Stuffed Pastry (Gujiya)

Gujiya is a deep-fried crescent-shaped pastry stuffed with khoya and a nut mixture filling. The ingredients used in the filling vary by region, which can result in a variety of interesting combinations. My nani’s gujiya, for example, had a rich filling that consisted of khoya, sugar, nuts of choice, and cardamom.

The dough for gujiya is made of three basic ingredients – flour, fat, and choice of liquid. Stiff dough is the key for making the tastiest crusts or covering for gujiya. I wanted to share my version of gujiya (made in my western kitchen) to celebrate Holi, one of the Hindu festivals of colors, which mostly falls during the end of February or March. I remember the great tasting gujiyas my sister-in-law (bhabhiji, elder brother’s wife) made for my last visit that coincided with the Holi celebration that year.

1 cup drained ricotta cheese or khoya
3/4 cup granulated sugar or to taste
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground green cardamom seeds
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/8 cup chopped almonds
1 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon plain yogurt – optional
1/3 cup water or as needed
Ghee or vegetable oil for deep-frying

1) To make the filling: Combine ricotta and sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan. Cook on low heat, stirring frequently, until all the liquid has evaporated.
2) Remove from heat and add cardamom, coconut and almonds. Stir to mix thoroughly. Let it cool completely before stuffing the pastries. The filling may be prepared with any combination of finely chopped cashews, walnuts, desiccated coconut, raisins, and my favorite chironji and finely grated cooked carrots along with the roasted sooji (cream of wheat).
3) To make the dough: Put the sifted unbleached all-purpose flour, butter and yogurt (or milk) in a medium bowl and stir with a fork to blend. Add the water a little at a time and stir vigorously until stiff dough is formed.
4) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth and pliable.
5) Divide the dough into 10 to 12 pieces and roll each piece into a 3-inch circle or simply roll out the dough into a rectangle. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter cut as many circles as you can from the rolled out rectangle. Gather the scraps and reroll the dough and cut out more circles.
6) Take one circle and put a heaping tablespoonful of the filling onto one half of the circle, leaving a little space along the edges (or simply use a mould if you have on hand). Dip a finger in water or milk and run it along one half of the edge of the circle (since the dough is quite pliable I personally omit this step).
7) Fold the dough over so that it forms a half moon or crescent shape. Press the edges to seal securely and pinch the edges of the pastry as if you are preparing a delicate pie shell or carefully seal each pastry with tines of a fork.
8)Heat ghee in a wok and fry the pastries or gujiyas until lightly golden on both sides. When cool they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Note: Khoya is mostly available in Indian store but could easily be substituted with either milk powder or strained ricotta cheese.

Yield: 10-12 Stuffed Pastries.

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One Comment on “Stuffed Pastry (Gujiya)”

  1. Akanksha Says:

    Hi,
    I tried the gujiya at home.
    In the dough I didn’t add yoghurt but it was stiff.
    After frying, the gujiyas were soft i.e the maida was not cooked properly.
    The color of the maida was light brown after frying but while eating it was soft from inside and not kurkure.

    How can I make kurkuri gujiyas?
    please suggest.


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