Googras or gujiyas
Blogging has taken a back seat for quite a while as I have been busy and by the end of the day am exhausted. Guests, cleaning the house and preparing goodies for Diwali. Diwali started off on not such a happy note as while exercising I hurt my toe and got a few stitches. So cooking up a storm in the kitchen immediately stopped. Can’t invite friends and relatives for a meal for a few days and hubby dear is busy pampering me. Oh well, will enjoy it while it lasts.
Must have Gujarati Goodies during Diwali
No Diwali in most Gujarati homes is complete without googras or gujiyas, magas(chickpea flour fudge), chevdo (savory mixture potato crisps, fried chana dal, moong and poha) and mathias (usually made from sprouted moth and urad dal). I am not a big fan of mathias but googras, I simply love them. I prepared a few to parcel some to both my sons and for home. My grandmother probably must be looking down on me with a huge frown as I use oil and not ghee for deep frying the googras. I learnt how to make the filling from Nunu and creating those cute tiny decorative twists from my mum.
What are Googras/Ghughra or Gujiyas?
Also known as karanji in Maharashra, Purukiya in Bihar, Soma in Tamil Nadu, Garijalu in Telangana, Kajjikaya in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Nevri in Goa, they are sweet fried crispy snacks with a sweet filling which varies from state to state. Khoya, semolina, nut powders, coconut, paneer, sugar are some of the common fillings for googras or gujiyas.
Are they easy to make?
Not really, as its pretty time consuming but Googras/Gujiyas taste awesome. I make the filling the previous day and then stuff them and fry them the next day. Nowadays you get gujiya moulds which makes filling them really easy. However, I prefer the make small ones by hand.
GOOGRAS / GUJIYAS
Makes about 60 to 65 tiny ones
For the filling:
½ cup sooji (semolina)
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup coarse almond powder
¼ cup coarse pistachio powder
5 to 6 tbsps khus khus (poppy seeds) optional
1½ tsps nutmeg powder
2 tsps cardamom powder (elachi)
1¼ to 1½ cups powdered sugar (sieved)
2 to 3 tbsps chopped raisins (optional)
6 tbsps solid ghee (clarified butter)
For the pastry:
2 – 2 ¼ cups plain flour
5 to 6 tbsp solid ghee (clarified butter)
½ cup + 1 tbsp warm milk
ghee or oil for deep frying
Preparation of the pastry:
- Sieve the flour.
- Add ghee and rub it into the flour. It should resemble like bread crumbs.
- Add the warm milk and form into a dough which is not too soft and not too hard.
- Cover the dough and leave it for 30 minutes.
Preparation of the filling:
- Heat ghee in a pan over low heat. When it melts, add the semolina.
- Cook the semolina in the ghee, stirring constantly till it becomes light pink in colour. The mixture should appear a bit runny.
- Add coconut and roast for 1 to 2 minutes till it gets roasted and gives out an aroma. Remember to keep on stirring it. It should not get burnt.
- Add almond, pistachio powder and poppy seeds. Mix well and remove the pan from the heat.
- Let the mixture become a bit cool. Add sugar, raisins if using any, cardamom and nutmeg powder.
- Mix very well. Adjust the spices according to your taste if you like.
The final stage:
- Divide the dough into tiny marble size balls. Keep the dough pieces covered as you don’t want it become dry.
- Keep a large tray or plate ready with a clean cloth to cover the googras.
- Take a piece of the dough and roll it out into a 2″ diameter circle.
- Take about a teaspoonful of filling and place it in the middle of the circle.
- Gather up the top and bottom edge and press them together to form a half moon shape.
- Starting at one pointed side, using your thumb and forefinger, press and twist the dough to completely seal it.
- Place the filled googra in the tray or plate and cover it with a cloth.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
- Heat oil or ghee over medium heat. It is ready when you drop a small bit of the dough into the oil and it comes up immediately.
- Lower the heat and fry 6 to 8 googras at a time till they become light pink in colour. Keep turning them gently around using slotted spoon.
- Repeat with the remaining googras.
- Store them in an airtight jar when they cool down.
- If you use raisins in the filling you must chop them otherwise the whole ones plump up while frying and cause the googra to open up.
- If any of the googras open up during frying remove it immediately as the semolina will stick to the pastry and make them appear not too appetizing.
- Don’t let the dough become dry or else the googras will open up while frying.
- The final filling should not appear too greasy.
- After frying each batch, heat the oil to the right temperature and then reduce the heat.
- Instead of poppy seeds add more nut powder or semolina.
- If you cannot seal them with the twisted pattern, use a pastry cutter.
- Make sure you add enough ghee in the dough as you want the googras to turn out flaky like a pie.
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