“Bagha I want Gujiya along with the book, not the white one but the Yellowish rich Kheerer Gujiya”
“You are asking for bribe Khandumoni that too for reading your favorite book?”
I was smiling unknowingly remembering “Bagha” while making Gujiya with the leftover Khoya for Pasta! The good old days of growing up years in North Calcutta (which has never been Kolkata to me). Visiting Rajani Gupta library regularly. Savoring the local delicacies such as Savory Fish Roll or Phuluri or typical Bengali sweets Gujiya or Danadar. Yes, you read it right. Bengali Gujiya, not the North Indian Gujia. A delicacy which, these days, is a bit difficult to find.
The conversation was between 10 years old Debjani and her Bagha (read uncle). Bagha was my father’s 4th brother and a confirmed bachelor. Supremely educated, a bookworm and devastatingly handsome, that man was there all through my childhood and influenced my upbringing a lot. Bagha was the person who introduced me to the world of books. He was the person who enlisted my name at the local library. He used to take me there every alternate day and after changing the books there was the food venture, always.
Bagha, introduced me to the good, old food scene in North Kolkata. Even my first Biryani venture was with him. However, every single venture always had an appendage from his side, “you have to finish a book, Khandumoni! You must read! You must learn and you must challenge yourself.” Here I must mention, I never called him Jethu or Uncle, instead, he was Bagha for me! I was his Khandumoni but not Dolon or Debjani.
I know I am supposed to write about now rare, Bengali sweet Gujiya but I cannot without talking about Bagha. After all, the evenings after the library was meant for visiting the “Mistir Dokan” with him to purchase four Gujiya(s). If it was the white one from Lakxminarayan Mistanno Bhandar, the price was 25 paise per piece. Then there was the special kind as well, from Geetanjali, once in a while, 50 paise per piece, Kheerer Gujiya. Then there were the times when my father decided to take me to Burrabazar’s Gupta brothers for their special Kheerer Gujiya! Baba used to refer Gujiya, Korapaker Angti Sondesh 😉 . The last kind is a must purchase for Jagadhatri Puja at my North Calcutta residence.
Believe me or not, my adolescent years and Mills and Boon days were full of the Korapaker Angti Sondesh, when there was nobody to give me the original ring! Childish isn’t it! But who can blame! That is what “Girlhood” to you. There was always books (loads of), family, food but not the ring and I was not happy, yet I was happy.
I remember, once asking him, why he had not married and I still remember his reply! He laughed and replied “I never felt so! I am having the problem of extreme Asthma and I think I must not make somebody else’s life as well as mine pitiful! Even you must not opt for marriage Khandumoni if you feel you are not ready for the same! Do you want some more Gujiya?” He asked to finish the conversation.
Okay, let me now come back to Gujiya, a distant cousin of Peda, mostly prepared with Khoya or Mawa and distinguished by the unique shape. A ring-like sweet it is and has no link with North Indian Gujiya. In Kolkata, Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick apart from Gupta Brothers (Burrabazar) still makes this sweet. However, it is really easy to make it at home with limited ingredients.
I made a few with the leftover khoya and here is how I make Gujiya at home.
Here’s how you make Gujiya:
- Serves: 5 People
- Serving size: 35g
- Calories: 152
- Fat: 3.6g
- Saturated fat: 2.2g
- Carbohydrates: 28.4g
- Sugar: 26.7g
- Sodium: 39mg
- Fiber: 0.2g
- Protein: 2.7g
- Cholesterol: 13mg
- Khoya/ Mawa / Solidified milk: 250g
- Sugar: 100g
- Semolina: 1tbsp.
- Green Cardamom: 1-2
- Ghee: 1 Tsp.
- Make a coarse powder of the Sugar.
- Dry roast the Semolina and keep it aside.
- Now take crumbled Khoya in a pan and start cooking it over the very low flame for 5-7 minutes along with ⅔ of the Sugar powder and roasted semolina.
- Add powdered Cardamom and mix thoroughly once the Khowa properly cooked and tight.
- Switch the flame off.
- Wait till the Khoya can be handled to give shape using the hand.
- Add remaining ⅓ Sugar powder and knead the Khoya.
- Add little Ghee to complete the dough.
- Ghee will help the dough to not to stick on the hands.
- Take a small portion of the Khoya mix and give it a shape of Ring.
- To do that you have to make a cylindrical shape with the dough and then have to join both the loose end to give the ring-shape.
- Refer to the pictures for the shape of Gujia.
- Once all the Gujiya are prepared to place those over a plate and wait till the Gujia tighten naturally.
- Serve it then and there or fridge it for future consumption.
If you want your Gujiya to be smooth, skip semolina.
Adjust Sugar as per taste.
Bengali Sweets apart from Gujiya from Debjanir Rannaghar:
- Janai-er Monohara! (also known as Monohara (মনোহরা) sondesh)
- Choshir Payesh (Also known as Chosi Pithe)
- Khejur Gurer Payesh (also known as Bengali Rice Kheer with Date Palm Jaggery)
- Two in One Sondesh (Also known as Strawberry Vanilla Shondesh)
- Taler Bora (Also known as Bengali Sugar Palm Fritters)
- Darbesh (Also known as Bengali Laddu )
- Chanar Jilapi (Also known as Bengali Paneer Jalebi)
- Gurer Narkel Naru (Also known as Bengali Narkel Naru or Coconut Fudge Ball or Nariyel ki Laddu)
Have you tried the Bengali Gujiya Recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here on firstname.lastname@example.org. On Instagram, you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar or can tag me at @foodofdebjani.
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