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Mawa Gujiya (Air Fryer, Oven Baked and Fried)

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Gujiya is a crescent-shaped pastry-filled pastry or empanada that is typically filled with milk solids or semolina coconut mixture along with nuts and deep fried in ghee or oil. This Air Fryer Mawa Gujiya has the perfect flaky outer crust with a soft and sweet filling inside.

Close up look of Air Fryer Mawa Gujiya presented in a designer colourful bowl. Gujiyas are garnished with edible silver leaves, rose petals and chopped pistachio.
Air Fryer Baked Mawa Gujiya

Gunjiya, Gughara, karanji, gujia etc are called in different languages across India, bringing back a lot of fond memories of Diwali. One of the must-have sweets or snacks during Diwali or Holi. 

Gujiya for Diwali Puja in Hatri

Mom used to make a big full box of this and just one day before Diwali. We had to offer it as bhog on Diwali puja before consuming it. Gujiya along with Mithi Matri used to be filled in Hatri. Hatri is a small house-like structure made of mud, wood, or silver. This hatri used to be filled with these sweet snacks and offered to Lakshimiji on Diwali. Once the puja was done, only then we were allowed to consume it. I remember the endless wait me and my dad used to do for this as it was one of our favorite sweets for Diwali. 

Traditional Recipe of Mawa ki Gujiya

Today I am sharing our traditional recipe of mawa gujiya but with a few tweaks. The first thing as the name suggests is Air Fryer Mawa Gujiya. So yes I am not frying it but baking it in an air fryer.  

I am not saying that I do not love fried ones. Fried is fried and nothing can replace it, but this year when I tried the air fryer baked gujiya, I fell in love with the first bite. I made 2 batches, one fried and one with an Air Fryer. And glad I did. 

Air Fryer Mawa Gujiya presented in a designer colourful bowl. Gujiyas are garnished with edible silver leaves, rose petals and chopped pistachio. Seen in the front is a half broken gujiya and in the background some wax candle diyas.
Air Fryer Baked Mawa Gujiya

Why Air Fryer Gujiya?

The reason for air frying gujiya was first less oil. It did not need any frying and hence no babysitting. Frying gujiya takes time. It has to be done on a slow to the medium stove so that it gets cooked inside out. Also when you make mawa gujiya there are chances that the stuffing oozes out and makes a mess in the oil or ghee used.

So definitely my review goes with the air fryer one as I loved it with the perfect flaky texture. I also brushed the gujiyas with ghee so that it does not dry out and become flakier or khasta.

Baked Gujiyas in Air Fryer.
Air Fryer Baked Mawa Gujiya

The brown spots seen above are just some sugar being oozed out and caramelized while baking.

Filling for Mawa Gujiya

Second, the traditional filling in our house was just with mava or at times with a mixture of mava and nuts. I add a bit of desiccated coconut along with some nuts to give it a slightly crunchy texture. 

Dipping the Gujiya in Sugar Syrup

These gujiyas are later on dipped in sugar syrup for that ultimate indulgence. I do not like it that way and hence I always skip it. However, if you wish you can dip it in and enjoy. They stay at room temperature for a few days. 

Ingredients used in Air Fryer Mawa Gujiya

With just a few ingredients we get a delicious and addictive snack ready for Diwali or Holi. 

Ingredients for the dough

We just need flour, salt, water, and ghee for the dough. A few skip salt too in the dough, however, I do like to add a bit of salt to many of my sweet-based dishes. 

Dough Ingredients for Gujiya or Karanji.
Dough Ingredients for Gujiya or Karanji

Ingredients for the filling

If you are using the traditional filling, only mawa/khoya, sugar, and cardamom powder are needed. If you are unable to source mawa you can easily make it at home with milk powder. I make my mawa/khoya at home using milk powder. Have detailed the recipe here on how to make mawa/khoya using milk powder here.

