Air Fryer Gujiya

These Air Fryer Gujiya have crispy & flaky covering and filled with mawa, nuts, raisins and cooked to perfection in the air fryer!
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Gujiyas are like empanadas filled with dried milk solids, nuts and often dipped in sugar syrup. This popular sweet is the quintessential Holi dessert. I have very fond memories of making batches of gujiyas with my mom few days before holi, the festival of colors. While it’s traditionally deep fried, this air fried version is just as good. These Air Fryer Gujiya are dipped in a saffron flavored sugar syrup for that ultimate indulgence!

gujiyas arranged on a baking tray

What’s Holi without gujiya? This is the only time of the year when I make gujiyas. Honestly, this sweet does take time and effort and it’s not something that I make often.

It’s a multi-step process and all that rolling, shaping takes time and that is the reason I only make them for Holi, just like my mumma did. We would sit together couple of days before holi and make tons of gujiya. I would help with filling and shaping (with few others) and then one person would fry the gujiyas.

I have always made gujiyas the traditional way, like my mom did. Filled with mawa and deep fried. The classic which I love. However, recently I tried making them in the air fryer and they turned out way better than my expectation. I am actually very thrilled with this. I don’t mind eating fried gujiyas, they are a festive treat and I believe it enjoying such treats during festivals.

However, I am not very fond of deep frying. And it’s not because of the calories. It’s because one, I am a little scared of it. I once had an incident where oil was like bursting and flying all around from a kadai/wok. This was years back but it still scares me. And two, I don’t know what to do with this leftover oil and find it such a waste. Then I need to dispose the oil properly, so basically the whole process of deep frying is something I do not enjoy. So, the fact that this air fryer gujiya turned out as good as if not better than the deep fried version made me extra happy!

The process is same to make the dough and filling but in place of frying them in oil, we just place them in the air fryer. I wouldn’t say these are healthy, it’s a dessert after all but they are a healthier alternative to the deep fried version.

These Air Fryer Gujiya

  • make the perfect treat for Holi or any festivities.
  • filled with mawa, nuts and all the good things!
  • are a healthier alternative to the deep fried version.
  • turn out as good as if not better than the deep fried version.
  • are good either way- with or without dipping in sugar syrup.

Ingredients

You don’t need a ton of ingredients to make these air fryer gujiya.

ingredients for air fryer gujiya arranged on a board

For the dough

The dough is pretty simple and made with plain flour, pinch salt and ghee. You can use oil as well but I prefer and recommend using ghee for flavor.

For the filling

The filling is made with mawa, nuts, coconut, sugar and cardamom powder. You can add semolina as well, almond meal would also be nice. For the sugar syrup we just need sugar and water and some saffron strands for color and flavor if you want. This is optional.

Four Parts To This Recipe

This recipe of air fryer gujiya can be divided into 4 parts.

Making the dough: which is a basic pastry made with flour and fat. The end result should be a flaky, crispy pastry when air fried.

Making the filling: which is made with mawa/khoya and nuts. Coconut is also often added to it. Filling can also be made of sooji (semolina) but my mom always made mawa gujiya and that’s the one I also make.

Filling & Air Frying: once the dough and filling is ready, we then fill and shape the gujiyas and then air fry them. I like using a gujiya mold to shape the gujiyas but you can definitely hand shape them if you have the skills. I clearly don’t have them!

Dipping in sugar syrup: my mom always made gujiyas without dipping them in sugar syrup. I like them both ways, this time I dipped them in a saffron flavored sugar syrup.

gujiyas placed in an air fryer

Step by Step Instructions

Make the dough

1- To a large bowl, add 2 cups (260 grams) flour and pinch of salt.

2- Then add 1/4 cup melted ghee to the flour.

3- Mix the ghee into the flour by rubbing it between your palms. Do this quite a few times until flour feels like crumbs, this ensures that the ghee is well incorporated into the flour.

4- If you press some flour between your palms, it should hold it’s shape. This means that the ghee was enough and has been well incorporated.

step by step picture collage of making gujiya in air fryer

5- Now, start adding water little by little.

6- And knead to form a dough. The amount of water can vary depending on the type of flour, but you would need around 1/2 cup water.

7 & 8- Mix to form a relatively tight dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes. I wet a paper towel, squeeze all the water from it and then use that to cover the dough.

Make the filling

9- While the dough is resting, work on the filling. To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons chopped raisins and 4 tablespoons chopped nuts (cashews and almonds).

10- Cook for 2 minutes until they turn light brown, then remove in a bowl.

11- To the same pan now add 1/3 cup desiccated coconut powder. Sauté for 1 minute until it turns brown (be careful it can burn quickly) and then remove in the same bowl as nuts.

