Diwali, 'The Festival of Lights' is a huge festival in India. It's the best time of the year where every household in India is seen busy preparing for the festivities. It's the most coveted festival that we look forward to. Months before Diwali, preparations begin at home. There's excitement about celebrations, profound joy in wishing all, of taking time off to visit family and friends, of spending evenings lighting up the home with diyas and kandeels, and of sharing loads of sweets and savouries to all who visit home. It's mesmerizing to see how homes are transformed beautifully this season.
This Diwali has been quite special and a very busy one to all of us. Just as we crossed 2 weeks since my brother-in-law's wedding, we were at my in-law's place to celebrate the newly wed's first Diwali in full spirits. Such a joyous occasion it was to be with all and celebrate as one family.
No celebration in India is complete without traditional sweets. It makes it more special when the joy of celebration is shared with family and friends. Before leaving home, I made a batch of these Mawa Gujjias to be shared with my family and friends. The mawa/khoya was home made from a large batch of left over milk powder. Some went into making these jamuns. The large part of the rest made it to these Gujjias. Thanks to Suma, her recipe for homemade low-fat mava/khoya is fab and perfect that I will not bother to buy mawa from stores for any recipe in future. I wouldn't bother to detail it out here, rather I suggest you hop over to her site where she details the process very well. If you don't consider making mawa at home, then store-bought mawa do good too.
As they went into this recipe, they made the most delicious gujjias ever. As a first timer, I do think there is scope for bettering my techniques for frying these. The oil, the heat moderation and all of that. The fact is that I hate slaving over the wok full of oil. Second, I always underestimate the amount of oil required for frying, as obvious to the fact that I don't fry often. It's only during Diwali or Navrathris do these traditional sweets make a part of my kitchen activities.
Making gujjias are really simple, much unlike of what they seem to be. In case you have store bought mawa, then most of the effort in my opinion goes into frying these. Don't attempt to bake them. They will flop. Here's a small attempt to show how to shape them. Either in form of purses or like empanadas, whatever you choose to like. But be careful as you seal them, since one imperfectly closed gujjia is good to ruin the oil totally. I hope that helps all.
I hope you had a safe and fabulous Diwali.
Here's Veg Bowl wishing all the readers a Happy Diwali!!! Belated ofcourse!
For the Outer cover:
2 cups Plain flour / maida
2 tbsp. Ghee
Oil to deep fry
For the Filling:
2 1/2 cups Homemde Khoya/Mawa or Store-bought Khoya/Mawa
3 tsp. Desiccated coconut
1/4 cup Cashewnuts
1/4 cup Almonds
1/4 cup Walnuts
Handful of Raisins
1 tsp. Cardamom powder
2 1/4 cups sugar
For preparing the covering, rub in 2 tablespoons of ghee into the flour till they resemble like coarse sand. Be gentle and use light hands. Add water and knead gently into a stiff dough. Cover with a towel and set aside to rest till you make the filling. For the filling, pulse the cashewnuts, almonds, walnuts, dessicated coconut till they have a coarse texture. Don't grind it finely. You will love to bite into them. Lightly roast the nut mixture over low heat till they change their colour. This is an optional step though and you may rule out if you are short of time. Add the grated mawa and sugar into these nuts and stir further on low heat for a minute. Switch off the flame and add the cardamom powder. Oil your hands and divide dough into small lemon sized balls. Flour the surface and roll out the dough into small rounds of 7-8 cms in diameter, similar to puris. Alternatively, you may use an inverted cup with sharp rims to get a nice round shape. Place about 1-2 tsps. of stuffing on one half, lightly dampen edges with water and fold the other half over the stuffing like a moon. Press the edges firmly and pinch them as shown in the picture above, similar to momos. This will help in sealing the gujjias well and ensure the filling doesn't spill out while deep frying. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep fry gujias on medium heat till golden brown. Allow to cool and serve.