I make the filling with some nuts, desiccated coconut, mawa, sugar, and cardamom powder. At times many add Rava or sooji too. I do not add it as my mom never added it and I do not like it too.

Filling for Gujiya or Karanji
Filling for Gujiya or Karanji

Recipe process of Mawa Gujiya

The recipe is easy, but we need to follow a few key steps in making the dough and how to fill, shape, and fry or bake the gujias. 

Making of Dough for Mawa Gujiya

The first step in making mawa gujiya is making the dough. The dough is similar to pastry dough where the flour is mixed with ghee and kneaded along with salt and water. The end result should be flaky pastry. 

Ghee added can be more or less as it depends on the flour. It is enough when you are able to bind it. While making the dough you press it in your palms, if it is able to hold well, you have enough ghee in the dough. 

The dough should not be too hard or too soft. With too hard dough you would not be able to shape it well and would break. Too soft and it would not be flaky. So what we do is make a semi-stiff dough. We then cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for a minimum of 30-45 minutes. This helps the dough to rest and even develop some gluten. It also makes it pliable to roll it smoothly.

Filling for Mawa Gujiya

For the filling, I have roasted the nuts in a bit of ghee. Then I added desiccated coconut and roasted it lightly. If you are not using coconut, simply skip it.

Then we roast the mawa until it starts releasing ghee. Say for a couple of minutes until it starts turning light brown. Once done, let it cool.

Once the mawa is cooled down, add sugar cardamom powder, roasted nuts, and desiccated coconut. Mix it evenly and your filling or stuffing is ready. 

Shaping and Filling the Mawa Gujiya

Once the dough has rested well, we roll it into a small circular disc around 3-4 inches in diameter or as desired. One can make a small individual disc or roll it into one big disc and use a cookie cutter to cut it into smaller discs.

Then we need to fill the gujiya with the stuffing. We add approximately 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of filling in 3-4 inches of rolled dough.  Do not add too little or too much. Too little stuffing will just give you just the pastry and too much might ooze out the filling. 

Shaping by hand

I love to shape the gujiyas by hand and not use mold. This was what I have seen my mom doing and would always practice it. At times it comes right at times it does not but still, I love the shape when we do it by hand.

Gujiyas all shaped and ready to be fried.
Gujiyas are all shaped and ready to be fried

So the next step is to apply some water or milk on the edges and seal it properly. This step is crucial and sealing has to be done right. Press it all along first with your finger and thumb and seal it. 

Then grab the edge of the dough and roll it inside. Keep rolling it until you reach the end. I have put up a short video for this as it is difficult to explain. Shape the remaining similarly and keep the shaped gujiyas in a damp muslin cloth covered always. 

Shaping the Mawa Gujiya By Hand
Hand Shaped Gujiya.
Hand Shaped Gujiya

Shaping by mold

For shaping by mold, place the rolled dough on the mold. Add  1 to 1.5 tablespoons of filling in 4-5 inches of rolled dough. Apply some water or milk on the edges. Close the mold and seal it properly. 

Remove the excess dough from the sides. Open the mold and shape the remaining similarly. I do not have pictures of this, as I never did it. Will update if I do at all. Keep the shaped gujiyas in a damp muslin cloth covered always. 

Pricking the gujiya.

I prick the gujiya with the help of a toothpick. This helps the gujiya not explode if you have more stuffing. It also adds a nice look to the gujiya.

Cooking of the Gujiya

Baking Gujiya in the Air fryer 

For baking in an air fryer, first, preheat the air fryer to 180 Deg C. Arrange the gujiya on the baking tray. Brush the gujiya with ghee or oil on both sides. I used ghee. Bake in the preheated air fryer at 180 Deg C for 9 minutes. Apply ghee on the top, flip and again apply ghee on the other side. Bake again in the preheated air fryer at 180 Deg C for 9 minutes. 

The gujiya are done when it is golden brown all over on both sides. The time required for an air fryer might be more or less depending on the size of your air fryer. 

