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Ghughra or Gujjia

Ghughra or Gujjia
Diwali festival is not complete without making these!

Ingredients for the filling:

  • ½ cup ghee

  • 1 cup fine suji / semolina

  • ¾ cup chana flour / gram flour

  • ½ cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened)

  • ½ cup almond flour

  • 1 teaspoon elchi (cardamom) powder

  • ½ teaspoon Jaifal (nutmeg) powder (optional)

  • ½ teaspoon saffron powder (optional)

  • ¾ cup castor sugar (you can pulse the regular sugar in a mixer jar)

Ingredients for the pastry:

  • 1 ½ cup plain flour

  • ¼ cup melted ghee

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoon warm milk

To make the filling:
In a heavy non-stick pan, heat ghee on medium heat. Add the suji and stir continuously for about 5-7 minutes until the suji becomes white and fluffy. Now add in the chana flour and roast continuously until the mixture becomes light and airy when you are stirring. The mixture should be golden in color and very aromatic. Add in the coconut and almond flour and mix for a minute or so till you see the coconut turn golden brown in the mixture. Shut the heat. Add in the cardamom, nutmeg and saffron. Mix well. Let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes. Now add in the sugar and mix well. The filling is ready.

To make the pastry:
Take the milk and sugar in a glass container and warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Take the flour in a mixing bowl, add in the melted ghee and rub the ghee with your fingertips. Once the ghee is incorporated well in the flour, add the milk (little at a time) to make a medium soft dough. You will need to add or take away a couple of tablespoons of milk depending on the brand of flour you are using. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Break into 45 little pieces.

Get a couple of tablespoons of cold milk to seal the ghughras. Take each piece of dough, roll it thin in a 3 inch diameter circle. Pick up the pastry and set it between your thumb and first finger. Take a teaspoonful of the filling and press it firmly in the center. Now dip your finger in the milk and very lightly touch the inner edges with milk (it’s an extra sealer). Grab front and back edge of the pastry and seal it tight with your fingertips. Crinkle the edges and set the ghughra in a tray. Cover with a soft cotton towel so it does not dry up. Continue filling all the ghughras. Once all the ghughras are filled, it is time to fry.

Heat the oil on medium heat. Take a tiny pinch of the pastry from one of the filled ghughra and drop it in the oil. If the pastry floats up, the oil is ready. You will need some patience to fry these. Take you time to turn them gently and crisp the pastry golden brown. Once the ghughra is evenly fried, drain in a large tray lined with kitchen paper towels. Do not stack them on each other after they come out of the frying pan. Let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Keeps well for a few weeks.

Note: if you do not know how to crinkle the edges, you can use a ghughra mould or a fork to make a fancy edge after you have sealed the filling in the pastry.

[Makes approximately 45]