Holi is about colours and revelery and delicious sweets.
Chef Merajuddin Ansari hopes to take the guilt out of the festival eating with his sugar-free Jaggery Gujiya and Date Kalakand.
The taste is uncompromised, but it cuts down on the worry of eating too much sugar.
Chef Meraj trained at the Culinary Academy of India, Hyderabad, and he and his wife Ayesha Barve, who also works in the hospitality industry, are both 'experimental eaters', which explains his penchant for trying new takes on standard dishes.
For the filling
- 500 gm khoya or mawa or milk solid
- 6 tbsp jaggery powder or coconut sugar
- 3¼ tsp grated desiccated coconut
- 15 cashews, blanched and chopped
- 15 almonds, blanched and chopped
- 20 raisins
- ½ green elaichi or cardamom powder
For the outer covering
- 4 cups maida or refined flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 tbsp ghee
- Oil for greasing the gujiya mould
- Ghee for deep frying
- Gujiya moulds.
- Mash the khoya and roast it in a deep saucepan over medium heat till pink.
Take off heat and let it cool.
- Add all the remaining filling ingredients to the khoya.
- To prepare the covering, in a large bowl sieve the flour and add the salt.
Rub in the ghee.
Add enough water and knead into a firm dough.
Cover with a moist cloth and keep aside for 15 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal portions, roll out into small pooris of 4-inch diameter.
- Spread a poori on a greased gujjiya mould, add 1 tbsp of the filling mixture on one side.
Moisten the edges of the poori and fold one side of the mould over the other.
Press the edges, remove the excess dough and release.
Place the gujiya in a damp cloth and repeat the process with the remaining pooris.
- Heat sufficient ghee in a deep frying pan or kadhai and deep-fry the gujjiyas, in batches over medium heat, till golden brown.
Drain onto a tissue or paper towel-lined plate.
Cool and store in an airtight container.
Editor's Note: For a vegan version of this mithai use 250 gm roasted suji or semolina and 250 gm roasted desiccated coconut, instead of khoya.
Servings: 6-8 pieces
- ¼ kg paneer
- 1 cup full-cream milk
- 1 cup whole dates, no seeds
- Add the ingredients to a blender/mixer and blend until smooth.
Pour the paste into a thick-bottomed saucepan or kadhai and cook over medium heat.
Stir continuously, for about 15 minutes, until the mixture solidifies and starts to leave the sides of the pan.
Take off heat and transfer onto a flat thali or plate with edges.
Spread it out and flatten it using a spatula.
Once cooled, cut into squares or any other desired shape and serve.
Editor's Note: For a vegan version of this mithai use almond milk instead of full-cream milk and vegan coconut cream-based cheese instead of paneer.
Chef Merajuddin Ansari is the executive chef, Four Points by Sheraton, Navi Mumbai.