Gujiya, or Milk Fudge Turnovers, are a popular Indian dessert commonly made in the northern part of India around the festivals of Holi and Diwali. It is a deep fried sweet dumpling that is made by stuffing pastry dough with sweetened milk fudge (khoya), chopped nuts and coconut flakes and is glazed with a thick sugar syrup.
Traditionally, the process of making Gujiya requires making a dough with all-purpose flour, ghee (clarified butter) and water. You combine all ingredients and make a soft dough, set it to rest while you prepare the filling. The filling is made with Khoya as a base. Khoya, also known as “Mawa”, is basically dried milk solids. It is available in the freezer aisle of your local Indian store, right next to the Paneer. I personally like the brand “Nanak” for khoya.
This is my mother-in-law’s amazing Gujiya recipe. The Gujiya mix is made by crumbling khoya in a mildly warm skillet. Chopped nut like almonds and pistachios are added along with desiccated coconut and freshly ground cardamom powder. When this mixture is cool, sugar is added. Now your Gujiya is ready to assemble. A small dough ball is rolled into a circular shaped disc, about 2 inch in diameter. About a tablespoon of khoya mixture goes in the center and then the dough is folded in a crescent shape and edges are sealed. That’s your Gujiya. Gujiya is then deep fried in medium warm oil till it turns golden in color. It is removed and put straight in a sugar syrup and tossed a few times and then set on a platter to crisp up. It is garnished with chopped pistachios. It is simply a bite of heaven!
During the festival season, my husband and I end up “over-indulging”, if that’s a word, but I’m sure many can relate to that. So, I keep tweaking recipes to make them a bit healthier without losing any of the “to-die-for” flavors. The other thing is, that I rarely have the time required to make this elaborate dessert. So, I experimented and after a few hits and misses, this recipe for Baked Gujiya was accomplished. I decided to do a baked version, which automatically makes it way healthier than the classic. The other major change was using store-bought pie dough. The pie dough may sound unconventional, but gives the same flaky, crisp texture that is key to a good Gujiya. Here is a quicker and healthier, baked version of this favorite, and the best part- it was done in 30 minutes!
Baked Gujiya in 30 minutes (Milk Fudge Turnovers)Print Recipe
- Khoya Stuffing
- 1 stick of Nanak Khoya (10-12 oz)
- 1/4 teaspoon Cardamom Powder (7-8 fresh cardamom pods)
- 2 tablespoons Slivered Almonds
- 2 tablespoons Chopped Cashews
- 3 tablespoons Desiccated Coconut (unsweetened)
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- Glazing Ingredients:(enough glaze for 20-22 Gujias)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds & cashews (for garnish after glazing)
- 1 sheet store bought Pie dough (I get the Trader Joe's brand)
Make Stuffing: Microwave Khoya for 1-2 minutes, in 30 seconds increments to make khoya easy to crumble.
Heat non stick skillet/pan on medium heat. Crumble khoya in to the pan. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, press down and break it in smaller pieces. Keep pressing till khoya becomes soft, consistency of a soft dough. (it should be pliable). Turn off the heat.
Add chopped nuts, coconut powder and cardamom powder. Mix well and allow to cool off for a few minutes (4-5). Add sugar and mix well. The stuffing is ready.
Make Sugar Syrup. Heat a sauce pan on medium heat. Add sugar and water. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat till it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5-6 minutes.
Assemble Gujiya.Place thawed pie crust between plastic wrap and roll outwards to thin out the dough. (See video for clarity). Using a 2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out pie circles for filling.
Fill each pie circle with roughly 2 teaspoons (or heaping 1/2 tablespoon) filling, and seal by pressing the edges together. (Just like you would for a turnover). Bake for 11 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees. Cool for 5 minutes.
Dip Gujiyas in the cooled sugar syrup, coating well on all sides. Sprinkle some crushed pistachios on top. Place on a wire-rack for setting.