Gujiya and Holi go hand-in-hand, don’t they? Resembling an empanada, this crescent-shaped pastry is filled with a rich mawa, coconut and nuts filling, and fried to perfection.
I’ve seen so many skilled gujiya makers over the years, shaping gujiyas after gujiyas with patience and love. This isn’t a quick recipe, nor is it too easy. It took me a while to nail the shaping process, and even so, I wouldn’t say I’m perfect at it. I think I make good gujiyas, that are edible and resemble the pastry. But I certainly can’t sell it in shops, if you know what I mean, hehe! But I will say this – it really is worth the time and effort.
When do you make Gujiyas?
Gujiyas are usually made in North Indian households during Holi and Diwali.
Holi is the spring festival of colors, and celebrates the triumph of good over evil. On the occasion of
What is a Gujiya?
A gujiya is a fried pastry made during Holi (and other Indian festivals). The outer cover is made of refined flour, salt, oil and water. The filling usually has mawa (milk solids), roasted sooji or semolina, chopped nuts, and optionally, desiccated coconut flakes.
Can you bake or air fry the Gujiya?
Gujiyas should traditionally be fried, for that golden, flaky crust. However, you can also simply air fry or bake at 350F / 180C for 20-25 minutes/. They’ll be cooked all the way through and taste essentially the same. But the texture of the crust will be a bit compromised.
What is the difference between a Gujiya and a Karanji?
A karanj is usually made by Maharashtrians, and is pretty similar to the gujiyas. There are minor differences in the filling, where karanji recipes also call for poppy seeds, sesame seeds etc. But other than that, the process of making it is the same.
How to make Gujiyas at home?
- Step 1: Make the filling by cooking mawa or khoya, coconut, nuts and sooji until crumbly. Once its cool completely, add sugar, mix and set aside.
- Step 2: The dough is a simple one made with flour, salt, oil or ghee and water. Knead until soft, set aside for 30 minutes.
- Step 3: Divide into equal portions, roll into balls, then shape into gujiyas! Then deep fry or bake or air fry unitl well done.
For how long can you store Gujiyas?
If you plan to consume within a few days, you can store the gujiyas at room temperature in an air tight container. However, if you plan to consume over a periof of time, then place in a ziplock or air tight contain and store in the refrigerator. It should usually last 3-4 months, though it could be more or less based on your climate and the fridge temperatures.
Okay, here’s a short video clip on how to make gujiyas –
You can also watch a longer version on Instagram.
Homemade Mawa Gujiyas
Sweet Mawa Filling
- 1/3 cup Mawa or Khoya (milk solids)
- 2 tsp Ghee
- 1/4 cup Desiccated Coconut Flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped Nuts (like cashew, almond, pistachios)
- 1/4 cup fine Semolina (sooji / rava)
- 1/4 cup fine Sugar (adjust to taste)
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour (maida)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 3 Tbsp Veg Oil or Ghee
- 1/3 cup Warm Water
- Oil, for deep frying
Preparing the Sweet Mawa Filling
- First dry roast the semolina or sooji until golden, and set aside
- Heat ghee in a pan, add mawa and mix well. Cook on medium low heat and keep breaking up and stirring for 2-3 minutes until mixture is crumbly
- Add the desiccated coconut and nuts and roast until aromatic, then add back the toasted semolina (sooji) and mix well)
- Let the mixture COOL COMPLETELY. This step is very important.
- Add sugar after mixture cools, and mix well. Adjust for sugar if needed. Set aside.
Preparing the Pastry Dough
- Add flour, salt and oil or ghee in a bowl and mix fat into the flour.
- Add the warm water & mix well. Knead until its a soft dough, rest for 30 minutes.
Making the Gujiyas
- Divide dough into equal portions, roll into neat balls, keep them covered.
- Flour the work surface, roll each ball of dough into 1/4 inch thin disk.
- Add 1-2 Tbsp of filling on one side of the disk, leaving some gap on the edges. The amount of filling you add will depend on how big or small your disks are.
- Close other half onto the half with the filling, press to seal the edges complety. You can use a fork to reinforce or make a design. Or use your fingers to form a twisted pattern on the edges.
- Once all of the gujiyas are shaped, heat some oil in a pan, and drop a few at a time. Don't overcrowd the pan. Fry on medium heat for a few minutes on each side until the gujiyas are flaky, golden brown and fully cooked!
Serving & Storing the Gujiyas
- Serve at room temperature as is, or as a tea-time snack.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 months.
Other sweet dishes you may like –