Updated : 03/11/2020
Must have Gujarati Goodies during Diwali – Googra/ Gujiya
For most Gujarati homes,Diwali is incomplete without Googra/ Gujiya.
Other must have are:
Chevdo (savory mixture potato crisps, fried chana dal, moong and poha). When my mother in law was here in Mombasa, we would make a huge quantity of chevdo. Its actually takes about 1-2 hours to make it.
Mathias (usually made from sprouted moth and urad dal). This was another savory that we made at home.
But nowadays I don’t make chevdo or mathia at home. I buy the ready made chevdo, and ready rolled out mathia. I fry them at home. A good way to support small businesses as it actually helps the women to run their homes.
What is Googra/ Gujiya?
Googra/ Gujiya is a fried Indian sweet pastry. The filling varies from region to region. Its either made from semolina, solid milk called khoya or mawa, coconut, paneer or nuts. The pastry dough is usually made from all purpose flour and ghee. The pastry is filled with the sweet filling and then deep fried over medium to low heat till it becomes crispy. While some parts of India make googra/ gujiya during Holi festival, Gujaratis make it for Diwali. 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
Googra/ Gujiya my favorite:
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. The pastry recipe is my mum’s as they always turn out flaky and crispy.
Are they easy to make?
Not really, as its pretty time consuming but Googra/ Gujiya 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.
Diwali Memory – 2012
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.
Ingredients required for Googra/ Gujiya:
Semolina – sooji, not the flour but fine or medium sooji.
Desiccated Coconut – unsweetened
Almond Powder – preferably coarse powder
Pistachio Powder – preferably coarse powder
Poppy Seeds – khus thus, white one. Optional, if you don’t get it in your area.
Powdered Sugar – I prefer to grind at home.
Nutmeg Powder – jaiphal
Cardamom Powder – elachi
Raisins – optional. If using, its best to chop them into half. During frying they plump up and may cause the pastry to open up.
Ghee – need the solid part for both the filling and the pastry. If you prefer to fry googra in ghee then you need to increase the quantity required.
Oil – for deep frying if you’re not using ghee
Plain Flour – all purpose flour for the pastry
Warm Milk – to make the pastry dough
Some Important Tips to read before you start making Googra/ Gujiya:
Dough Consistency should be right: not to hard or too soft. Think consistency of play dough, must be pliable. In many countries the all purpose flour has more gluten unlike in India and Kenya. So you need to add warm milk accordingly. Also do not knead the dough too much. Just enough to bring the mixture together.
Why they can open up on frying:
- Dough is hard and you have not sealed the filling well. Press it edges well before making the twist pattern.
- The oil or ghee is not hot enough. You must first heat the oil or ghee over medium heat. Add the googra or gujiya and then lower the heat. Before adding the next batch, make sure the oil is heated again over medium heat.
- Too much ghee in the filling. The ghee becomes hot and melts requiring space and results in the googra opening up.
- Too much filling will cause the googra to open up.
- If the edges of the pastry have the filling, then it you will not be able to seal it well.
- When you fill and shape the googra make sure you cover them with a damp cloth. If they dry out, then they will open up on frying.
- Make sure the dough is covered with a damp cloth.
Always fill one and fry first.
If it opens up then you need to check if the filling and dough are right. Read the above tips.
Adjust the spices according to your taste.
My family loves it with a bit of extra nutmeg and cardamom.
- Make sure you roast the semolina well in the ghee over low heat and till its pink.
- After adding all the ingredients to the roasted semolina, the mixture should be like semi wet sand, moist but not able to shape it.
- If you find that the final mixture is too wet, then add a bit more almond flour to get the right consistency.
Its sweet so best to consume in moderation
FOR THE FILLING:
- ½ cup semolina sooji
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- ½ cup coarse almond powder
- ¼ cup coarse pistachio powder
- 5 to 6 tbsps khus khus optional
- 1½ tsps nutmeg powder
- 2 tsps cardamom powder
- 1¼ to 1½ cups powdered sugar sieved
- 2 to 3 tbsps chopped raisins optional
- 6 tbsps solid ghee
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 DOUGH:
- 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.
PREPARATION OF GOOGRA/ GUJIYA:
- 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.
- Keep the dough covered with a damp cloth.
- The 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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