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Gujiya Bites

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Break the mould & try new things. Use ravioli maker to give the classic Gujiya a makeover. Create squared bitesize Gujiyas for a trendy spin.

Gujiya is a popular Indian delicacy that is frequently prepared during festive occasions such as Holi and Diwali. Different regions of India have given their own name for Gujiya like Ghughras (in Gujarat)), Karanji (in Maharashtra), Gunja (Rajasthan), Nevri (in Goa), Pedakiya(in Bihar), Karachika(in Tamil Nadu), karajikayi (Andra Pradesh). Whatever name it goes by, the essence of Guijya remains the same: half-moon-shaped, deep-fried, sweet-filled dumplings. The only thing that was different was the gujiya filling.

Today, I'll show you how to prepare my mum's famous and also my favourite Gujiya recipe. It's so good, my brother and I would fight over the last bite all the time. As usual, Qitchenery always likes to add a personal twist to the dish, so be prepared for it. Don't worry the recipe is exactly as it was handed down to me by my mother (I dare not fiddle around with it). All I did was spruce it up and give it a facelift. Thanks to an unexpected tool I used to create a new shape for Gujiya.

In addition to showing you the modern take on the gujiya shape, I will also walk you through the process of making the classic gujiya shape, so you can decide on which one you are in the mood to make.

Skip to recipe Gujiya Bites Recipe or continue reading for tips and stages of using tools and making the recipe

Here are basic ingredients that are easily found in every (Q)kitchen to make delectable dainty Gujiyas.

Dough: Plain flour (maida), melted Ghee (or melted margarine for vegan), Salt, Water

Filling: Desiccated Coconut, powdered sugar (or icing sugar), Semolina, Ghee (or margarine for vegan), Almonds, Cashews, Pistachio, Sultanas (raisins), freshly crushed cardamom.

Stages of Making - 4 Simple and quick steps

1. Make the dough

In a large mixing bowl, sift plain flour (maida). To the flour, add salt and melted ghee (or margarine for vegans). Rub the ghee into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. The process of mixing ghee into the flour is called adding moyan to the flour. Moyan helps make the dough flaky and crispy when fried. Hence it's critical not to omit this step.

I grab a handful of the mixture and press it together with my fist to make a clump to see if there is enough moyan (ghee in the flour). If the clump does not hold together nicely, add extra ghee (1 tsp at a time), rub thoroughly, and try again. If the clump sticks together without falling apart, the dough is ready for kneading. Note, if you use too much ghee, then the dough will absorb too much ghee (oil) during frying.

Knead the dough by gradually adding small amounts of water to the flour mixture. The dough should not be too soft or too hard, but slightly tighter than ordinary roti/pasta dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or cling film and set aside to rest.

2. Make the filling

Gather all of the filling ingredients and proceed through the stages listed below in order.

Grind dry fruits:

In a food processor, combine cashews, almonds, and pistachios. Pulse the processor to coarsely ground the dry fruits. Note: do not grind it into powder.

Alternatively, you can chop dry fruits using a knife.

Cook Sultanas (raisins):

In a frying pan, melt the ghee (or margarine) over low heat until it is warm. Add in sultanas (raisins) and cook till they plump up. If the ghee is warm, this should just take a minute.

Collect the plumped-up sultanas in a separate bowl for later use. Keep the additional ghee in the wok to roast the remaining ingredients and prepare the filling.

Roast other dry ingredients and add dry fruits:

Add semolina to the warmed ghee and stir on low heat. Roast semolina until it loses its rawness and turns a pale pink in colour. Then toss in the desiccated coconut and roast it until it is lightly toasted without changing the colour.

Add dry fruits and cardamom:

Once the semolina coconut mixture has been toasted, add in the coarsely grounded cashews, almond, and pistachio mixture, cooked sultanas, and freshly crushed cardamom powder. Combine all of the ingredients and roast for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.

