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Gujiyas for Holi


Madhumati Tyagi and Geetha Patil

Gujiya is a Bharatiya deep fried sweet filled with a mixture of Mawa (solid condensed milk), dry nuts, and fruits (cashews, almonds, pistachios, and raisins), coconut powder. For filling you can also use roasted fine Suji, dry coconut powder, grated Jaggery/sugar powder, coarsely powdered dry nuts and fruits or a mixture of roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, roasted chickpeas/Puthani powder with grounded nuts and fruits, cardamom, puppy seeds, or just roasted chickpeas/Puthani powder, grated Jaggery/sugar powder, dry coconut powder, and crushed cardamom. It is a delicious treat made during the festivals of Holi and Diwali. They popular all over India by different names – Ghughra in Gujarat, Karanji in Maharashtra, Purukiya in Bihar, Nevri in Goa, Kajjikayalu in Andra Pradesh, Somas in Tamil Nadu, and Karjikai in Karnataka.

They are easy to make but takes time and you need to have patience to turn them out to be so amazing! You can make Gujiyas by hand or use the mold to get perfect shape. They are so crispy and delicious with flaky crust and delightful filling that you will not regret the time spent. Gujiyas can be made in fried, baked, and air-fried version. Definitely, the fried Gujiya have better taste and texture.  Let us learn how to make Gujiyas/Karjikai with filling of your preference (here I used Karnataka style filling) but the procedure is almost same.

Ingredients for dough:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or Maida
  • 1/4 cup Suji (Semolina/ Rava)
  • 3 tablespoon Rice flour
  • 2 tablespoon Ghee
  • Water for making dough
  • Oil to fry

For filling:

  • ½ cup roasted peanut powder
  • ½ cup roasted sesame powder
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Chickpeas/Gram dal (Puthani)
  • 1/4 cup grated dry coconut
  • 1 and 1/2 cup grated Jaggery or powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cardamom powder (Elaichi)
  • Powdered dry fruits except raisins
  1. To make the dough, take a large bowl and add whole-wheat flour/Maida, Rava, and rice flour. Combine them together. Add the heated ghee to the flour mixture. The ghee should be hot, such that once added to the flour, the flour bubbles up. This is necessary to get the crispy and flaky outer layer when they are fried.
  1. Combine all the ingredients together with hand. The mixture should resemble breadcrumbs. Add water and knead the dough. Ensure the dough is not too soft. Cover the bowl with a lid/ a damp cloth to prevent the dough from losing its moisture and avoid cracks while frying.
  2. Let us prepare the filling now. Grind roasted Peanuts, Sesame seeds, Chana/Puthani, and coconut separately into a coarse powder in a mixer grinder. Add grated Jaggery/powdered sugar to the mixture and combine them well.
  3. To prepare Gujiya/Karjikai, take a lemon-sized dough and make small balls. Roll them into a small circle of 2mm thickness like a Puri or cut the rolled dough into circles by using a cookie cutter or with a simple jar lid. Ensure to cover the remaining dough with a damp cloth.
  4. Place a tablespoonful of filling on one side of the rolled dough/Puri. Brush the edges of the circle with water. Fold the Puri to form a semicircle. Ensure the edges are sealed completely and there is no gap left.
  5. Now you have options: 1) mark the edges with a fork to give them shapes and stick them together, 2) you can just fold the edges a bit to seal them together, 3) you can shape Gujiya/Karjikai with a mold if you have one.
  6. Cover the filled Gujiyas/Karjikai with a damp cloth. Repeat the same procedure for all the balls.
  7. Heat oil in a Kauai and once it is hot (test it by dropping a small ball of flour into the oil. If the flour raises up steadily, then the oil is perfect for frying) fry Gujiyas/Karjikais one by one or two three together depending on the Kadai size on medium heat until they turn golden in color. Flip them through the half way.
  1. Allow them to cool down completely to either to serve or to store them in an airtight container.
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