My Mother's Special Gujiya

Gujiya is one sweet that most North Indians symbolize with Holi... but that I learnt only in my freshman year in college. At home, my mother used to make them all the time. Father and I liked them much, so Maa would often make them to go with the evening chai or just like that, as munchies after a long day's work. She even packed some in my tuck box when I left for college and that is when I realized how good and special her Gujiyas were. My friends loved them and reminded me to get some back after the holidays. Maa obliged and soon that became a ritual...a ritual that continued even after my marriage. I believe she would have continued to pamper us with her supplies had we still been in India... but... we are not... So the other day, at my request, Maa finally parted with her special recipe and said I could share it with all of you if I liked....  

Anyone who has had Gujiya  will testify that besides the filling, a crunchy crust is the next best thing about it. Often, a wrong  proportion of ingredients and incorrect frying temperatures are considered responsible for a not-so-crisp exterior. Maa says, besides taking those obvious precautions, one also needs to add a bit of sugar syrup to the dough mixture while kneading it. According to her, this little detail does wonders to the texture of the crust. My grandmother had apparently cracked this halwai's-secret and had shared it with Maa and she claims that it is this little thing that makes her sweets stand out. I tried out her trick this time and was so thrilled with the outcome.. 

The initial plan was to take some of the sweets to our friend's place and play Holi there. But it got too cold to go out, so we smeared colors on each others faces and celebrated Holi at home with colors and my mother's special Gujiya....

Now a quick word about Mawa , before I go on to the recipe...

Mawa, also known as Khoya, is made by simmering full-fat milk over low medium heat for hours until it reduces to a mass of slightly caramelized granular dough-like milk solids. If you have the time and energy, you can make your own Mawa at home, just as Maa did,  or like me, you can skip the hard work and buy your mawa from the Indian store... (You can find the recipe here.

Recipe Source : Urmimala Pal, my mother
Total time: maximum 1 hour 30 minutes                                                                         Yield: 10 pieces

  • For the filling
    • 100 gms Mava
    • ½ cup grated coconut(I used frozen coconut)
    • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
    • 2 tbsps raisins
    • 1 tbsp broken cashews
    • ½ cup sugar
  • For the sugar syrup
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 6 tbsps water
    • ¾ tsp lemon juice
  • For the crust
    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 tbsp semolina
    • 2 tbsps oil
    • 1 tbsp sugar syrup
    • ⅓ cup lukewarm water
  • Oil for deep frying
  • For garnish
    • few chopped pistachios
Cooking Directions

The filling...
  1. In a medium sized pan toss the mawa over medium heat until it browns slightly.
  2. Once the mawa begins to come together, add the grated coconut, cardamom powder, cashews and raisins and mix well.
  3. Finally add the sugar, lower the heat and stirring constantly mix all the ingredients until they come together and resemble a dough-like mixture.
  4. Continue stirring the mixture over medium low heat for 5 more minutes, then switch off the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
The sugar syrup...
  1. Mix the sugar and water for the syrup in a container and bring it to a boil. 
  2. Once the mixture begins to boil, stir in the lemon juice and switch off the heat.
The dough for the crust..
  1. Mix the flour, semolina, oil and 1 tablespoon of sugar syrup. The mixture will be somewhat crumbly.
  2. Now add the water and knead till you have a soft dough. Keep aside for 10 minutes before you begin to assemble the gujiyas.
Assembly the Gujiyas
  1. When ready to make the gijuyas, divide the dough into 10 lemon sized balls.
  2. Rolling one at a time, roll the dough balls into 4 inch round discs.
  3. Put 1½ to 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center of the rolled out discs. Fold top halves over the filling to enclose it completely. Press the edges with your fingertips to seal the edges. You can then crimp firmly with a fork or pinch the dough with your fingertips and fold it to form tiny ridges like the ones I have done. 
  4. Once all the gujiyas have been stuffed and shaped, heat enough oil in a big saucepan for deep frying. To check if the oil is hot enough, drop a small piece of dough in it; if it sizzles right away and gradually floats up to the surface then the oil is ready for frying.
  5. Now turning the heat to medium low, carefully place the stuffed gujiyas in the oil. Do not overcrowd, fry only a few at a time.
  6. Once the gujiyas float up to the surface, turn them and fry until they turn golden brown. Then lift them out with a slotted spoon and keep aside until you have fried the whole lot.
  7. After all the gujiyas have been deep fried, heat the sugar syrup for a minute or so. Then dip the gujiyas into the syrup turning them over in between such that they are well coated with the syrup.
  8. Let the syrup coated gujiyas rest for a while before garnishing them with chopped pistachios and serving.  

I shall be sharing this at the Swati's FR Event that I am hosting this month.

I shall also be sharing it at all these parties.

p.s: You can see some clips of my Holi celebrations here, here and here.

p.s: updated photos on 25.03.2016


  1. Your little guy is just adorable!! What a special treat to enjoy for a celebration! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe with Full Plate Thursday and hope you have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  2. Delicious gujiya, your son is very cute, hope you had wonderful holi. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop.

  3. I don't know that I would have much luck with the Mawa - I tend to get impatient and would probably burn it, but I would definitely like to give this a try sometime. Sounds wonderful! Thanks to your Maa for sharing. :) #Tasty Tuesdays

  4. These look amazing... but all your recipes are amazing. Check out my old pictures of India on my blog today: http://www.simplelivingeating.com/2014/03/vegetable-barley-soup-with-taste-of.html

  5. Thank you for sharing your recipe at Meal Planning Monday Recipe Link-Up. :) I hope you stop by and join us again this week. http://www.aprilshomemaking.com/2014/03/meal-planning-monday-recipe-link-up-4.html


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Take care and come back soon.
Best, Tanusree

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