Baking Gujiya in Oven

If you do not have an air fryer, you can bake this in an oven too. For baking in an oven, bake it in a preheated oven at 180 Deg C for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Make sure to turn it in between. Follow the same rules of applying ghee on both sides in the start and in between as mentioned for an air fryer.

Frying the Mawa Gujiya

If you are frying the gujiyas, use a heavy bottom Kadai. Add oil or ghee as desired and fry in small batches on slow to medium. When you dip the gujiya in oil, do not flip it immediately. Flip when the underside is slightly cooked. Fry until it is golden brown on both sides.

Close up look of stuffing Inside.
Stuffing Inside

Soaking in Sugar Syrup

This step is optional. I have not done it, but one can do it as required. For this use equal quantities of sugar and water. Boil the sugar and water on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. We do not want any string-consistency syrup here. 

Once done, dip the gujiyas in hot syrup for 50-60 seconds. Flip and soak on the other side too. Remove it on a grill so that the excess sugar gets dripped down. Garnish with edible silver leaves, rose petals, and nuts.

Tips and Tricks

I have summarized all the tips and tricks above, but still adding some here in points.

  • One can make the filling with only mawa and sugar. Desiccated coconut is optional.
  • Soaking in sugar syrup is optional.
  • The dough need not be too hard or soft or too soft. We need pliable dough.
  • Sufficient ghee should be added or else you will not get a flaky pastry.
  • The dough and the shaped gujiyas should be kept covered with a damp cloth at all times or else it will dry out.
  • The stuffing should not be less or more. 
  • If frying, do it on slow to the medium stove, or else it would not be cooked properly.
  • Air fryers and ovens are different. Baking temperature and time vary depending on the size. If you have a small fryer, the baking time might be less.
  • Do chop the nuts finely.
  • There might be more or less stuffing. If more you can either consume it as is or use it in other recipes. 
  • If less stuffing, you can make matri from the remaining dough.
  • Do not add the sugar while the mawa is hot, or the sugar will melt.
  • Poking the shaped gujiyas with a toothpick helps in the gujiya not exploding and also in even cooking the gujiyas.

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Close up look of Air Fryer Mawa Gujiya presented in a designer colorful bowl. Gujiyas are garnished with edible silver leaves, rose petals and chopped pistachio.
Air Fryer Baked Mawa Gujiya
Close up look of Air Fryer Mawa Gujiya presented in a designer colourful bowl. Gujiyas are garnished with edible silver leaves, rose petals and chopped pistachio.

Mawa Gujiya (Air Fryer, Oven Baked and Fried method)

This Air Fryer Mawa Gujiya has the perfect flaky outer crust with a soft and sweet filling of milk solids, nuts, and desiccated coconut.
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Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Keyword: Air Fryer, Baked, Diwali Recipes, Festival Special Recipes, Fried, Holi Special, Indian Festival Food
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 22 Gujiya
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 500 grams – All-purpose flour/Plain Flour/ Maida
  • 10 tablespoons of Ghee/Clarified butter – Melted and cooled – More or less may be required.
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½-¾ cup Room temperature water as needed

For the stuffing

  • 200 grams Mawa/Khoya
  • 40 grams Desiccated coconut
  • 80 grams Sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons or 30-40 grams of chopped nuts -I have used almonds and cashew
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee/Clarified butter
  • 2-3 tablespoon water for sealing the dough
  • 3-4 tablespoon Ghee/Clarified butter for brushing while baking
  • Oil for frying – If Frying