12- Now, add 200 to 225 grams mawa/khoya into the same pan.

step by step picture collage of making gujiya in air fryer

13- Cook the mawa for around 4 minutes, stirring continuously until it’s roasted and turns light golden in color. Remove in another bowl and let it cool down.

14- Once it has cooled down, add the fried nuts and coconut into it.

15- Then add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder. Amount of sugar can be adjusted to taste.

16- Mix until the sugar combines well with the mawa and nuts. The filling is now ready.

step by step picture collage of making gujiya in air fryer

Shape, Fill & Air Fry The Gujiyas

17- After the dough has rested, give it a quick knead, it will be much softer now. Divide the dough into small balls, around 20 to 25 grams each. Meanwhile mix 2 tablespoons flour with 3 tablespoons water. This paste will be used to seal the gujiya.

18- Now, take 1 ball and roll into a circle of roughly 5 to 6 inches diameter using a rolling pin. Keep the remaining dough balls covered with a damp cloth/paper towel at all times else they will dry out.

19- Place the rolled dough on top of the gujiya mold (you can apply little oil on the mold so that gujiyas slide out easily from the mold) apply the prepared flour-water paste around the circumference. Add 1 to 1&1/2 tablespoons filling.

20- Close the mold to seal the gujiya. You can also shape gujiyas with hands.

step by step picture collage of making gujiya in air fryer

21- Press the mold tightly to seal the gujiyas and remove excess dough from the sides.

22- Open the mold and carefully remove gujiya from it. Make all gujiyas similarly. Use the removed excess dough to make more gujiyas. Remember to keep all prepared guiyas covered with a damp cloth as you fill and shape more else they will dry out.

23- Pre-heat your air fryer according to manufacturer instructions. Place the gujiyas into the air fryer in a single layer (I used a parchment paper which is especially made for air fryer) and lightly brush them with oil. I could get around 8 gujiyas done in one batch.

24- Air fry at 360 F degrees for 14 to 16 minutes, filling them at the halfway mark or until they are golden brown in color. Make all gujiyas similarly in batches. These are ready now, but if you want you can dip them in sugar syrup.

step by step picture collage of making gujiya in air fryer

Dip In Sugar Syrup

25- This is optional step. To a wide kadai, add 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water on medium heat.

26- Let the sugar dissolve and mixture heat up. Add some crushed saffron strands. Once the mixture starts boiling, let this boil for around 4 minutes until syrup is little sticky. This time may vary depending on the thickness of pan and intensity of heat. We are not looking for any consistency here, we just want the syrup to become a little sticky. Turn off heat.

27- Dip the gujiyas in batches into the hot syrup. Dip one side for 30-40 seconds.

28- Then turnover and dip the other side for 30 seconds. Remove each gujiya carefully from the sugar syrup using a pair of tongs, dripping any excess syrup. Store in an airtight container.

step by step picture collage of making gujiya in air fryer

Oven Instructions

If you don’t have an, you can also bake the gujiyas in an oven.

Bake at 350 F degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until they turn golden brown in color.

Tips & Notes

  • Soaking the gujiyas in sugar syrup is optional however I do like doing it when I air fry them. When I deep fry, I often skip this step.
  • You may need more mawa if you like a lot of filling in your gujiyas. Contrary to deep frying where it’s recommended not to overfill, you can do that when you air fry.
  • Keep the dough balls and the prepared gujiyas covered at all times as you shape and fill them else they will dry out.
  • To make these nut-free, you can skip the nuts. I would probably add more mawa in that case.
  • You can make the filling in advance if you don’t want to do all the work on one day.
  • It helps to use parchment paper in the air fryer so that the gujiyas don’t stick. I use one with holes which is especially designed for air fryer and you can find it on amazon.
  • Don’t add the sugar to the mawa while it’s still warm, let it cool down else the filling will become very watery.
  • Every air fryer is different so the time may vary depending on the air fryer you have.
3 pieces of gujiya placed on a blue plate with some crushed rose petals on the side

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Air Fryer Gujiya

gujiyas arranged on a baking tray
Manali
These Air Fryer Gujiya have crispy & flaky covering and filled with mawa, nuts, raisins and cooked to perfection in the air fryer!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 25 gujiya
Calories 141 kcal

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 2 cups flour 260 grams
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup ghee melted, 60 ml
  • water to knead the dough, around 1/2 cup

For the Filling

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins chopped
  • 4 tablespoons nuts chopped, I used mix of cashews and almonds
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut powder
  • 200-225 grams mawa also known as khoya (dried milk solids)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

