Here’s a baked, zero oil, sorghum millet version of gujiya that is irresistible in its own right!
Gujiya or Karjikai is a super traditional, deep fried, half moon dumpling recipe, made with maida today. Here’s a baked, zero oil, sorghum millet version of gujiya that is irresistible in its own right!
This crescent shaped pastry has a sweet filling made out of lentils, nuts and jaggery, and every region in India has its own version. Every culture, too! You could even make karjikai of different shapes, like modaka or kozhukattai. Regardless of the shape, the first thing you think of, when you think of gujiya, is the crispy and crunchy outer shell with a sweet yumminess oozing out with every bite.
This dessert reminds us of the days before the Ganesha Chaturthi festival, when my mothers would shop for all the ingredients we need for gujiya, patholi, and ellu undes or til laddoos, and we would watch her preparing karjikai on the day before the festival, as an offering for the deity.
Gujiya Recipe: an offering that adds to your health with every bite!
We thought, why not make a healthy, guilt free version of everyone’s Ganesh Charturthi favorite recipe? Tada! Here’s a healthy twist with the goodness of Sorghum and sweet peanut stuffing, with not even a single drop of oil!
Whole Food Plant Based Jowar Gujiya Recipe
Course: Dessert in Course 3 (Grain Dishes) at Lunch & Dinner Meals, Festival Dishes, Millet Dishes, Snacks, Sweets
Cuisine: Indias Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 Baked Jowar Gujiya
1 1/4 cup Jowar Atta / Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Flaxseed Powder
1/8 tsp Turmeric Powder
Water as required
1/2 cup Groundnuts
1/4 cup Roasted Bengal Gram / Hurgadle
2 tsp Poppy Seeds
2 tsp Black Sesame
1 cup Date Syrup
1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder / Elaichi Powder
- Mix five parts jowar flour and one part flaxseed powder with turmeric powder to make gujiya flour. Boil 1.5 cups of water. When it starts boiling, add gujiya flour. Mix well and cook for two minutes until it comes together as a dough. Add more gujiya flour if needed. Switch off the stove. Knead well to make a smooth dough.
- You should be able to make a ball without any breaks. If it breaks, add a little water and knead again. If it is too sticky, add some flour. Cover the kneaded dough with a damp cloth while the stuffing gets ready, to avoid losing moisture from dough and letting it develop cracks.
- Dry poppy seeds.
- Heat date syrup while stirring constantly to allow the water to evaporate. Alternatively, grind soft dates to make a thick paste, or use date sugar.
- Blend roasted gram dal, peanuts, sesame seeds, cardamom powder, poppy seeds, and elaichi powder to a coarse powder. Mix into concentrated date syrup. Use 1-2 tsp of this as stuffing.
How to Make Gujiya Recipe
- Take a small lemon sized piece of dough and make a ball with it between your palms. Roll it flat, into a small Poori or Tortilla.
- Place 1 to 2 tsp of stuffing on one side of the rolled tortillas and brush the edges with water so that you can form a crescent shaped dumpling (half moon / semicircle). If you have a dumpling mould available, use it to make the dumpling.
- Once you fold it, press the edges to give shape either with hands or forks so that it sticks together and stuffing does not come out of it, until is well sealed. Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the dough and stuffing.
- Preheat the oven to 160 deg C. Place the prepared dumplings on a baking tray lined with unbleached parchment paper or silicone sheet, and bake for 30-35 minutes at 160 degrees C.
- Keep checking to make sure it doesn't get burnt. Over baking may result in stuffing getting burnt inside.
- Enjoy these yummy and healthy dumplings!
Plant Based Chef Pro Tips for Best Gujiya Recipe
- If the gujiya shell becomes too dry, try adding a higher proportion of flaxseed powder to the mix.
- If the stuffing is too wet, try using date sugar instead of date syrup.
Nutrition Science Highlights for WFPB Gujiya Recipe
- Why not honey, sugar or jaggery? Sugar and Jaggery are processed foods. Although jaggery is healthier than brown sugar, which, in turn, is healthier than white sugar, all forms of processed foods are unhealthy when compared to whole plant foods. Honey is healthwise as good as jaggery, which isn't saying much. In addition to not being very healthy, honey production kills millions of bees every year, affecting our environment adversely. The best sweetener alternative is a whole fruit or dry fruit. The easiest method of using these is date syrup, as it does not involve peeling or chopping.
- Why whole grains? Whole grains are healthier than refined grains such as white rice, refined flours, maida, rava, etc., as the bran layer is intact, with all its vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Whole grains have been found to be protective against a whole range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and lifestyle-related cancers.
- Why cool grains? When cooked grains are allowed to cool on the counter or in the fridge, the starch crystallises to form resistant starch. This can be eaten by our good gut bacteria and also reduces the glycemic index (the rate at which glucose is absorbed), making the whole grain even healthier. For the same reason, parboiled whole grains can be used as well.
- Why flaxseed powder? Whole grains are super healthy foods, but whole grain flours, not so much. Because of a smaller particle size, the starch from ground up grains gets absorbed much faster than from intact whole grains, causing a glucose spike and insulin spike in the blood. This is why we recommend coarsely ground whole grains as against finely ground whole grains. When we cook dishes using whole grain flours, it is wise to add an ingredient that makes the dish sticky and slows down absorption. Flaxseed is a perfect addition for making rotis. In addition, flaxseed contains high levels of omega 3 fats and cancer-fighting lignans. For the same reason, eating grain flour dishes with pulses and legumes, such as roti and dal, is a great idea too.
- Why not frying? Oil is a processed food, even if it is cold pressed oil. In whole nuts, the calories from the oil are balanced out with the fiber and nutrients in the nut. For example, peanuts are healthier than peanut oil, sesame seeds are healthier than sesame oil. Hence, a healthy diet excludes oil and includes whole nuts. We can easily achieve a 'fried' effect of different recipes by baking the same dishes instead, like this one!
- What's wrong with baking? The brown color we get on baking whole grains, tubers, legumes, or nuts is due to the formation of carcinogenic AGE compounds. We can eliminate the formation of these compounds by baking at or below 120 deg C. Up to 160 deg C, the formation of AGEs slower rises, and after that, rises exponentially. It can also be reduced by adding spices and herbs, and in case of breads and cakes, cutting off the crust before serving.