Instructions

Making of Dough

  • In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt.
    500 grams – All-purpose flour/Plain Flour/ Maida
    Sifted flour and salt in a bowl.
  • Mix it evenly.
    1 pinch of salt
  • Add half of the ghee and rub the ghee into the flour with your hand.
    10 tablespoons of Ghee/Clarified butter – Melted and cooled – More or less may be required.
  • Now slowly add the ghee a tablespoon at a time rubbing the ghee in the flour.
    Adding of ghee in the dough.
  • Check if you are able to bind the dough.
    Checking if the dough is ready by pressing in between your hand.
  • If you are then you have sufficient ghee in the dough, if not add more and repeat the process.
  • I had to add 10 tablespoons to 500 grams of flour. It may be more or less depending on the texture of the flour.
  • Now slowly add water a little at a time.
    ½-¾ cup Room temperature water as needed
  • Start with ¼ cup and start kneading the dough.
  • If you add all the water or too much water you might end up with a wet or loose dough.
  • We want to make a semi-stiff dough.
  • The dough might not be very smooth when it is kneaded.
    Gujiya Dough
  • Once done, cover it with a damp muslin cloth or cover it with a cloth and sprinkle a few drops of water on the top.
    Covering the dough with a damp cloth.
  • Let the dough rest for 35-45 minutes.

Making the filling

  • In the meantime start making the filling.
  • In a heavy bottom pan or a pot, add the ghee.
    1 tablespoon Ghee/Clarified butter
  • Once the ghee is melted and is warm, add the chopped nuts.
    4-5 tablespoons or 30-40 grams of chopped nuts
    Roasting of nuts in a iron wok.
  • Slowly roast them until they are golden brown.
    Roasted nuts in an Iron wok.
  • To this add the desiccated coconut and roast it until lightly golden brown.
    40 grams Desiccated coconut
    Adding of desiccated coconut in nuts for roasting in an iron wok.
  • We do not want to overcook the coconut.
  • Once done remove the nuts and desiccated coconut mixture in a bowl.
    Roasting of nuts and desiccated coconut in an Iron wok.
  • In the same pan add mawa.
    200 grams Mawa/Khoya
    Ready roasted mawa for stuffing for Gughara in an Iron wok.
  • Roast it until it starts releasing ghee or is lightly golden brown.
    Adding of mawa in the nut and coconut mixture.
  • Once done remove it and keep it aside.
  • Once the mawa mixture, nuts, and coconut mixture is cooled down completely add sugar and cardamom powder and mix it evenly.
    ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
    The mixed filling for karanji in a bowl.
  • Do not add the sugar while the mawa is hot, or the sugar will melt.
    80 grams Sugar

Shaping the gujiyas

  • Divide the dough into equal small lime-size portions. Around 1 inch in diameter.
  • Smoothen out each ball in between your palms.
  • Roll each ball into a circular disc around 3-4 inches in diameter or as desired. Do not go too big.
    Rolling the gujiya into big round and then cutting into smaller disc using a cookie cutter.
  • Rolled Disc laid on a muslin cloth.
  • If using a mold to shape the gujiyas, you need a disc size according to the mold size.
  • One can make a small individual disc or roll it into one big disc and use a cookie cutter to cut it into smaller discs.
  • Keep the rolled disc covered with a damp muslin cloth all the times.

Filling the Mawa Gujiya

    Shaping by hand

    • Grab a rolled portion of dough in between your palms.
    • Add 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of filling in the center.
      Shaping the Karanji
    • Do not add too little or too much. Too little stuffing will just give you just the pastry and too much might ooze out the filling.
    • Apply some water or milk on the edges
    • Grab one side and place it over the other covering the edges from one end to the other.
    • Seal it properly by pressing it all along. Use your finger and thumb to press and seal it.
      Sealing the gujiya.
    • Sealed karanji seen in a hand, with some rolled disc seen in the background.
    • With the help of a toothpick, prick the gujiyas at a couple of places on the top.
    • Shape the remaining similarly.
      Hand Shaped Khoya karanji
    • Keep the shaped gujiyas on a damp muslin cloth covered always.
      Hand Shaped Mawa Gujiyas arranged on a white muslin cloth.