Cool and mix in powdered sugar:

Make sure the filling mixture is cooled completely before adding powdered sugar. If not, then when you add sugar to the hot mixture, it will melt and caramelise.

Once the coconut dry fruit mixture is cooled, mix in powdered sugar thoroughly. The filling is now ready. Ooh, it smells so good.

3. Shaping Gujiyas

As promised I will walk you through two ways of stuffing Gujiyas. One, the square-shaped contemporary style using pasta and ravioli making tools and another the half-moon crescent shape traditional style using conventional gujiya making tool.


Prep the dough for rolling into a thin sheet

Give the dough one more good knead after it has rested, and then pull out a small portion of the dough to form a rectangular-shaped thick flat piece. Dust both sides of the dough with plain flour and flatten it with a rolling pin on the kitchen counter. You can either manually roll it into a long rectangular wide strip or use a pasta sheet rolling tool like the one illustrated in the next step.

Roll the dough sheets

Set up the pasta sheet roller on the kitchen counter. Adjust the roller thickness to its widest setting 1 to start with. Feed rectangular flattened dough into the pasta sheet roller. The dough will come out slightly more flattened and stretched. Pass the dough back again through the roller at the same thickness setting.

Move the pasta sheet roller adjustment knob to setting 2 (which is one level thinner setting than the previous one). Lightly dust the rollers and the dough sheet with flour. Feed the dough through rollers to flatten further. Pass the dough again on the same setting. Now change the setting to 3 and feed dough through rollers twice. The dough should be flexible, not sticky, and as wide as the flat rollers. If you are happy with the thickness and length of the dough sheet then stop at this stage or else change the setting to the next thinner level and pass the dough again through the rollers to thin the sheet and lengthen the sheet.

Note: Do not skip the setting levels and jump to the thinner setting to speed up the dough rolling. This will result in rough, wrinkled, and cracked dough sheets.

I kept my dough sheet to a thickness of 2-3 mm and a length that was longer than the ravioli-mould tray to allow for indentation when I lay it on the ravioli mould.

Line the ravioli mould with dough sheet

When two sheets of dough are ready, place one sheet of dough over the ravioli mould tray. Gently press the sheet into the square depressions of the mould to form square cups. Ensure the dough sheet is wide enough to sit over the raised zig zag edges.

Fill the mould with gujiya filling

Place about a tablespoon of Gujiya filling into each pocket. You want enough filling in each ravioli to have a nice shape, but not so much that you will have trouble sealing the edges

of the pasta. Flatten the filling with the back of the spoon.

Cover gujiya filling and seal the edges

Wet all the edges of the dough lightly with water. This will help the gujiya to have a tight seal and not break when frying. Remember, not too much water or the dough will get sticky. Place another sheet of dough over the gujiya filling. This will actually form the bottom of the gujiya.

Use a rolling pin to press the two layers of pasta together. Start with gentle pressure to press out any air and to form a seal. Then use more pressure especially on the zigzag grooves to cut the pasta into individual gujiyas. Peel off excess dough from around the gujiya.

Demould square gujiyas

Turn the mould over and tap it on the counter to release the gujiyas. Use a knife to separate any gujiyas that are stuck together. Alternatively, you can also take each gujiya out of the mould individually.

Place the gujiya in a single layer on a tray dusted with flour or lined with baking paper.


Prep the dough, rolling the dough and line the mould with dough

After the dough has rested, knead it once more to smooth it out and divide it into equal golf ball size portions. Roll them into smooth balls and flatten them between your palms. Work with one flatten dough ball at a time. Roll it into a 4-5 inch diameter circle using the rolling pin and rolling board.

Open up traditional gujiya mould and place a rolled-out circular sheet over the mould. Make sure to leave some excess overhang on the edges for sealing.

