Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gujiya (sweet fried dumpling): new and improved!

A long time ago, when I’d just started this blog, I posted one of my first recipes and that was of Gujiya – an Indian dumpling. With every year since then I’ve been refining my recipe, sometimes posting notes under that post and sometimes just posting them to my long-time memory. This time when we made the gujiyas we thought everything was just perfect! So I decided it was time to post the new and improved recipe! I apologize for the photo – I figured I should rather take the photo with my phone than wait for myself to get the camera; in which case I risk the existence of these gujiyas. As you can see of the 28 that we made only 5 are left!



  • 1/2 cup khoya
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp sooji
  • 5 tbsp coconut powder
  • 3 tbsp Raisins
  • 3 tbsp chironji
  • 1.5 cups maida (or all-purpose flour) – this is a little more than you would need for the filling but it also depends on how much you fill each gujiya; and I would rather have some extra than knead it again for the leftover filling.
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Water
  • Oil for deep frying


  1. Roast the suji till golden brown.
  2. Roast the khoya till it turns slightly pinkish brown. I use frozen khoya which has a slight raw taste and it helps to cook it a little. Let it cool.
  3. Add coconut powder, sooji, raisins, chironji and sugar. If you don't have chironji, you can substitute it with any nutty dry fruit like roasted almond or cashew. Mix them well.
  4. Knead the maida with the oil and water. The dough should be soft and try to use as little water as required.
  5. Take a small portion of the dough, knead it in your palm and roll it into a ball. Flatten it into a disc and using a rolling-pin, roll into a circle like a mini roti/tortilla. The size of the circle? Depends on the size of gujiya that you want. The gujiya's size will be half of that circle. The final roti should be sufficiently thin.
  6. Take the mini-roti in your palm, dip your index finger into water and slightly dampen the rim of one half of the roti (to help in sealing it later).
  7. Put a spoonful of the mixture in the center of the roti. We used a dumpling maker to seal them. Make sure the ends are sealed well. When you fry them, air fills inside the gujiyas which expands them. If they’re not sealed well, the filling will ooze out and will mess up your oil. Don’t overstuff them for the same reason.
  8. While you’re making gujiyas keep your other gujiyas covered with a damp cloth till you’re ready to fry them
  9. Heat oil for deep frying after you've made all the gujiyas.
  10. Fry the gujiyas at a medium-high flame to a light brown color.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Birds, squirrels and the birdfeeder


That’s a new bird feeder we put in our backyard and before we knew it the birds were flocking at it! After I put up the feeder I was reading somewhere that it takes 2-3 weeks for the birds to figure out there’s one and start visiting it. So it was a pleasant surprise to see that ours had visitors within a week!

Let me tell you it’s very interesting to watch the dynamics between the backyard critters and birds! If you look at the picture closely there are three birds – one at the feeder, another on the ground and the third in between the two. They’re all trying to get the benefit of the different locations!

Presently our feeder is not in the most suitable location because of lack of equipment to put it in one. As bird feeding experts would say the current location would be under attack by the squirrels and that is absolutely correct. We’ve watched them in action! I was quite amazed to see how much feed the birds were consuming per day till I saw the culprit; it was also the moment of revelation to me. While reading about bird feeding, people had warned about squirrels and I thought to myself – when we can feed birds why can’t we feed the squirrels too? The answer came to me when I saw the squirrels feeding. They not only scare the birds – to whom the “bird” feeder rightfully belongs – and hence they’re trespassing on other’s property; and then the amount of feed they eat is almost 10x what the birds eat. Despite all this, I must say it was amusing to watch the squirrel eat. The feeder was empty and this squirrel was trying to get to every last grain in and around the feeder. It came to feeder from the top, from the side and from the bottom to get whatever last bits it could. The grasp it’s tiny feet had was incredulous!

If you’ve a place to put up a bird feeder, you don’t need a yard you can even put it up in your balcony, then run to your local home store and get one; and enjoy watching these lovely creatures.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The 5 Love Languages: Men’s Edition

Author: Gary Chapman

I’d no intention of reading the Men’s Edition of this book. I didn’t even know about it. So when I ordered it in the library I didn’t even realize it was the ME till I read the foreword and that’s when I flipped to the front cover and read the title! :-) However the content is quite generic and is applicable to men as well as women. The suggestions at the end of the chapters are what is specifically for men (husbands).

I loved reading the book. I think primarily because I believed in the proposal the author put forth. According to him every person has a love language – the language that makes him/her feel loved. When his/her spouse speaks that language he/she feels loved. For a happy marriage, you must know your spouse’ love language. If you don’t and are speaking a different language then however much you try it’s not going to make your spouse happy.

The author proposes that there are 5 love languages:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Acts of Service
  4. Receiving gifts
  5. Physical touch

The names are quite self-explanatory. As an example, if your spouse’ love language is “Acts of service”, which means that “doing“ something for her is what makes her happy then your cooking a meal would mean more to her than bringing her flowers. On the other hand if her love language is “receiving gifts” then your doing all the household chores wouldn’t make her as happy as bringing her flowers. You get the point.

There’s a chapter devoted to each language and then a few on how to infer your love language, your spouse’ love language and so on. Also I think that to some extent this is applicable to most relationships in life. Again, this is also discussed by the author in the FAQs on how this applies to children, etc. The book is simply written. I really enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it to every one out there – married or unmarried!

Bottom-line: Must read!