Friday, 18 March 2016

Dahi Gujiya Recipe / Holi Recipes / Stuffed Moon Shaped Lentil Dumplings In Yogurt ~ Holi Hai !!


The festival of Holi will be celebrated in India with pomp and vigour in less than a week. As we all Indians, no matter in which part of the world we live, gear up for the festival of colours, Holi, one can easily see the preparations, to stock up on different types of snacks and sweets have already begun in most Indian, Hindu households. As my kitchen too starts to revel in the holi festivities with the woks emanating a sugary aroma sometimes, sometimes spicy, my kitchen becomes a place where the moment you step in the salivary glands go into a frenzy.

Last evening when I was busy pounding away on an aromatic mix of roasted spices, little D was attracted to the kitchen by the clinking sound of pistil against the whole spices in the mortar. She came into the kitchen a stood looking at all the activities going on there for a good 15 minutes before bombarding me with a flurry of questions. Was finally able to postpone her un-ending queries about Holi for a while, with the promise that I would tell her the story of the legend of Holi at bedtime.

Sharing with you too the legend of Holi which I heard from my grandmother as a kid. The legend of Holi is centuries  old and centers around the Hindu God Lord Krishna and Radha. It is believed that young Krishna was jealous of the fair and very beautiful Radha as he himself had dark complexion. So one fine day he went to his mother Yashoda and narrated to her his wooes. Yashoda was quite amused by what she heard and not wanting to further this discussion , she very lightheartedly told Lord Krishna, that she had the perfect solution to his problem. She told him that he could go and colour Radha's face in whichever colour he chose to and that would solve his problem of being dark and she being fair. 


So off went Lord Krishna to Radha's abode and very mischievously applied colour on her face. From then onwards this tradition of applying colour on one another is being followed and celebrated till date. I have always said that if you want to gain knowledge about Holi, watch a Hindi Bollywood movie and enrich your knowledge on this very popular Hindu festival. So I played a song for little D from one of the movies where Lord Krishna asks his mother Yahoda why Radha is fair and he is dark. I am sharing the link of that song here too " Yashomati Maiya Se Bole Nandlala Radha Kyon Gori Mein Kyon Kala " . All this goes on to show only one thing how much the festival of Holi has touched the lives of Indians.

Friends I have heard that among the many places where Holi is celebrated with pomp and Joy, Holi in Mathura and Vrindavan , the land of Lord Krishna sees celebrations transcend all heights of festivity and is definately on my bucket-list to visit these places during Holi atleast once. I am told that here the Holi celebrations continue for a week with a continuous flow and songs, dance, music and food. The atmosphere is simply electrifying and no matter from which nationality you are, you cannot but get drenched in the revelry here. 

It is said that each different Krishna temple here in the city of Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate the festival on a different and thus the celebrations continue for a week. The Banke Bihari Temple or Lord Krishna Temple here is not only the most famous temple and a must visit here but if one want's to immerse oneself in the true spirit of Holi, this place is not to be missed during the Holi celebrations. Also Gulal Kund in Braj which literally means a pond of colours is another place not be missed for experiencing the traditional Holi fervour.


Today I bring to you a savoury dish which will not only bring ample cheer to your Holi celebrations but can be easily prepared on many other occasions. Dahi Gujiya which are Moon Shaped Lentil Dumplings with a nutty filling inside and topped with flavoured thick yogurt, chutneys and aromatic freshly ground roasted spices. Gujiya or the lentil dumpling in this dish can be a wee bit tricky to make, but if you follow my step by step pictorial procedure and take note of all the points to be noted, then making these Gujiyas will be like a breeze for you.

So let's get started and make Dahi Gujiya in our kitchen.

DAHI GUJIYA RECIPE / STUFFED MOON SHAPED LENTIL DUMPLINGS IN YOGURT RECIPE ~


YIELDS : 8, 4 INCH SIZED GUJIYAS / MOON SHAPED DUMPLINGS
CUISINE : INDIAN
TYPE : SNACKS / CHAATS
TIME : 15 MINUTES PREPARATION + 10 MINUTES FRYING + 15 MINUTES SOAKING TIME OF GUJIYAS + 4 HOURS OR OVERNIGHT SOAKING OF LENTILS

INGREDIENTS :

FOR THE GUJIYAS / DUMPLINGS ~

1) 200 Gms skinned whole black gram / urad dal 
2) 350 -400 Ml Oil for frying
3) 1 Tsp Salt
4) 1 Cup / 250 Ml water for soaking the Gujiyas after frying

FOR THE STUFFING ~

1) 2 Tsp Raisin / Kishmish
2) 2 Tsp Broken Cashewnut pieces
3) 1 Tsp Grated Coconut
4) 1 Tsp Green or Red chillies , finely choppes. I used both types/
5) 1 Tsp Charoli / Chironji / Almond Flavoured Dried Seeds (optional)
6) 1 Tsp Ginger, grated or finely chopped