    Shaping by mold

    • Place the rolled dough on the mold
    • Add 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of filling in the center.
    • Do not add too little or too much. Too little stuffing will just give you just the pastry and too much might ooze out the filling.
    • Apply some water or milk on the edges
      2-3 tablespoon water for sealing the dough
    • Close the mold and seal it properly.
    • Seal it properly.
    • With the help of a toothpick, prick the gujiyas at a couple of places on the top.
    • Shape the remaining similarly.
    • Keep the shaped gujiyas on a damp muslin cloth covered always.

    Baking Gujiya in the Air fryer

    • Preheat the air fryer to 180 Deg C.
    • Spray or brush the air fryer basket with oil/ghee. I am using ghee.
    • Brush the gujiyas with ghee or oil all over.
      3-4 tablespoon Ghee/Clarified butter for brushing while baking
      Gujiya getting ready to be baked in Air Fryer with a coating of ghee all over.
    • Once the air fryer is preheated, add the gujiyas and air fry for 8-10 minutes.
    • Open, apply ghee on the top, flip and apply ghee/oil on the back and let it air fry again for 8-10 minutes after you have turned.
      Half baked gujiya in air fryer.
    • Check after 16-20 minutes in total, if required you can bake it more but a minute at a time.
    • The gujiya are done when it is golden brown all over on both sides.
      Turning of the Gujiya in between in an air fryer to be baked on other side.
    • The time required for an air fryer might be more or less depending on the size of your air fryer.
      Baked Mava Gujiya in air fryer.
    • For me, it took a total of 21 minutes in air fryer.
      Baked Gujiyas in Air Fryer.

    Baking Gujiya in Oven

    • Preheat the oven to 180 Deg C.
    • Spray or brush a tray with oil/ghee or use parchment paper.
    • Brush the gujiyas with ghee or oil all over.
    • Place it on the baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes.
    • After 8-10 minutes, apply ghee on the top, flip and apply ghee/oil on the back and let it bake again for 8-10 minutes after you have turned.
    • Check after 16-20 minutes in total, if required you can bake it a minute at a time.
    • The gujiya are done when it is golden brown all over on both sides.
    • The time required for baking might be more or less depending on your oven.

    Frying the Mawa Gujiya

    • To a heavy bottom, kadhai add oil or ghee.
      Oil for frying – If Frying
    • Let the oil get warm. The oil need not be too hot or too cold.
    • Drop the gujiyas slowly in the Kadai. Do not overcrowd.
      Gujiya getting fried in oil.
    • Do not turn the gujiya immediately.
    • Let it cook on the underside until you feel it is getting cooked.
    • Once it gets cooked a bit flip and cook on the other side.
      Frying of Gujiya.
    • The gujiya are done when it is golden brown on both sides.
      Frying of Gujiya in oil.
    • Fried Gujiya on a stainer.

    Soaking in Sugar Syrup – Optional

    • Read notes above

    Notes

    • I have summarized all the tips and tricks above, but still adding some here in points.
    • One can make the filling with only mawa and sugar.
    • Desiccated coconut is optional.
    • Soaking in sugar syrup is optional.
    • The dough need not be too hard or soft or too soft. We need pliable dough.
    • Sufficient ghee should be added or else you will not get a flaky pastry.
    • The dough and the shaped gujiyas should be kept covered with a damp cloth at all times or else it will dry out.
    • Do chop the nuts finely.
    • The stuffing should not be less or more.
    • If frying, do it on slow to the medium stove, or else it would not be cooked properly.
    • Air fryers and ovens are different. Baking temperature and time vary depending on the size.
    • If you have a small fryer, the baking time might be less.
    • There might be more or less stuffing. If more you can either consume it as is, or use it in other recipes. If less stuffing, you can make matri from the remaining dough.
    • Do not add the sugar while the mawa is hot, or the sugar will melt. Poking the shaped gujiyas with a toothpick helps in the gujiya not exploding and also in even cooking the gujiyas.
    • Cooking Time mentioned above is for 1 batch of Air Fryer.
    • For Frying it will take 1 hour for the whole batch.
     
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