This picture is the air fried version of the Gujia which is supposed to be the healthier version.
Gujias (or Pidukias as they are called in Eastern India) is a casserole kind of delicacy where a shell made of wheat flour is filled with khoya and nuts. In North India, this is usually served on the occasion of Holi, the spring festival of colours.
The traditional method is to deep fry them and like any other dessert, they are pretty dense in calories. But we created Gujias successfully just by air frying them and the result was pretty good.
The Gujias had more of a baked taste than a fried one and we really liked it.
So here we present the recipe for Gujias—both the traditional method as well as the air fried version.
White Flour (Maida)-1 cup
Clarified butter (Ghee)-1/4 cup (part of dough, to add crispness to the dish)
Lukewarm Water-1/4 cup
Clarified butter (Ghee) – enough to deep fry (quantity depends on the size of your wok/frying pan)
For the syrup
Water- 1 cup
Green Cardomom-2 crushed
For the filling
Full cream milk: 1 litre (4 cups) OR Khoya- 250 grams (1 cup)
Milk powder: 2 tablespoon
Desiccated coconut- 2 tablespoon
Raisins- 2 tablespoon
Sugar- 3 tablespoon
Making the dough for the outer cover
In a deep bowl, mix together the white flour, and the clarified butter.
Now make a firm dough by adding the lukewarm water and kneading well.
Cover the dough and leave for ½ an hour.
Now make the filling
Place a thick-bottomed wok/pan on your heat source.
Pour in the milk and add the milk powder.
When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and keep stirring till the milk is reduced and becomes almost dry.
(Note: You can avoid this step if you have access to readymade khoya of good quality.)
Add the desiccated coconut, 3 tablespoon sugar and raisins.
Mix well till the sugar is melted.
Now make your sugar syrup
Place a deep pan on your heat source and add the 1 cup of sugar and water.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and let the mixture boil for five minutes more.
Tip: Some recipes ask you to boil the syrup till you get the 1-strand consistency i.e. when a drop of syrup between your fingers becomes so thick as to become a thin strand. In my opinion, this will only make the syrup cloyingly sweet, that most people in the world hate. So go by your palate!
Now assemble the dish
Go back to the dough and take large walnut sized balls out of it.
Flatten each ball into a patty.
Take a rolling pin and a rolling board and grease both lightly with some ghee.
Place the patty on the rolling board and flatten with a rolling pin till it acquires a round shape.
Take this into your hand and fold by half.
Place a tablespoon of the filling in between.
Take a little water in your fingers and seal the top.
Gently pinch and fold the sealed edge in to a pleated design so that the stuffing remains firmly enclosed.
Repeat till all the dough is used up.
Fry the Gujias/ Pidukias
In a wok (deep sauce pan), add the clarified butter and put it on your heat source.
As soon as the clarified butter heats up, add 2-3 filled Gujias/Pidukias at a time.
Gently flip the Gujias/Pidukias over with a slotted spoon to ensure that they acquire a golden-brown colour on both sides.
Now take out the fried Gujias/Pidukias and put them in to the hot sugar syrup for two minutes and remove to a serving dish.
Repeat till all the Gujias/Pidukias are thus made.
If using an Air Fryer
Pre-heat the Air Fryer at 200 degree C (392 degrees F) for 5 minutes.
Follow all the preparatory steps listed above except making the sugar syrup till you come to deep frying in oil.
Now, with a silicon brush, gently brush the Gujias/ Pidukias with a little ghee on all sides.
Place the Gujias/ Pidukias in the Air Fryer in a way that all pieces remain separate and NOT on top of one another.
Air-fry for 12 minutes at 200 degree C (392 degrees F).
Repeat till all the Gujias/ Pidukias are air-fried.
That’s all. Your Gujias/Pidukias are ready.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes if frying in a wok; 60 minutes if using an Air Fryer
Total time: 50 minutes in a wok; 90 minutes in an Air Fryer
[This recipe is an excerpt from my book “The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Desserts the Indian Way” which is available on all e-book platforms including Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, Barnes and Nobles and so on.]
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