For sugar syrup

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch saffron strands

Instructions
 

Make the dough

  • To a large bowl, add flour and pinch of salt.
  • Then add melted ghee to the flour. Mix the ghee into the flour by rubbing it between your palms. Do this quite a few times until flour feels like crumbs, this ensures that the ghee is well incorporated into the flour.
  • If you press some flour between your palms, it should hold it's shape. This means that the ghee was enough and has been well incorporated.
  • Now, start adding water little by little and knead to form a dough. The amount of water can vary depending on the type of flour, but you would need around 1/2 cup water.
  • Mix to form a relatively tight dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes. I wet a paper towel, squeeze all the water from it and then use that to cover the dough.

Make the filling

  • While the dough is resting, work on the filling. To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan on medium heat. Add chopped raisins and chopped nuts (cashews and almonds).
    Cook for 2 minutes until they turn light brown, then remove in a bowl.
  • To the same pan now add desiccated coconut powder. Sauté for 1 minute until it turns brown (be careful it can burn quickly) and then remove in the same bowl as nuts.
  • Now, add mawa/khoya into the same pan. Cook the mawa for around 4 minutes, stirring continuously until it's roasted and turns light golden in color. Remove in another bowl and let it cool down.
  • Once it has cooled down, add the fried nuts and coconut into it. Then add powdered sugar and cardamom powder. Mix until the sugar combines well with the mawa and nuts. The filling is now ready.

Shape, Fill & Air Fry The Gujiyas

  • After the dough has rested, give it a quick knead, it will be much softer now. Divide the dough into small balls, around 20 to 25 grams each. Meanwhile mix 2 tablespoons flour with 3 tablespoons water. This paste will be used to seal the gujiya.
  • Now, take 1 ball and roll into a circle of roughly 5 to 6 inches diameter using a rolling pin. Keep the remaining dough balls covered with a damp cloth/paper towel at all times else they will dry out.
  • Place the rolled dough on top of the gujiya mold (you can apply little oil on the mold) apply the prepared flour-water paste around the circumference. Add 1 to 1 &1/2 tablespoons filling. Close the mold to seal the gujiya. You can also shape gujiyas with hands.
  • Press the mold tightly to seal the gujiyas and remove excess dough from the sides. Open the mold and carefully remove gujiya from it. Make all gujiyas similarly. Use the removed excess dough to make more gujiyas. Remember to keep all prepared guiyas covered with a damp cloth as you fill and shape more else they will dry out.
  • Pre-heat your air fryer according to manufacturer instructions. Place the gujiyas into the air fryer in a single layer (I used a parchment paper which is especially made for air fryer) and lightly brush them with oil. I could get around 8 gujiyas done in one batch.
  • Air fry at 360 F degrees for 14 to 16 minutes, filling them at the halfway mark or until they are golden brown in color. Make all gujiyas similarly in batches. These are ready now, but if you want you can dip them in sugar syrup.

Dip In Sugar Syrup

  • This is optional step. To a wide kadai, add 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water on medium heat.
    Let the sugar dissolve and mixture heat up. Add some crushed saffron strands. Once the mixture starts boiling, let this boil for around 4 minutes until syrup is little sticky. This time may vary depending on the thickness of pan and intensity of heat. We are not looking for any consistency here, we just want the syrup to become a little sticky. Turn off heat.
  • Dip the gujiyas in batches into the hot syrup. Dip one side for 30 to 40 seconds.
    Then turnover and dip the other side for 30 seconds. Remove each gujiya carefully from the sugar syrup using a pair of tongs, dripping any excess syrup. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

  • Soaking the gujiyas in sugar syrup is optional however I do like doing it when I air fry them. When I deep fry, I often skip this step.
  • You may need more mawa if you like a lot of filling in your gujiyas. Contrary to deep frying where it’s recommended not to overfill, you can do that when you air fry.
  • Keep the dough balls and the prepared gujiyas covered at all times as you shape and fill them else they will dry out.
  • To make these nut-free, you can skip the nuts. I would probably add more mawa in that case.
  • You can make the filling in advance if you don’t want to do all the work on one day.
  • It helps to use parchment paper in the air fryer so that the gujiyas don’t stick. I use one with holes which is especially designed for air fryer and you can find it on amazon.
  • Don’t add the sugar to the mawa while it’s still warm, let it cool down else the filling will become very watery.

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 3gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 23mgPotassium: 36mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 37IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

2 thoughts on “Air Fryer Gujiya

    1. please google “mawa from milk powder” you will find recipes, I don’t have it on my blog yet. Also, I find mawa at Indian grocery stores here in the US

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