Holy Holi – Delightful and healthy Gujiyas
To be honest, I had something else in mind when I thought I’d write a post for Holi. But, my mom-in-law came up with an ever-so-delicious recipe that I just couldn’t look beyond. This post does warrant a bit of background, and I shall give you one.
My mom-in-law loves to cook. She makes the most delectable prawns and pork and so many other things. Trust me every single time we visit her, or she visits us, we have an extremely delectable platter of food, for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. She loves to spoil us, and well, we like being spoiled. And she won’t just cook up a storm, she will make sure every person in the house has some excellent food as per their preferences, catered to. Yeah, she is very nurturing and extremely hard working.
I mean really, if it were left to me, I would take a general vote on what people like and make stuff that would appeal to a large portion of the family, and the finicky eaters could well, eat what was laid on the table or just starve! What? If you are so finicky, go and eat what you want outside. Don’t expect me to slog it out in the kitchen just for a tiny morsel of food to feed you. I’m quite lazy that way!
Now, every festival, my mom-in-law tries various recipes that appeal to hearty as well as finicky eaters. And this time round, she came up with a fabulous gujiya recipe. This one I just have to share with you. Because, you know, you have kids and family that may like one thing or the other. And, festivals don’t mean you have to go all unhealthy and throw caution to the winds. Instead, what you could do, is make something relatively healthy and absolutely delicious, to please them all, viz. the food lovers and the food sniffers (so to say). So, what if I told you, you could make deliciously healthy gujiyas that your kids and you will love?
Come on, Holi is here, and you can’t have Holi without gujiyas. Now I know, you will have a lot of your friends saying, “oh, but that’s too much sugar”, or, “do you have anything that would help my diet?”. To which your response can vary from, “die already”, to “yes my darling.”. But this would help get you a middle way, where you could say, “Yes, my darling, it’s packed with nutrition, but also some extra calories. But you know what? This is a baked gujiya and not a fried one, so in honour of the festival, you can take the slight dip (not a plunge necessarily!)”.
So here goes, my mom-in-laws’ recipe of a nutrition stuffed gujiya.
For the covering
Flour (all purpose) – 1 cup
Butter (frozen, cut into small cubes) – ½ cup
Salt – a pinch
Water – if needed
For the stuffing
Bananas (ripe but firm) – 2 nos
Apple – ½ an apple grated
Dates – 4 nos
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder – 1 pinch
Some milk to brush and seal gujiyas
First up, make the dough because it needs to rest in the fridge. So here goes…
Dough for the covering
Now this entire process can be done by your kids, along with you. It’s fun and messy. And kids love the messy. But of course, when it comes to finally kneading the dough, please do it yourself.
- Mix the salt with the flour.
- Scatter the cubes of butter in the bowl of flour and rub the butter into the flour with nimble fingers, till you get a sand like consistency, and the butter is completely incorporated with the flour. The warmth of your fingers will help get this consistency.
- Now knead the dough, to form a nice combined ball of the mixture. If needed, you could add a slight amount of water to combine the mixture. Ideally, that shouldn’t be necessary, but just in case.
- Once kneaded, wrap the dough in a cling film and refrigerate.
- Cut the bananas into small cubes. Grate the apples, and crush the dates in a mixer. All of this can be done by the kids. They will love it!
- In a pan, add the ghee. Then in go the apples. Saute that, and add the bananas and the dates. Saute again. All of this on a medium flame.
- Now, turn the flame down, and add the sugar and cardamom. Stir it and let it cook down to a gelatinous and pliable mixture. And your stuffing is done.
- Let it cool.
The final countdown
Bringing it all together
- Pre – heat oven to 180 degrees.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into 3 equal parts, and make perfect dough balls with each.
- Dust the surface on which you are going to roll the dough, and roll each dough ball into a thin roti/ chapati.
- Now with a cookie cutter or just a small round steel bowl, cut perfect roundels.
- Lay a dollop of the stuffing in the lower half of the roundel.
- Brush the edges of the bottom half with milk, and cover with the top half.
- Seal the edges with a fork.
- On a baking sheet, lay parchment paper, place all the gujiyas, brush the top with milk, and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 to 40 mins until golden brown. Done.
- Try and use Kerala bananas. I have used the small banana variety, but if you don’t get Kerala bananas, use the regular ones. Just make sure they are ripe but firm, or you will be left with a load of mush.
- The dates I have used, are the Arabic dates. You can use the regular ones. De-seed them please. They will add sweetness and texture.
- Make sure the flour doesn’t become a paste. It needs to be a nice firm dough. Use tiny bits of water if it isn’t coming together.
- You can also add nuts to the stuffing mixture if you want. Finely chopped though.
- This measure of ingredients will yield up to 15 gujiyas. If you want to increase the number, just increase the measure proportionately.
So, there you go, a gujiya that you don’t quite have to be guilty about eating, but one that is full of nourishment and will be enjoyed by the whole family. It’s tasty, it’s relatively easy, and, it sure is a tribute to the festival of colours. Have fun. Spread the cheer. And colour your dreams. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Take care and keep cooking!