Gujiya / Hand Pies / Sweet Empanadas

Last year I had made Baked Gujiyas which were a hit! This year I have made traditional ones, deep fried! Sometime, you gotta go the traditional way. They came out absokutely fantastic. Light delicate texture from outside, melt in the mouth interior filling!

I have fond memories of Gujiyas. Before Holi, my mum, aunt (chachi) and my dadi (grand mom) would sit together and make atleast 100 of Gujiyas together for a family of 13 people. All of the kids would sit around and help and eat ! Lot of stories and fun filled childhood memories.

This is how I make it! These are also called karanji and  ghughra. Very close cousin to Mexican Empanadas!

It requires 3 steps!

1. Mawa, or Khoya – recipe given below.

2. Gujiya crust – recipe given below.

3. Gujiya filling.

Mawa and Filling recipe

Refer to this picture for steps below!

Mawa Recipe

You may use fresh market bough mawa too.

Milk powder – 1/2 cup

Milk – 1 tbsp

Ghee – 1 tsp

Method – combine everything to make a dough! Your home made mawa is ready ! 

Filling Recipe

Mawa – 1/2 cup,  roast it dry over low flame till slightly pink. Don’t burn it.

Semolina/Sooji – 1 tbsp, roasted slightly pink.

Coconut dry / nariyal – 1/4 cup, unsweetened.

Pistachio – 1 tbsp, slightly roasted

Almonds – 2 tbsp, slightly roasted

Magaj / melon seeds – 1 tbsp

Sugar powdered – 1/2 cup

Elaichi/ Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp

Saffron – a pinch


Combine everything together. Note that add sugar, cardamom and saffron, after the roasted ingredients are cooled.

Gujiya Crust

Refer to this picture for the steps below !


Refined flour – 2 cups

Oil – 3 tbsp. You may use ghee instead.

Luke warm water – 3/4 cup approximately.


  1. Add oil to the flour and mix well. The oil should be enough so that when you pinch the dough together in your palm, it stays together as Mutthi. Refer to the first picture in the pictogram. Add water slowly and make a tight dough but not tough dough. Knead for few minutes.

  2. Cover with damp towel or cloth. Leave it for 1/2 hour.

  3. Make 24 to 25 small balls. Keep them covered with damp cloth to avoid drying.

Gujiya assembling and Frying 


Gujiya dough and filling.

1 tbsp of refined flour dissolved in little water to make thick paste to seal the ends.

Rolling pin 

Rolling board


Wok for deep frying 

Slotted spoon

A tray with damp cloth and damp kitchen towels.

Another tray with dry paper towels to keep fried gujiyas


  1. Take a dough ball from under the damp cloth. Cover the rest of the dough balls back under the damp towel.

  2. Roll it out into circles, 3 to 3&1/2 inches in diameter.

  3. Place 2 tsp of the filling on one side of the circle. Make sure that your edges are clear and there is no particle of filling there.

  4. Dip your one finger in thick flour paste. Apply the paste on half of the edge of the circle. Refer to the first picture in the pictogram above.

  5. Slowly, pick the other side of the rolled out dough and bring it together to close like a crescent or half moon. Refer to the picture on the top right.

  6. Seal it tight with fingers. Now take a fork and make deep impressions on the edges of the Gujiya. Refer to the picture above. Make sure you don’t pierce through it. I used pizza cutter to give it an even edge. You may use moulds too.

Note – I use the thick flour paste as a glue too. If there is any accidental tear while shaping and carving, I apply a bit of it on the top to seal the tear.

  1. Now place these gujiyas on the damp (not wet) cloth on a tray. Cover with a damp cloth or paper towel. We have to give Gujiyas, a nap, to give them crisp texture and required bubbles on the surface.

  2. Finish all the dough balls like that and make gujiyas out of it. Let all the gujiyas nap. 

  3. When you are finished with the last one, heat the oil in the wok over medium flame. Drop a small piece of dough and if it comes up gently, then the oil is ready.

  4. Now add 5-7 gujiyas together in the wok over medium flame. Start with the ones, whih were rolled out first.  This will give the last ones enough time to nap. We call it “Gujiya ko Sula do”. (Put Gujiya to sleep). 

  1. Fry the gujiyas over lower heat. Fry from both the sides. Flip them couple of times for even cooking. It takes approximately 7-8 minutes per Ghaan ( the group of gujiyas) to cook thoroughly. Once they are pinkish red or their thin edges are golden, take them out. 

  2. Cool them to the room temperature before storing them in an air right container. They stay well outside for couple of days in a closed container.

Enjoy this Holi with these home made Gujiyas and earn the love and praise of family and friends! Taking it to  Angie’s Fiesta Friday co-hosted by lovely ladies Elaine and Caroline! Sharing some Holi Love at the Friday fun and frolic!


Do let me know what you think. Your thought matters.

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