, add the mawa and stir for a couple of minutes until the mawa changes its color to light golden brown and the raw taste is no more. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.
Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
When the mawa is cooled completely, add the chopped nuts and raisins, granulated sugar, desiccated coconut powder and crushed cardamom. Mix well with the help of a spatula. Set aside.
Knead the dough for a couple of minutes and divide it into 10 equal portions. Roll each portion into a smooth ball. Cover the dough balls with a damp cloth while working with one at a time. Roll each ball into a 4-inch disc and fill the center with a tablespoon of stuffing mixture. Gently fold the disc like half-moon shape and press the edges to seal. Now to make the pattern, pinch and then make a twist with your thumb along the sealed edge. Place on the prepared baking tray and repeat with the rest of the dough. Brush the gujiyas with melted butter and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown in colour. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Place the baked Gujiyas on a serving platter and garnish with chopped pistachios and grated khoya. Enjoy!
The baked Gujiyas can be stored in an airtight container for a week at room temperature.
If you find it difficult to make the pattern, you may crimp the sealed edges with the tongs of a fork.
Photos by the author
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