Of all the Indian sweets served on Holi, Gujjias are the ones you hear the most about. They are sweet crescent shaped pastries filled with an assortment of regional treats and deep-fried until golden
- 1-2 tbsp icing sugar
- 50 g plain flour
- 1 tbs ghee or melted butter
- 2 tbs water or as needed
- 2 tsp ghee or butter
- 50 g coconut, finely grated
- 10 g almonds, roasted, blanched and then roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp sugar or to taste
- 1 tbsp sultanas, raisins, cranberries or any other dried fruits
- ¼ tsp green cardamom powder
- 250 ml whole or coconut milk
- 1 orange, finely zested
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- For the filling, heat the ghee/butter in a small frying pan, add nuts cook for 20 seconds. Saute over a moderate flame until the nuts are golden. Remove from heat and set aside. Into the same pan add the coconut, milk, sugar, dried fruits and cardamom powder and cook over a moderate to high flame, stirring often until the milk has completely reduced and the mixture in the pan becomes a clump and sticks together but is still moist, around 10-15 minutes. Take off the heat, stir in the zest and nuts. Leave to cool.
- Using the tips of your fingers mix the ghee and water into the flour and knead well until the dough is smooth. It will be a semi-hard dough, add a little more water if necessary. Divide into 8 and roll into marble-sized balls.
- Place enough oil into a large, open karahi or medium sized saucepan, to come 8-10 cm up the side of the pan and heat up to about 180°C.
- Take one ball and roll into a thin 8 cm-ish circles on a lightly floured surface. Place 2 tsp worth of filling or an eighth of the filling in the centre of the circle and fold over the edges so you have a semi-circle. Press the edges together and roll segments of the edges slightly inwards, pleating as you go just to ensure the filling does not come out. Repeat until you have done half and place these in the hot oil to fry (over a moderate flame) as you make the next bunch. Fry until they are golden on both sides, turning halfway; it takes about 2-3 minutes in total. Once done, place on some paper towel and repeat with the remaining pastries
- I like to dust with icing sugar and serve hot or warm.
Recipe and image from I Love India by Anjum Anand.