FOR GARNISHING AND PLATING ~

1) 250 Gms plain thick Yogurt 
2) 100 ml of water to dilute the yogurt to get a flowy consistency.
3) 2 Tsp Mint Coriander Chutney for garnishing
4) 2 Tsp Date And Tamarind Chutney. You may use Tomato sauce alternately
5) 1 Tsp Roasted Cumin powder
6) 1 Tsp Roasted Red Chilli powder
7) Black Salt / Kala Namak as per taste ( optional )

COOK WITH ME IN EASY STEPS ~

1) Take the Skinned Black Gram in a container and thoroughly wash it till the water on top becomes clear.
  • Soak the skinned Black Gram covered with water at least for 4 hours or overnight.
  • After the soaking period, you will see that the skinned Black Gram has doubled in size.
  • Wash it again a few times with water, drain the water completely, transfer the skinned black gram into a grinder. 
  • Grind into a fine smooth paste. Transfer the contents of the grinder into a bowl. Keep aside.
2) For the stuffing, take all the ingredients under the heading "FOR THE STUFFING" into a bowl and mix them.

3) To make the gujiyas, on your workstation, you should have the skinned black gram paste, a bowl of water , the stuffing mixture and a thick plastic sheet. I would have preferred to use a leaf, like they do in the shops selling this in India, but was not fortunate enough to get my hands on the right kind of leaf. By the right kind of leaf I mean a bigger size leaf and thick too. 
With the help of a spoon or your hands gently beat the skinned black gram lentil paste for 2-3 minutes or till fluffy. 
Apply water to your hand and then take out a lemon sized portion of the paste from the bowl.
  • Apply water with your hand also to the plastic sheet and then place the lemon sized lentil paste on to it. 
  • With your fingers flatten the paste into a 3 inch diameter disc.
  • Take a little of the stuffing mixture and place it on the lentil disc. Do not over stuff  the lentil disc as it might break open when frying.
  • Holding the top edge corner of your plastic sheet, fold the plastic sheet and bring it down so that your round lentil disc also folds with the plastic sheet and in the process you bring the top and bottom sides/edges of the lentil disc together. Your lentil disc now looks like a half moon. Please Refer the picture. 
  • Next over the plastic sheet itself press the edges of the lentil dumpling so as to seal them completely and ensure that the filling stays in its place when you fry these dumplings. 
  • Once this is done, again holding the upper edge of your folded plastic sheet, slowly bring it back to its place before or unfold it or open it up. As you do this you will notice that the gujiya is also slowly released from the plastic sheet. 
4) Heat oil in a frying pan or kadai. When hot reduce the heat to medium. Now hold the plastic sheet with the gujiya near one side of the kadai. 
  • Slowly peel off the entire gujiya from the plastic sheet and gently release it into the oil in the kadai. 
  • Take total control of the heat and fry the lentil dumplings till golden on both sides. We do not need very hot oil for frying these but towards the end you can up the heat to high to get the perfect golden colour. The gujiyas do mot take more than 70 - 80 seconds to be fried perfectly. 
  • Once done take it out of the oil with your perforated spatula and hold it over the kadai for a couple of seconds to drain out the excess oil.
5) In a bowl mix 250 ml water with 1 Tsp salt. Next into this bowl drop the lentil dumpling straight out of the kadai. This ensures that the gujiyas remain soft and melt in the mouth and soak in the yogurt totally when dipped in it.
  • Let the dumplings soak in the saline water for 10-15 minutes.
  • After that time take one gujiya out at a time, place it between both your palms and gently squeeze out all the excess water out of the gujiya.
  • Repeat with all the other gujiyas and place them on a plate.
6) Now again assemble your plate of gujiyas, Yogurt, the green and red chutneys, the roasted powders and black salt on your work station.
Take the dish in which you will plate the Dahi Gujiyas. Lay them out neatly stacking them side by side one after the other. 
  • In a bowl mix yogurt , 100 ml water and black salt till lump free and homogeneous. 
  • Pour this yougurt over the gujiyas. 
  • Drizzle with both the chutneys and sprinkle roasted red chilli and cumin powder over it.
Your Dahi Gujiya is ready to serve. You can serve it instantly or refrigerate and serve chilled. Just ensure you totally submerge the gujiya in yogurt and the chutneys when you serve them in individual portions.

Pictorial Step by Step Procedure of Making Dahi Gujiya ~

1) Take the Skinned Black Gram in a container and thoroughly wash it till the water on top becomes clear.
  • Soak the skinned Black Gram covered with water at least for 4 hours or overnight.
  • After the soaking period, you will see that the skinned Black Gram has doubled in size.
  • Wash it again a few times with water, drain the water completely, transfer the skinned black gram into a grinder.
  • Grind into a fine smooth paste. Transfer the contents of the grinder into a bowl. Keep aside.
  • NOTE : Use not more than 1 tbsp water to grind. With a little patience you might even be able to grind it into a smooth paste, without using any water. I ground mine without water. The lesser the amount of water in the ground lentil paste, the easier it is for you to make the dumplings. Take extra care for this and nothing can stop you from making perfect gujiyas.

