Mawa Gujiya a delicious traditional Indian crispy pastry filled with sweet filling made of concentrated milk solids, dry fruits and nuts
This week has two important festivals in our Hindu calendar; March 9th is Attukal pongala, a festival celebrated in my hometown temple. And Holi , festival of colors. While I was growing up, Holi was celebrated mainly in North India, however nowadays it is celebrated in south India too. I wanted to make something special for this Holi. So I made this Mawa Gujiya. It is actually a hand pie or empanada with sweet filling.
Holi is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colors or the festival of love. Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning, that is on Holi day, everybody apply color on each other either with dry powder or with colored water.People visit family, friends and foes to throw colors on each other, and then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. Some drinks are intoxicating. For example, Bhang, an intoxicating ingredient made from cannabis leaves, is mixed into drinks and sweets and consumed by many. Thandai is main drink served during the Holi .
Gujiya is one of sweet dish of North India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. It is sweet empanada made with all purpose flour and stuffed with mawa / khoya (either dried whole milk or milk thickened by heating in an open pan).It is similar to ricotta cheese, but lower in moisture and made from whole milk instead of whey. And coconut and dried fruits, it is differ from Maharashtrian dish Karanji in stuffing and little variation in the cover. Once the pastry and filling is formed, then it is shaped it into half moon shape using a mold or hand. Then it is deep fried.
Usually I buy mawa from Indian store however, this time I had some milk powder in hand, which needs to be finished, and so I made instant mawa using milk powder and half and half. Once mawa is made it is chilled in the refrigerator so that it will thicken nicely and we grate them nicely. I made filling with desiccated coconut, raisins, almonds, cashews and cranberries.
Mawa gujiya is best when it is warm. Since it has mawa which is milk product it does not have much shelf life, may be one or two days. If you like empanada or hand pie give it a try it is delicious. Here comes my version of mawa gujiya recipe.
You need to make first mawa using half and half and milk powder
Then out covering for the Gujiya, which is pastry with all purpose flour, ghee , salt and water.
Then filling made with grated mawa we made, dry fruits and nuts,
For the Assembly you need to make the cover and then fill them with sweet filling
- For instant mawa
- 1 cup milk powder
- ⅓ cup half and half if you don’t have half and half, use full cream or milk
- For covering
- 2 cup all purpose flour/maida
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup tablespoon Cold water I used ice cold water
- For filling
- 1 cup mawa/khoya
- ¼ cup desiccated coconut
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup cranberries
- ¼ cup almonds chopped into pieces
- ¼ cup cashew nuts chopped into pieces
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
- First make instant mawa using milk powder and half and half.
- Gradually add the liquid to the milk powder so that it will form a ball.
- Refrigerate at least for 30 minutes. Then when you are ready to use grate them using a grater. .
- For cover
- In a bowl, add the flour, salt and ghee and rub with your palm and fingers such that the dough appears like bread crumbs.
- Add water to make just pliable dough. Divide the dough and shape into small balls. Keep aside covered for half an hour.
- In another bowl add grated mawa, coconut, nuts, raisins, cranberries, sugar, cardamom, nutmeg powder and mix everything well.
- This is our filling.
- If you using fresh mawa then you need fry them for 2-3 minutes to remove the extra water content. If you want you can fry the nuts and coconut in little ghee. I skipped that part.
- Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces.
- Now, roll each ball with the rolling pin into a thin circle of approx 31//2" to 4" in diameter.
- Spread a tablespoon of the filling on one half of the rolled out dough. Wet your finger and run it along the edges of the spread out dough with water
- and fold over to the opposite end, enclosing the stuffing to form a semi-circle shaped gujiya.
- Press the ends firmly so that the filling doesn’t come out during the deep frying process and use a fork to seal the edges. Alternately you can twist the edges around the gujiya.
- Heat enough oil in a wide vessel to deep fry the gujiya.
- Slowly drop 3-4 gujiyas into the oil and deep fry them on medium flame till golden brown. Turn them carefully to cook the other side as well.
- Drain the gujiya with a slotted ladle and remove to a plate.
- Cool and store in air tight containers. Gujiya will remain fresh for about 3-4 days as it has mawa in it. If you make filling with rava/semonlina then you can have more shelf life.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.