Mawa Gujiya

Holi Festival is incomplete without Mawa Gujiya in the scene. Flaky deep fried flaky dough filled with sweetened solid milk, semolina and assorted nuts. It’s a quintessential Holi dessert and to make it more special you can even add Thandai powder to the filling. I however didn’t add thandai powder, instead enjoyed it with some cold Thandai drink.

What is Mawa Gujiya?

Mawa Gujiya is a very popular Indian festival dessert, prepared mostly during Holi and Diwali.

Maya is solid milk. It is either prepared by simmering and stirring milk for several hours, until it thickens and turns into dough like texture. These days it is very easily available in Indian stores in the frozen aisle.

Gujiya are cresent shaped, fried dough that is stuffed with maya, semolina (optional) and assorted nuts. Some even likes to add coconut to the filling.

Mawa Gujiya - Indian festive Dessert (Holi Special)

Flaky and Light Mawa Gujiya

I learnt making these Mawa Gujiya from my Mother-in-law. She makes this super light, airy and it doesn’t feel heavy and doughy.

While it is definitely a little effort but it’s worth it especially when there are festivities to celebrate.

For the Mawa Gujiya, she rolls the dough super thin, which makes it quite fragile to fill and seal but then the end result is amazing.

As you take the bite, you realize how crumbly and light these are.

Mawa Gujiya 2


If you have a pasta maker, take advantage of that to roll the dough out super thin. Then cut the sheet into multiple circular shape.

Mawa Gujiya Filling:

  • Fine Semolina
  • Mawa
  • Assorted Nuts
  • Powdered Sugar

A keynote on Mawa (solid milk)

It’s very important to roast the mawa in medium low heat until it is dry and crumbly. Keeping the filling dry will keep the gujiya fresh for longer.

If you keep the mawa soft, then make sure you finish the gujiya within two days or else it might go bad.

When you prepare the filling make sure the nuts are finely chopped so it doesn’t poke the dough as you try to fill it.

You can also add some Thandai Powder Masala when preparing especially for Holi Festival.

Mawa Gujiya - Indian festive Dessert (Holi Special)

Shaping the Gujiya

There is no right or wrong way to shape these. Using a mold will make it easier and faster. You could of course take your time to seal the edge by folding into neat pleats or press it using a fork.

How to shape Indian flaky dessert, filled with solid milk and assorted nuts How to shape Indian flaky dessert, filled with solid milk and assorted nuts

Frying the Gujiya at the right temperature

Do not fry in hot oil. For the perfect flaky texture, fry the gujiya in medium low heat and toss around constantly for even light golden color all around.

Can you bake Gujiya ?

YES! You absolutely can either bake in the oven for a healthier version. But I make Gujiya very rarely, so I prefer the authentic fried version.

Baked Gujiya – Bake at 400 F for about 15 minutes. Brush the gujiya with oil.

Once you are done frying or baking Mawa Gujiya, let it cool down completely before you store in an air tight container at room temperature.

Mawa Gujiya - Indian festive Dessert (Holi Special)

I love gujiya with chai but for Holi Celebration, it pairs best with a glass of chill Thandai.

Mawa Gujiya – A traditional Indian festive sweet

Mawa Gujiya – A traditional Indian festive sweet

Yield: 30


for the stuffing

  • 6.30 oz/178 g mawa/khoya
  • 3.5 oz/100 g semolina
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped nuts, cashew, almond, pistachio or whatever you have at home
  • A tiny pinch of nutmeg

for the dough 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ghee (you can use oil too)
  • warm water for kneading
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • vegetable oil for deep frying


  1. Prepare the filling first as you need to cool it down completely before you stuff it. You can prepare the filling a day or two in advance and store in the refrigerator.
  2. In a non stick skillet, add the grated khoya/mawa and keeping the heat to mediun low, keep stirring and cooking until it turns into a dough and then gets crumbly into light brown color. You have to constantly keep stirring to avoid it from getting burnt.
  3. Once done, put that in a bowl and to that same skillet add 1 tablespoon ghee and then the semolina. Stir and cook until it's roasted and turns mild darker shade. Once done, put that to the same bowl.
  4. Now to the bowl add the chopped nuts, nutmeg and cardamom powder. Give a mix. And let it cool completely.
  5. Once it's cooled down, add the powdered sugar and mix ita round. You want to add the sugar once it's cooled down or else the suagr will melt and the fillign will turn into a mushy consistency. You want the filling to be dry. Dry fillling keep the gujiya fresh for few days. If the filling is moist the Gujiyas will go bad in couple days.
  6. Next prepare the dough, by mix the flour and ghee until it's crumbly.
  7. Add little water and knead for a short while to make the dough soft (do not knead for too long). Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 mins.
  8. To make the gujiyas, you could either use a mold or use the old school way, by sealing the ends and designing the pleates using your hand.
  9. Take some dough, make a ball and roll it very thin (do not add any flour as you roll the dough).
  10. Take a cookie cutter or anything else that will help you cut few circles out of the dough (I used a 3-inch cookie cutter and a 4 inch cookie cutter).
  11. Rub little water on the edges on the circle, put little bit (about 1 and 1/2 tablespoon) of the filling in the tiny circle, fold it half and press to seal tight. Next you could use a fork to press the edges and give design or use a mold or design pleates. As you shape the Gujiyas, keep them covered to avoid it from getting dry.
  12. In a pan or wok, pour enough oil to deep fry the gujiyas. The key thing to remember is that do not make the oil too hot. It should be medium low heat when you start dropping the gujiyas. Do not overcrowd the pan and fry these by tossing every now and then for even mild golden color all around. If frying in multiple batches, let the oil cool down before you add the bext batch.



