Thursday, March 14, 2019

Air Fryer Gujiya ( Indian Sweet Pastry)

Crescent shaped pastry stuffed with a sweet mixture of nuts and coconut; Gujiya is a popular Indian sweet recipe. This easy version is made in the Air Fryer!





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Holi is around the corner and I am getting ready with all my favorite recipes. Thandai, gujiya, dahi bhalla, Jowar dhani...the list continues. Every year I try and add a recipe or two for the festival on the blog. This year the recipe includes my brand new favorite kitchen appliance; Air Fryer.



What is Gujiya?

A popular recipe enjoyed during Holi, Gujiya is crescent shaped pastry filled with a sweet mixture and deep fried. The mixture may contain sooji (semolina), mawa (milk solids) or just nuts and seeds. Adding Thandai powder to the mixture is a great idea to make Thandai flavored Gujiya.


These pastries are generally deep fried and served on Holi, the festival of color or on Diwali that is celebrated later in the year. Known by different names like Ghughra, Karanji and Gujiya in different parts of the country; these are delicious year round! 

This year I decided to make a super simple filling for my gujiyas; one that works year round and can be enjoyed on any occasion! It has mawa, coconut and nuts. However, the filling can be changed based on preferences but the method  to make them remains the same.



Why use an AIR FRYER to make Gujiya?

I started using the air fryer some time ago and have been a FAN since. The ease with which it can make a LOT of recipes without frying is amazing! Plus, it required just a little bit of oil/ghee and the results are great. 


I made these Gujiyas in the Air Fryer mainly because it cuts down the amount of oil or ghee needed. With just 1 tbsp of ghee; I could 'fry' 10 Gujiyas in the fryer, making them perfectly brown and not compromising on the taste. 

The cooking process took about 16 minutes in the Air fryer. I made 10 Gujiyas using the ingredients below. So I was done in 30 minutes! 



How to make PERFECT Gujiya?

A lot of people have their secrets to make these pastries perfectly. Based on the attempts I have made, here is what I have learnt! 

Make the dough using the amount of ghee specified below. If you cut that down, the pastry dough will be hard and not turn out the way we want. 

Do not overfill the gujiya with the stuffing and make sure the edges are sealed well. Else, the filling might ooze out during cooking and make a big mess.


Preheat the air fryer before placing the gujiya in the tray. If the temperature rises with the gujiya inside, it will result in hard gujiya covers. Placing them in the preheated fryer yields perfect results each time. 

Keep the Gujiya dough and the rolled ones under wet tissue or kitchen towel. Leaving them exposed to air will dry them up and not make them well. 



Variations

For this recipe I used a mixture of nuts, coconut and mawa powder. However, using fresh mawa, condensed milk or semolina is a great idea too. Vary the fillings and get a new flavored gujiya each time! 

In case you do not have an Air Fryer; try baking them. Here is the baked version: Baked Thandai Gujiya

To shape the gujiys, you can either roll out and fold the rounds to make crescents or use a mold like I did. The shape and size can be modified based on how you like it. 

Dipping the completed gujiya in sugar syrup is a great idea. To do so, make a thin sugar syrup and dip the completed gujiya in it. They taste awesome when dipped in the syrup.  

Need more Holi recipes? Try these: 




Ingredients

For the Cover

Ghee 2 tbsp
Salt 1 pinch
Cold Water 1/4-1/2 cup


For the Filling

Almonds 8-10, slivered
Cashews 8-10, slivered
Pistachios 8-10, slivered
Ghee 1 tbsp
Milk 1 tbsp

Other Ingredients




Method

To make the Cover

In a bowl mix together flour, salt and ghee. Keep mixing till the mixture is crumbly. 

Slowly add 1/4 cup water and knead to form a semi stiff dough. If more water is required; add it slowly and keep kneading. Once a ball forms, cover it with wet kitchen towel and let it rest.


To make the Filling

In a pan heat the ghee. Once it melts, add almonds, cashews and pistachios. Let them roast for a minute and then add desiccated coconut and mawa powder. 

Let everything roast for a few minutes on medium flame. Make sure the coconut does not burn. Once toasted, add milk and cardamom powder. Mix well and let the mixture thicken.

Once the mixture is dry, turn down the flame and let the filling cool.





To make the Gujiya

Take the dough and divide it into 10 parts. Do the same for the filling.

Roll out each part to a round of 4-5 inches diameter. 

Using an empanada press or gujiya maker, press the round so that it fits well. Add one part of the filling and close the mold. 

Remove the extra dough from the sides. Remove the gujiya from the mold and place covered with a wet towel.

Repeat for all the remaining dough and filling. 

To fry the Gujiya

Preheat the air fryer to 350 F for 5 minutes. 

Apply some ghee/ non stick spray on the gujiyas. Place 4-5 in the basket once the air fryer is hot. 

Let the gujiyas fry for 8 minutes. Then turn them over and fry for another 8 minutes. 

The cover should be golden brown. Remove from the air fryer and store in an airtight container. These gujiyas can be refrigerated for 10-15 days. 






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