2) For the stuffing, take all the ingredients under the heading "FOR THE STUFFING" into a bowl and mix them.

3) To make the gujiyas, on your workstation, you should have the skinned black gram paste, a bowl of water , the stuffing mixture and a thick plastic sheet. I would have preferred to use a leaf, like they do in the shops selling this in India, but was not fortunate enough to get my hands on the right kind of leaf. By the right kind of leaf I mean a bigger size leaf and thick too. 
With the help of a spoon or your hands gently beat the skinned black gram lentil paste for 2-3 minutes or till fluffy. 
Apply water to your hand and then take out a lemon sized portion of the paste from the bowl.

  • Apply water with your hand also to the plastic sheet and then place the lemon sized lentil paste on to it. 
  • NOTE : Applying water both on your palm and the leaf ensures that the paste does not stick to either and you can handle and shape the lentil paste easily.

  • With your fingers flatten the paste into a 3 inch diameter disc.
  • NOTE : You should not make the disc very thin. keep it thick and even throughout. If you are trying for the first time, try making one gujiya first, then another individually, till you get a feel of the correct technique. Avoid doing in batches till you can perfect making these gujiyas. Trust me friends, it's not difficult.
  • Take a little of the stuffing mixture and place it on the lentil disc. Do not over stuff  the lentil disc as it might break open when frying.
  • Holding the top edge corner of your plastic sheet, fold the plastic sheet and bring it down so that your round lentil disc also folds with the plastic sheet. 
  • In the process you bring the top and bottom sides/edges of the lentil disc together. Your lentil disc now looks like a half moon. Please Refer the picture.

  • Next over the plastic sheet itself press the edges of the lentil dumpling so as to seal them completely and ensure that the filling stays in its place when you fry these dumplings. Refer Picture below.
  • Once this is done, again holding the upper edge of your folded plastic sheet, slowly bring it back to its place before or unfold it or open it up. As you do this you will notice that the gujiya is also slowly released from the plastic sheet. 
  • NOTE : If the lentil dumpling gets stuck to the plastic sheet at any point just touch up that place with a little water using your finger tip.

Your Gujiya is now ready and can straight go into the hot oil in the kadai for frying.


4) Heat oil in a frying pan or kadai. When hot reduce the heat to medium. Now hold the plastic sheet with the gujiya near one side of the kadai. 

  • Slowly peel off the entire gujiya from the plastic sheet and gently release it into the oil in the kadai. NOTE : Do not transfer the lentil dumpling anywhere from the plastic sheet except into the hot oil in the kadai or else it will get stuck and you will find it impossible to retrieve it.
  • Take total control of the heat and fry the lentil dumplings till golden on both sides. We do not need very hot oil for frying these but towards the end you can up the heat to high to get the perfect golden colour. The gujiyas do not take more than 70 - 80 seconds to be fried perfectly. 
  • Once done take it out of the oil with your perforated spatula and hold it over the kadai for a couple of seconds to drain out the excess oil.

5) In a bowl mix 250 ml water with 1 Tsp salt. Next into this bowl drop the lentil dumpling straight out of the kadai. This ensures that the gujiyas remain soft and melt in the mouth and soak in the yogurt totally when dipped in it.

  • Let the dumplings soak in the saline water for 10-15 minutes.
  • After that time take one gujiya out at a time, place it between both your palms and gently squeeze out all the excess water out of the gujiya.
  • Repeat with all the other gujiyas and place them on a plate.

6) Now again assemble your plate of gujiyas, Yogurt, the green and red chutneys, the roasted powders and black salt on your work station.
Take the dish in which you will plate the Dahi Gujiyas. Lay them out neatly stacking them side by side one after the other.

  • In a bowl mix yogurt , 100 ml water and black salt till lump free and homogeneous. 
  • NOTE : If your yogurt is too sour, add 1 tsp of sugar.
  • Pour this yougurt over the gujiyas. 
  • Drizzle with both the chutneys and sprinkle roasted red chilli and cumin powder over it.

Your Dahi Gujiya is ready to serve. You can serve it instantly or refrigerate and serve chilled. Just ensure you totally submerge the gujiya in yogurt and the chutneys when you serve them in individual portions.

This is one super delicious snack so perfect to make for Holi. All the different colours in this snack makes it look totally like a holi festival dish. Everyone will simply love these super soft , yogurt and flavour drenched, sweet, savoury and tangy snack with a surprise crunch from nuts and resins and ginger stuffed within. Children totally love these Dahi Gujiyas. 
You can prepare the Gujiyas in advance and refrigerate them and when you are ready to serve just top them up with yogurt , chutney and roasted spices. Your Holi festivities will surely be fantastic with the Dahi Gujiyas being a part of your snack menu this Holi.


Happy Holi. Play Safely, enjoy with your loved ones immensely and savour Dahi Gujiya happily.

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