It is the most loved festival among kids when they pester their parents to buy Gulal and Pichkari and start playing much before the real festival. I was no exception. Being the kid of 80s, I was not allowed new pichkari every year. I used to ask my Mother for my old pichkari which she used to take out from one of her storage trunks and used to play with plain water every day after school which started almost a week before the arrival of festival and the hang over continued at least a week post the festival or till I was scolded to finally get over it. Those were the days when we didn’t realize the importance of water or the need to save it :(
Though I don’t play with colors or water anymore, the spirit still remains the same. Holi brings lots of memories with it every year. The fun days spent with friends, the lip smacking delicacies which we had when we dropped by our friends place to color them and then my cousins who would land up at the end of the day when I would have already taken a shower to color me with permanent colors( we called them Varnish which stayed for a week and then only it was agreed that yes played a good Holi :P) . Oh they were sweet devils, My father’s Special Mutton Curry made only during Holi , My mom’s special Gujias, Dahi Balle and Gulab Jamun and then the entire family including all distant relatives united to spend the entire day together enjoying food, playing cards (that was a must at our place) and the entire house filled with Madness.
The recipe posted today is dedicated to all the memories, to my entire family, to all my friends, to old days and to the spirit of Holi..Cheers..This is my Mom’s Gujia Recipe which we call Karanji
What you need for the filling:
Freshly grated coconut – use 1 whole
½ cup dry coconut called khopra
1 cup milk powder
1 and ½ cup powdered jaggery or gud
½ cup raisins or black currant
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup roughly chopped almonds or almond slivers
Some pecans or walnuts
So basically your choice of dry fruits
2 tbsp ghee
A pinch of cardamom powder
Steps to make the filling:
Heat ghee in a pan. Add freshly grated coconut and jaggery. Cook till jiggery melts and coconut is cooked. Cook in small flame so it does not burn.
Now add milk powder, dry khopra, all dry fruits.
Add cardamom powder and mix everything well.
Your stuffing is all ready. Let it cool down completely before you start stuffing
What you need for outer crust :
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp warm ghee
Water to knead
Steps to make :
Warm the ghee and add it to all-purpose flour. Mix flour and ghee nicely. Rub with hands.
Now add water little by little and knead a tight dough.
Cover in a damp cloth and let it rest for 20 minutes
The final step:
Divide the dough into small balls, almost half the lemon size.
Roll them out. Fill with sufficient amount of stuffing.
Damp the sides with water. Lift one side and put it on other half. Use a fork to seal the sides. Use your hands only if you are an expert. If you cant manage with fork, then just use a mould.
Heat oil in a pan. Heat on a slow to medium flame.
Fry the gujias in batches till nice golden crispy on both sides.
Make a syrup with sugar , water, few saffron strands and kesar.
Pour the syrup over the gujias when they are still hot and garnish with finely chopped pistachios.
When the gujias cool down, the pista with stick to it.
Your gujias are ready.