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Sunday, September 29, 2019

Dahi Gujiya

Today's recipe 'Dahi Gujiya' comes from the state of Uttar Pradesh. These dahi gujiyas are a treat where literally melt in mouth vadas stuffed with raisins and cashews are served in a spicy yogurt base. The recipe is a variant of another popular north Indian snack dahi bhalle and shaped in the form of a gujiya, a dessert popular in the region. Both use deep fried vadas made with a ground batter of urad dal / skinned black gram that are then soaked in a yogurt base and flavored with spice powders and chutneys. The vadas in case of dahi bhalle are shaped round and fried directly whereas in case of dahi gujiyas, the vadas are stuffed and shaped as half moons. The outer shell in these gujiyas is not the dough made using all purpose flour as in sweet versions which is easy to roll but the urad dal batter which is a little tricky to shape. I kept postponing trying this recipe until last week thinking that it would be a hard one to nail. It was quite easy shaping them in my hands instead of using cloth / sheet  and the gujiyas were done in no time. I made a dozen dahi gujiyas and used the rest of the batter to prepare Andhra style perugu vadalu as my husband is a fan of those.

A filling of raisins, cashews, ginger, pepper / chillies and chironjis are used. Shredded fresh coconut would also be a flavorful addition. Use a tiny quantity of filling to each gujiya and don't go overboard with the filling. A moist cloth stretched and tied over a wide cup or a plastic sheet can be used to shape the gujiyas. Remember to keep your hands and the work surface moist all the while shaping gujiyas. Don't go on greasing the work surfaces with oil as it doesn't work. If one has hard time transferring the shaped gujiyas from the sheet / cloth.  shape them on your moist hands instead as I have shown below. They will come off easily without sticking to hands given that hands are moist. Remember to wet your hands with water each time you work with a gujiya.

Ingredients for the outer layer:
1 cup urad dal
Salt to taste
Ingredients for stuffing:
Chopped cashews
Grated ginger
Freshly cracked black pepper
Fresh, shredded coconut (optional)
Chironji (optional)
Ingredients for soaking water:
6 cups water
1/4 tsp. ground asafoetida
1/2 tsp. salt
Ingredients for dahi gujiya:
Salt / Black salt to taste
Green chutney
Sweet chutney
Cumin powder
Chili powder
Chaat masala 

Prep work:
* Rinse and soak urad dal for about 3 hours. Drain the water completely and grind the soaked dal finely, without adding any water. The heavy duty Indian style grinder works best for this. At the most add a tbsp. of water if needed. It is essential that the batter is quite thick since the outer covering for the gujiya is made using this batter.
 * Add salt and beat the batter for about 5 minutes or so using a spoon or hand, to make it fluffy.
 * Keep the stuffing that is going to be used for the gujiyas ready.
* Keep ready a bowl of water with a pinch of asafoetida and 1/2  tsp. salt added.
* Whip yogurt and keep refrigerated. Add salt and also a pinch of sugar if needed. (Yogurt made with full fat milk is traditionally used but I used homemade fat-free variety.)

* Heat oil in a medium sized wok / frying pan on medium heat. Drop a pinch of batter into the hot oil. If it immediately swims to the surface then the oil is hot enough to fry. If it sinks to the bottom then oil needs some more heating. Don't bring the oil to a smoking point.
* Wet a plastic sheet and your hands. Place a lemon sized ball at the center.

*  Pat it with fingers into a thin circle of about 3 inches diameter. 

* Place 1/2 to 1 tsp. filling on one half of the circle, taking care to leave the edges free for sealing. (Don't go stuffing too much as we do in case of sweet gujiya versions.) 

* Gently lift the plastic sheet to cover the other half over the filled side. Pull away the plastic sheet and seal the edges carefully tapping with the moist fingers. Gently transfer into hand and drop it into hot oil. Instead of a moist plastic sheet, a moist cloth can be used to shape the gujiyas.
Alternatively, the gujiyas can be shaped on a hand which I found to be a foolproof method. Follow this method if you have difficulty transferring the shaped gujiya to hand from the sheet / cloth. Pinch a big lemon sized portion from the ground mixture and place it on your left hand. Pat it into a round disc using right hand fingers. Don't make it too thick or thin. Add the stuffing onto one half of the circle, keeping the edges free. Fold the other half over it, matching the edges. Carefully seal the edges, patting with moist fingers.
* Carefully drop the shaped gujiya into the hot oil. In the same manner, go on shaping and dropping the gujiyas in hot oil one by one. Add as many gujiyas as the pan can accommodate. Fry them on low medium heat, flipping them intermittently until golden brown. The batter needs to thoroughly cook and so don't go on frying on high heat setting.
* Remove the fried gujiyas with a slotted spoon, draining as much oil as possible and drop them into the salted water bowl.  Use the remaining batter and prepare gujiyas this way.
* Add all the fried gujiyas to the water and let them soak for about 15 minutes.
* Gently squeeze the water from the gujiyas by pressing each one between your palms. Drop them into the prepared yogurt. The gujiyas must be well immersed in the yogurt. This can be left in the refrigerator until the time of serving. They stay good for few days.

* When ready to serve, transfer a couple of gujiyas along with the yogurt to each serving bowl. 

* Add green and sweet chutneys over the gujiyas and yogurt in each bowl.

* Sprinkle the spice powders of your choice and enjoy immediately.

So far my recipes in the series of 'Indian Snacks and Sweets' are below.

First week - Indian Traditional Sweets
Malaadu / Hurigadale Unde
Dry Gulab Jamun
Coconut Burfi / Kobbari Mithai
Almond Halwa / Badam Halwa
Elaneer Payasam
Godhuma Sojjappalu

Second week - Snacks from Gujarat, India
Damni Dhokla
Doodhi Muthia / Lauki Muthia
Dal Pandoli
Methi Khakhra
Pressure Cooker Khandvi

Jhal Muri
Jowar Kothimbir Vadi
Kalmi Vada
Ooty Varkey

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Harini R said...

They look very tempting with all the chutneys. My family is not a great fan of Dahi vada in any form. They would rather have the vadas as is. But these dahi gujiya were easier for them to accept and I am still wondering why :)

Srivalli said...

Your version has turned out simply great Suma. Yes for a person who has done vadas, making these is not a tough one to crack..:0)..

Amara’s cooking said...

That bowl of dahi gujiyas is sinful with all the beautiful colours and flavours Suma.

vaishali sabnani said...

Lovely gujiyas ! Wouldn’t mind enjoying them all over again . I have never tried making these on a palm - but looks like a great idea .

sushma said...

Lovely gujiyas and lovely presentation too. They look so sinful

Narmadha said...

Please pass the entire plate to me. Looks absolutely scrumptious