Friday, March 9, 2012

Baked Gujhia ...finally..



  Gujhia, Guzia or Karanji, you might like to call it a sweet puff pastry, this is something you cannot go wrong with. Err..you cannot go wrong with it when you bake it. Many of my friends have been bugging me for ages to post a baked Gujhia recipe as there is no fear of the Gujhias getting punctured while deep frying. Yes, many people just fear that the most, the stuffing and sealing the edges is a skill and many beginners have a problem with this step. So this baked Gijhia is not at all low calorie of tinted as healthy food, the baking part is just to make the process convenient. Deep frying can be scary with a sugary stuffing for a beginner cook.

 If not sealed properly the Gujhias just open up like a book in the hot oil and all the stuffing comes gushing out. Not a good sight, leads to a lot of frustration as the most laborious work goes down the drain. Even a small puncture in the seal can make the sugared stuffing ooze out and the molten sugar keeps browning in the hot oil and keep coating the other Gujhias being fried in the same batch. A frightening thought for all the dough challenged people. Yes, a dough sounds fun and easy to many and it just frightens so many others, be it bread or puff pastries or a crust of a pie.


I have posted a deep fried Gujhia long back, some noisy pictures would greet you here with a plateful of fried Gujhias. The stuffing is the same in this baked version too and even the pastry layer (the shell) is the same.

 And please do not be in an impression that the baked Gujhias are any lower on fat content. There is enough shortening (called moyan in hindi) in the pastry dough to make them crisp and there is more melted ghee brushed on them during baking too. So the deadly flour, fat and sugar combination is very much there to make you run an extra mile on the treadmill.

Having said that, you can always make the Gujhia using whole wheat flour and lesser ghee for shortening. That would result in a rustic pastry and a cracker like texture around the same khoya (evaporated milk) stuffing. While that might be a good idea if you are making it regularly for your kids, during festivals I feel like doing it the traditional way as it is a once in a year ritual.

Other sweet treats were made healthier using lesser sugar, a Besan and coconut burfi and a Sesame burfi is on the way. In quick succession I hope.

For ingredients and instructions to make this Gujhia, follow the list and procedure explained here... 

  • After stuffing the Gujhias as suggested, arrange all of them on  a greased baking tray. 
  • Preheat the oven first and bake them at 200 C for the first 5 minutes and then at 150 C for 20 minutes more. The pastry ( the shell) would change the color to a pale white  first and then it goes on to get pinkish brown. Take the baking tray out of the oven and brush all the Gujhias with melted ghee and proceed baking. You might like to brush then with ghee once again after a light pink color appears. Results in a fluffy and light baked pastry. 
  • The baking time can vary according to the size of the Gujhis you make and the thickness of the pastry you roll for stuffing. So keep a watch on the color of the baking Gujhias as you will be taking them out anyways for brushing molten ghee on them. 
  • Tap them with a knife to check if done,  a hollow crisp voice indicates it's done and a pinkish brown color is desirable. Though a lighter color doesn't make a difference in taste. You won't want the Gujhias to brown more as it would result in caramalising the inner stuffing too much , a lightly caramalised stuffing is normal, but deep caramalisation would result in a tough texture when it cools. The Gujhia stuffing is supposed to be light and delicate normally.
Take care not to brown the khoya too much while preparing the stuffing if you are planning to bake your Gujhias. The stuffing as I indicated , gets browned a bit more while baking. Just a few precautions and a good rapport with your oven can make you free from heating a Kadai full of ghee.

I baked four batches of Gujhia this Holi..


The procedure is not done yet. I made an instant stuffing this time too. There was some pastry dough still left after consuming all the stuffing and I just rustled up an instant thing to stuff about a dozen Chandrakalas.

Chandrakala is a cousin of Gujhia, just the shape is different as it is a full moon shape hence the name Chandra-kala (Chandra is moon in Sanskrit ; Kala is art). Gujhia is half moon :-) 


The instant Gujhia/Chandrakala stuffing ...

milk powder 1/2 cup
sugar 1 tbsp (or more to taste)
chopped nuts 3 tbsp
poppy seeds 1 tsp
roasted semolina 1 tsp
grated fresh coconut 3 tbsp
green cardamom or clove powder a pinch

Mix everything well and use as stuffing.

The moisture in the fresh coconut ensures the milk powder and other ingredients get nicely homgenised while baking , the end product was a nicely caramalised stuffing.

Baking instructions are the same as Gujhia.


