Gujiya or Karanji is a delicious sweet or snack made during the occasion of Holi, festival of colors. It is made with filling dry coconut, dried fruits and mawa together in a dough shell. We can then deep fry or bake the gujiyas.
The sweets or snacks I share here are my family’s or my absolute favorites. We don’t indulge regularly in these and are made only on special occasion once a year. Holi for me is associated with colors, ‘palaash ke phool’ or Butea monosperma, ghujiya and a dip in huge tub by all family members.
Before the easy invent of coarse & harmful colors, which were sometimes even glass mixed, all households used palaash flowers to make natural color for playing holi. I can proudly say that in my house that’s still the custom.
To make natural color, just boil some palaash flowers in big vessel with water for few hours and you have fresh, natural color to play holi. :)
Now coming to ghujjia, I will own and say that before marriage I knew the basics of cooking but not the delicacies. Slowly when you run your own kitchen & realise that there is no mom to make you lovely treats on festivals & store-bought never have that charm or taste then you start getting out of the stupor & make efforts to learn all that you enjoyed and took for granted in childhood. In last 3 years, I’ve started making ghujjia knowing that I won’t get them otherwise. As with everything, these also have improved with practice.
I’ve been told that this year’s have been far best in taste as well as look. And the best compliment was when my son had 2 as soon as he came from school. I will ignore the fact that he didn’t have a single bite after that. What else do I want except next years kids will eat more of these. :)
Ghujjia | Karanji
- In a large bowl, add flour & ghee. Knead the dough using water. The dough should be firm to touch. Cover with a wet muslin cloth for few minutes.
- In a small pan, lightly roast the khoya. Add muskmelon seeds, chironji, raisins, coconut & cardamom powder. Allow the mixture to cool down to room temp. Add sugar quickly to prepare the filling.
- Make small balls from the dough. Roll out each ball into a circle. It should be big enough to cover the dumpling mold with a little overhang. Fill in about 1 Tbsp filling in the center. Gently rub a wet finger (you can keep a bowl of water & dip your finger) around the edges of the mold & quickly close the mold. Wet finger will seal the mold well. Press & remove any extra dough outside the edges. Open the mold, gently remove the dumpling. Cover the dumpling with a slightly wet muslin cloth & continue with other dumplings.
- Heat oil in a deep wok, once the oil is hot fry the dumplings. Serve warm with tea or as sweet.