Fill, seal, and demould half-moon shaped gujiyas

Gently press the sheet into the crescent depression of the mould to create a half-moon pocket. Fill the pocket completely with gujiya filling. Brush the round edge of the dough lightly with water. Cover the gujiya filling with the other half of the circular dough sheet. Close the gujiya mould and press the edges together to seal them. Remove any excess dough by running your finger along the round border of the gujiya mould. Roll the excess dough into small balls and then into a round sheet to make more gujiyas.

Open the gujiya mould and tip over to demould half-moon gujiya.

Arrange the gujiya in a single layer on a tray dusted with plain flour. Cover gujiyas with a damp cloth to keep them from drying.

Note: If gujiyas are left to dry then there are chances that they may crack open while frying.

4. Frying Gujiya

Sweets are always fried in ghee but for vegan, you may use flavourless oil for frying.

Heat ghee in a saucepan halfway full. Before frying the gujiya, make sure the ghee (oil) is at the correct temperature. You may test the temperature of the ghee (oil) by dropping a tiny piece of dough into the ghee (oil). If it quickly rises to the top, the ghee (oil) temperature is too high. Allow for a little cooling down period. If the dough sits at the bottom or takes an excessive amount of time to rise, the ghee (oil) temperature is too low and has to be increased slightly. If the dough rises steadily to the top of the ghee (oil) in 5-6 seconds, the ghee (oil) is warm enough to fry the gujiyas. Note, the ghee should be a low-medium heat cause we want to fry gujiyas slowly and not rapidly like sev.

Gently slide the gujiyas in the ghee. Add enough pieces that can comfortably fit the frying pan and don’t overcrowd. Fry gujiya at low to medium heat. Once the gujiyas float to the top, turn them over carefully and fry the other side. Deep fry them till they have become golden brown. Keep turning or moving gujiyas at regular intervals for even browning.

Once gujiyas are golden brown and crispy from all sides, scoop them out of the ghee using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to absorb excess ghee. Continue frying the rest of the gujiyas in the same way. When gujiyas are hot, they will be soft. As they cool, they will crisp up and darken slightly in colour. Once they've cooled, store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

Final result

There you have it, both contemporary and traditional gujiyas.

Add an element of surprise and a sense of playfulness to your holiday festivities with this adorable Gujiya nibbles.

Can any other kind of flour be used for gujiya dough?

Yes, you can use wheat flour instead of plain flour or mix wheat flour with plain flour in a 1:1 ratio. The amount of water necessary for kneading will vary depending on the quality of the flour. To produce a tight and solid dough, add a small amount of water at a time while kneading.

Filling variation Ideas?

You can replace or add ingredients to customise the filling. To make the filling richer and softer, use milk solids (khoya/mawa) instead of semolina. Add cocoa powder and vanilla essence instead of cardamom powder to make it chocolate-flavored. Pack the filling with more nutrients by adding chia seeds, sunflower seeds, linseed, and soaked goji berries instead of sultanas, and reduce the amount of desiccated coconut. Infuse floral fragrance by adding dried rose petals to the filling along with a few drops of rose water. Simply change the sweetness profile by replacing powdered sugar with powdered jaggery.

There are plenty of other possibilities, but I'll let your wild imaginations go free.

Serving options or Ideas?

Gujiyas are delicious on their own or as a teatime snack. There are a few additional things you may do to make it more luxurious. Serve gujiyas with rabdi or custard topped with slivered nuts for an extra indulgence or make chocolate-flavor gujiyas and pair them with Chocolate Ganache for a decadent experience.

Storage and Shelf life?

Allow gujiyas to cool to room temperature before storing them in an airtight container. Since there are no milk solids (khoya/mawa) used in the fillings, gujiya's shelf life increases and can stay well up to 2 months at room temperature if properly stored in an airtight container. If milk solids are used in the filling then it will last up to 2-3 weeks if stored in a refrigerator in an airtight container.

These cute Gujiya bites are small enough to pop into your mouth without making a mess, yet large enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without being overly sweet.
Regardless of the size or style, modern or vintage, they are all bursting with taste and flavour.