Gujiya, karanji, ghughra, empanadas or purukiya; it has many names. Gujiya is the brand ambassador of the Indian festival of colors – Holi. Gujiya can be defined as the flaky pastries made into half circles, stuffed with a variety of fillings. Some people make them stuffed with suji, some with mawa and others with some unique filling. Traditionally, these stuffed pastries are fried and glazed with sugar syrup. Served on the festival of Holi, baked Gujiyas are really delicious.
Though Gujiyas may sound a little tedious to make, the result is totally overwhelming! I made these Baked Gujiyas this year for Holi. As Holi is associated with the traditional drink, Thandai; I decided to stuff Gujiya with homemade thandai masala.
To make things interesting and unique, I added home-made Thandai masala to the ricotta cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Also, to do away with the frying, I baked the Ghujias and glazed them with sugar syrup. The procedure is pretty straightforward: Make the dough, prepare the filling, shape the pastry and bake them.
For the cover
All purpose flour 1 cup
Ghee/ Clarified butter 2 tbsp
Baking Powder 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda 1/4 tsp
Salt a pinch
Cold Water 1/3 cup
For the Filling
Ricotta Cheese 2 cups
Sweetened Condensed Milk 3/4 cup
Gulkand 2 tbsp
For the Glaze
Sugar 1/2 cup
Water 1/4 cup
Mixed dry fruits 1/4 cup, slivered
To make the cover
Sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Add molten ghee, and make a crumbly dough. Make a well in the middle of the dough, add cold water as required and make a soft, pliable dough. It may take a while to tame the mess, but it is worth the effort! Once done, wrap in cling wrap or put the dough in a ziplock and set aside.
To make the filling
Add ricotta cheese in a pan, cook it on medium flame for 15 minutes, till the water content evaporates. Add condensed milk, thandai powder and gulkand. Mix well and cook for 15-20 minutes till the mixture is soft and completely dry. Turn down the flame and let the filling cool.
To make the gujiyas
Take the dough, divide into four parts and roll each part to a 3 mm thin sheet. Using a round cookie cutter or steel glass, cut out even size circles from the dough. Mix the remaining dough with the second part, and repeat. Make sure to keep the dough that you are not working with, under a wet towel.
To make the gujiya, take one round, brush water on the edges add a small ball of the stuffing on one half, and fold it over. Seal the edges and press the edge with a fork. Keep the made ghugras under a wet towel to ensure they do not dry. The proportion makes about 12-13 medium sized gujiyas.
Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Line a baking tray with ghee, butter or nonstick spray. Place the gujiyas on the tray and brush the tops with ghee. Bake for 10-12 minutes till the tops are light brown in color. Remove, cool and set aside.
To glaze the gujiyas
While the gujiyas taste great without the glaze too, glazing them makes the gujiya look beautiful and taste even better. To glaze, mix sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the mixture starts to turn sticky, turn down the flame.
Using a brush, brush the gujiyas with the syrup. Add slivered almond, pistachios and cashewnuts. Let the glaze cool, and then store the gujiya in an airtight container. They stay fresh for a week when refrigerated.