Gujiya is a traditional Indian sweet made during festivals and loved by everyone. These are basically a decadent sweet stuffing encased in a sort and crisp pastry shell. These pastries after being are deep fried. Common stuffings are Mawa (evaporated milk until it turns solid) with chopped nuts and sugar, or semolina with coconut, mawa, nuts, sugar or simply a mixture of jaggery and coconut etc. In some parts of the country, besan is also used to make the stuffing. Besan is chickpea flour, flour made from Indian chickpeas or bengal gram.
There are hundreds of gujiya recipes out there. What is different about this gujiya recipe is that it is 90% plant based and the only ingredient which isn't plant based is Ghee. This can very easily be replaced with any neutral flavoured oil of your preference and the recipe will be completely vegan! With the stuffing too, it is so rich and decadent that you will not miss the flavour of mawa. These gujiyas are refined sugar free and being baked, saves you lots of time and effort of having to deep fry it in batches and also requires less oil/ghee.
Here is how you can make these delicious and healthy gujiyas yourself.
For the stuffing:
1 cup - Besan
1/3 cup - Chopped almonds and pistachios
1/2 cup - Jaggery Powder (packed)
125gms - Cashew Butter
1/4 cup - Desiccated Coconut
2 tbsp - Ghee or Oil of your choice
2 - Cardamom pods crushed
1/8 tsp - Salt
For the dough:
1 cup - Whole wheat flour
1 cup - All purpose flour
6 tbsp - Ghee or Oil of your choice
1/4 tsp - Salt
1/4 tsp - Baking Powder
Luke warm water for kneading
For the stuffing:
Take a large pan or kadhai and dry roast besan on medium flame stirring regularly, until it starts to turn golden.
Add the ghee and chopped nuts to the pan and roast this for a further 5 minutes.
Now add the cashew butter and powdered jaggery and mix everything thoroughly until everything is well combined.
Take this mixture off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature.
For the dough:
Take a mixing bowl and add in the flours, salt, baking powder and ghee. Using your hands, give everything a thorough mix and rub the ghee into the flour until you can feel that the ghee is evenly mixed into the flour.
Now, taking a little bit of lukewarm water at a time, mix the dry ingredients until it forms a firm dough.
Let this dough rest for about 30 minutes.
For assembling and baking Gujiyas:
Break the dough into around 14-15 equal pieces and make balls of it.
Now take one ball at a time, roll it into a circle.
Take approximately 1-2 tbsp of the stuffing and place it in the centre of the rolled dough.
Now dab the sides of the circle with a little bit of water. Bring one side of the circle carefully over the stuffing placed in the middle and right on top of the other side of the circle to form a half moon shape.
Press the watered edges together and make sure that it is tightly sealed.
You can also use a Gujiya mould to do this assembly.
Once all the Gujiyas are stuffed, place these on a lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for about 20 minutes.
Take the tray out of the oven and brush the Gujiyas with some milk. Bake these again for another 5 minutes or until you see a nice golden colour on the Gujiyas.
Let the Gujiyas cook completely and store these in an air tight container.
When making the stuffing, if you feel that the stuffing is a little lumpy and everything is not mixed evenly, get in with your hands and give the mixture a little rub and try to break any larger lumps. Don't be worries with any small lumps, it tends to mix in while baking.
For the dough, always use lukewarm water and do not over knead the dough. In these kind of pastry doughs, we do not want gluten development. We just want all the flour to bind together in one single mass. Stop mixing once all the dry flour is mixed in and you have a uniform dough. The dough should not be soft, but also should not be too firm, otherwise you will have cracked edges when you roll the balls. If you however notice this happening, spray some water on the dough and give it another quick mix.
Brushing the Gujiyas with milk will ensure a shiny golden colour on top.
For turning these Gujiyas into completely vegan, you can replace the ghee with a neutral flavour oil of your liking. While baking the Gujiyas, you can brush these with some coconut milk for giving these a golden glow. Coconut milk also contains fat and therefore would work great in giving the Gujiyas that golden shine you get while deep frying it.
The cashew butter gives it such a rich flavour that you wouldn't miss the flavour that mawa brings to a Gujiya. I used Cashew Butter from Jus' Amazin for making these Gujiyas. I really love the flavour of their nut butters and how creamy they are! I can never get it so creamy at home.
I hope you make these Gujiyas. When you do, please let me know in the comments below or on Instagram if you liked it. I would love to hear it from you and see the pictures!