Hare chane ki gujhia is not a new recipe invented by me, I have tasted it in Banaras around holi festivities many a times. Hara chana (tender green garbanzo beans) is a seasonal delight around this time of the year and many enterprising home cooks use it in many different ways. I have had burfis, halwas, gujhia and stuffed parathas made with hara chana apart from the nimona, ghugni and alu chane ki subzi. I have known some really creative home cooks and more importantly, I have remembered all that I have had as good food in the past. I remember how people would be scared to eat any green gujhia on the occasion of holi fearing it might be laced with bhang. Some of those really were. You never knew. You can disguise bhang in hare chane ki gujhia well and no one would get to know.
Incidentally, hara chana is also called 'hora' or 'horha' in the Hindi heartland and the name is linked to 'hori' which is the vernacular name of the festival holi. The whole mature shrubs of chickpeas are fired along with the 'holika dahan' on the eve of holi and the char grilled chickpeas are distributed as prasad. So 'hora' is the much loved produce related closely with 'hori', a gujhia made using this produce is not much of a surprise.
This time when I was feeling lazy about making gujhia and kept procrastinating till the last day, the thought of colourful gujhia made me get going with the ingredients. I made instant khoya from milk powder in microwave, mixed a bit of grated beetroots to the regular nuts, raisins and khoya mixture to make a red gujhia stuffing. And then I made use of the hara chana to make a green stuffing as well. It was fun to make people keep guessing about the stuffing as we had all gathered at my brother's place for holi. My nieces had a good time gobbling up more gujhias that had holi colours in them. Or so they thought.
For the red gujhia, 1/2 cup of grated beetroot was sauteed in a tsp of ghee and then added to 300 gm khoya and more chopped nuts and raisins, grated dry coconut etc to make the regular gujhia stuffing. Rest of the procedure was the same as these gujhia. The only change I did in the beetroot stuffing is, I changed the cardamom flavouring in usual gujhia to a combination of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon flavours. These spices complemented the beets flavours really well.
For the green gujhia I made a coarse paste of 250 gm of hara chana, sauteed it with 1 tbsp ghee till it becomes a little dry and darker green. Doing it on low flame in a thick base kadhai helps in getting the right consistency in about 10 minutes. Then I added 1 cup of fine grated dry coconut (kopra), 3/4 cup of sugar and mixed everything well. Cardamom powder and finely chopped pistachios were added for flavours. The remaining procedure of the pastry dough, rolling and stuffing the gujhia was the same as this recipe.
And I also baked some gujhia this time too, I actually made gujhia 3 times this season, but all of them got over really quickly. My dad loved the baked ones I made without any added sugar. The pastry dough was kneaded using fresh malai and the total fat content was minimal and yet a nice rich taste in the final baked gujhia. Even I liked those as I never enjoy having too much sugar, the natural sweetness of khoya is enough for my taste buds. Try doing that next time you make gujhias and see how you like them.