Some people like a thin coating of sugar syrup over the Gujhia and Chandrakala both. I like mine plain as the sugar syrup makes it heavy and too sweet to enjoy the delicate taste of Gujhias.

If planning to coat them with sugar syrup, make a syrup with 1/2 cup of sugar and 3 tbsp of water, cooked till frothy and poured over all the Gujhias to coat them lightly.

Would you overcome your reservations about making a perfectly shaped and nicely browned, crisp Gujhia?
Or there is a fear of baking?
Come on.

Edited to add : 

A few of my readers and friends were skeptical about the texture of the pastry cover, so I thought of posting a picture showing just how delicate and crisp the pastry was. Crumbling with every bite.


And to solve the mystery of an instant stuffing working fine for the baked version of Gujhia. The mixture cooked well to condense and become just right inside the Chandrakala.

See how nice it looks when I took a bite. The color is lighter than the already roasted stuffing used for the Gujhias above, but the light caramalaisation worked great too.


 Instant solutions re not always compromises. They yield great results sometimes.

Enjoy.


26 comments:

  1. For the first barhch of ghujia I didn't seal :( result was disastrous then I realized my mistake,..ghujias look perfect maybe next time when I prepare will try to bake them,.:)

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    1. Yes, that can be so frustrating. You can't afford to get distracted while making them :-)

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  2. aha!!!!......nice!!....may try this one out!!1

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

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  3. My only reservation in baking stuff than frying (such as pakodas, or this gujiya) is the concern that it may become too hard, or not be crisp, or not taste the same as fried... :)

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    1. Nisha...puff pastries are baked in many parts of the world and they are quite delicately crisp too. The right amount of shortening is the only condition.

      With pakodas it's a different story..a lentil batter wouldn't behave like a puff pastry dough for sure. But there are ways to make vada type pakodas using coarse paste of soaked lentils..will post them soon.

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  4. These are beautiful looking gujias. I have very little patience to make them all the same size, but I agree once a year it is good to make it the traditional way. Although I do bake these sometimes using puff pastry covering.

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  5. Wow..healthy version!!Looks nice.

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  6. Yeh kya!! First it was khoya from milkpowder...ab seedhe milk powder se hi instant stuffing bana dee??!!Seriously, You are incredible!! :) :) :)

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    1. Ha ha Amrita...It was really tasty too. Chandrakla ke andar hi khoya ban gaya bake hote hote :-) Clicked a picture today..will add to this post.

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  7. i liked deepfried gujia dipped in chashni.. and thank god i've never had to face gujiya's opening up in the oil :-) but my aloo tikki dissolved in the oil once and it was terrible! i'm definitely going to try this just for the sake of trying :-)

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  8. You might stick to baking them thereafter Sukanya...It's delicate n crisp. No sugar coating for me though.

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  9. Thanks for this recipe and the pictures!! I hope to try these - with no sugar coating.

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    1. You would be surprised to see the results of the instant Gujhia stuffing too. Try that.

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  10. your baked gujiyas are so neat and pretty. as a personal preference i always like fried gujiyas over baked ones. the same is with other indian deep fried snacks like samosa, papri. yet i think i should try making baked indian snacks.

    fortunately, i never had any issues of the gujiyas opening up in the oil. but i have seen this happening with my folks and i know it is a real mess.

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    1. You are an expert at cooking Dassana. Many others have problems and this post is aimed at them :-)
      Even I like fried samosas but papri is baked very conveniently in the oven. I prefer baking just because heating a kadai full of oil is wasteful as I discard the leftover oil after that. reheating the oil for repeated use is not a good idea, taste wise and health wise too.

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  11. They look peeeeeeeeerfect. So perfect. if I was in Delhi right now, I would be knocking on your door.

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  12. And I would be welcoming you with a hug. :-)

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  13. Very nicely done gujhiya!!! loved your baked version..next time I will try this for sure...thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  14. Happy Holi! whats holi without Gujias?! right? :) Baked version is indeed something that we all must bookmark... health gujias!

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    1. They are drenched in ghee as much as the fried one Swati. I call them convenient Gujhias.

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  15. liked the baked version...looks yumm.

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  16. Wow, Thanks Sangeetha for posting such lovely recipes and that too easy ones. I've been following your recipes for quiet some time now and both my kid and hubby just love them .Especiaaly the ones that are healthy................... keep posting.Thank you.

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  17. Thanks Priya. Such feedback is my oxygen :-)

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  18. This looks really very healthy and delicious too....thanx dear 4 sharing this...nice space nice recipes n nice clicks too.happy to visit here...
    Maha

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