Ketana Gosalia’s ‘Ghughara’: a typical Gujarati sweet dish made during Diwali

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‘Ghughara’ a Diwali sweet made by Gujaratis traditionally. Photo: courtesy Ketana Gosalia

The ingredients needed to make this dish, which is said to require much expertise, are sixteen ounces of ‘maida’ or all purpose flour, sixteen ounces of fresh ‘mawa’ which can be store-bought, about eight ounces of a mix of almonds, cashews and pistachios, a handful of raisins,  a pinch of cardamom, confectioner’s sugar as needed according to individual taste, 2 to 3 tablespoons of ‘ghee’ for ‘moyen’, oil to fry and water for making the dough, all as required.  This much amount would yield about seventy ‘ghughras’, according to Gosalia.  The dish has to be made immediately and continuously, Gosalia said.  There is no rest time, or it would not come out right.

Method: First prepare the filling by roasting the store-bought ‘mawa’ to dry out the moisture and making it a little stiff till a teaspoon can stand in its midst without falling.

While it is cooling, crush the almonds, cashews and pistachios into a fine powder.  Wash the raisins very thoroughly and rub out all impurities and dry them in the microwave for about a minute.

When the ‘mawa’ has cooled, add sugar per one’s taste, a pinch of cardamom, and the powdered almonds etc. spoonful by spoonful, mixing it into the ‘mawa’.  Make sure the mixture does not become too dry and remains smooth.  Add the raisins also.

Try making tight balls in your fists of the mixture as a test to see if it is the right consistency.  If balls can be made, then the mixture is ready.

Then comes the dough.  Add ‘moyen’ of ghee to the dry flour, mix well, once again till you can squeeze it into balls in your fists.

Then add water slowly and make a tight dough.  Cover the dough with a wet paper towel and take a small amount to make small balls to make puris.  Roll out the puris, four or five at a time.  Fold the puris in double to make half moons, and pinch the ends together.

Hold the puris, one by one, in your palm, and add the filling in the center, not overdoing it.  Then seal the whole puri around the filling properly, maintaining its half moon shape, making sure the edges are well sealed.

The edges are then pinched into a rolling ribbon style.  This is the artistic part of the dish.  If you don’t know how to do that, just  double seal the edges with a fork to also decorate the ‘ghughara’ like pies.

Then fry them on medium flame in oil or ghee till they are well done but not browned. Gosalia suggests using ‘ghee’ for ‘moyen’ and frying the ‘ghugharas’ in oil to give it better taste, to make them light, and to give them longer shelf life.

Then take the remaining dough and repeat the whole process till you are done with all the filling.  If the dough is left over, you could add salt and black pepper to it and roll out ‘farsi puris’, pierce them with a fork, and fry them to make salty snacks.

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