Adding ghee adds a lovely flavor to the gujiya. Make sure you first mix the ghee/oil until it's crumbly. This helps to create the flaky texture of teh Gujiyas. My MIL rolls the dough very very thin which makes the texture very crumbly and light. Hence you will see tiny bubbles all around the Gujiya I shared. I learnt from her. If you keep the dough thicker then after frying you will not see any bubbles.


The filling should be kept dry. Mawa and Semolina needs to toasted to dry light golden color. Add sugar only after the filling has cooled down completelt. Chop the nuts finely so it doesn't poke out when filled in the dough.


The Gujiyas should be fried in medium low heat or else it will turn soggy when cooled down. If frying in multiple batches, let the oil cool down before you add the bext batch.


Store the Gujiya once cooled completely in an airtight container at room temperature.

Mawa Gujiya - Indian festive Dessert (Holi Special)

Did you enjoy this Mawa Gujiya? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

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Comments are closed.

  • Kim Bee
    Kim Bee
    October 25, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    This is an amazing recipe. Looks so tasty. And your pictures are breathtaking.

  • Tyler Ngo
    Tyler Ngo
    October 25, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    We just got a Diwali package from India from the bf’s mom! Even got Thalipeeth. Obviously it was meant for me because the bf is not going to do anything with it! Do you have a recipe? And Happy Diwali!

  • Rosa
    October 25, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    Those look really delicious! I love the filling.



  • Rose of Magpie's Recipes
    Rose of Magpie's Recipes
    October 25, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    Oooh that looks so delicious Kankana! I LOVE that second picture with a sari(?) as the bg. It is breathtaking!

  • Kala
    October 26, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    Beautiful mood in these images and of course they look delicious.

  • Jennifer (Delicieux)
    Jennifer (Delicieux)
    October 26, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    I love the look of this Kankana, and the combination of flavours with the nuts and coconut sound fantastic. Happy Diwali to you!! 😀

  • Alyssa
    October 26, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    Ahh, so that’s why I’ve seen some neighbors putting up strings of lights recently! Those sweets look heavenly and the celebration sounds like so much fun!

  • Divya
    October 26, 2011 at 7:48 AM

    Happy Diwali, Kankana! Hope you and your family have a great year ahead.

    I absolutely love this post – it brought back so many Diwali memories from back home. 😀

  • Melanie @ Melanie Cooks
    Melanie @ Melanie Cooks
    October 26, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    The festival of lights sounds like a lot of fun! The treats look super-yummy too!

  • Sukanya
    October 26, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    Happy Diwali Kankana

    Gujiyas looks absolutely delishh…loved it, its very silent here on Diwali nights 🙁

  • Tanvi @ The Hathi Cooks
    Tanvi @ The Hathi Cooks
    October 26, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Beautiful, Kankana! And happy Diwali to you! These look absolutely gorgeous and I hope that you have a wonderful day today!

  • a spoonful of yumm
    a spoonful of yumm
    October 26, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    i love gujiyas ! the diwali diyas look lovely, i used to paint small pots like those…miss doing that

  • Soma
    October 26, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    Lovely Lovely post and I cannot take my eyes off that 2nd photograph. Dreamy and surreal. Happy Diwali Kankana!

  • balvinder
    October 26, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Happy Diwali to you,kankana. I love Gujiya. I used to miss it before when I can’t make the dough gluten free, now I do all sorts of experiment with my flours.

  • foodwanderings
    October 26, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    OMG my mom maked these but without the mawa/kohya. She makes two versions one with coconut and one with sweetened semolina and nuts in both. My American husband absolutely loves them and she will make these especially for him when we visit Israel. It is a traditiona; break the fast treat for Yom Kippur and I considered making them this year and post but happy to see it here instead.:) We call it something different though. Been a ong day already and the name escapes me now..I will let you know on twitter. Great job. Gorgeous!!

  • foodwanderings
    October 26, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Happy Diwali Kankana:)

  • Manju
    October 26, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    those gujiyas looks so amazing…I make a similar version but instead of khoya I add roasted semolina , it tastes awesome.
    Wanted to make some this year but having a little baby at home can totally change your plans 🙂
    Wishing you a Happy Diwali!
    Do visit my blog when you can :


  • Joyti
    October 26, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    I haven’t had gujiyas in years…yours turned out so pretty. I love that you made them the old-fashioned way. And they sound delicious.
    Oh, and happy and prosperous Diwali to you!

  • Kitchen Belleicious
    Kitchen Belleicious
    October 26, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    a feast indeed- a simply delicious, beautiful, appetizing feast~! Wow, i mean it i love the filling in the pastry.

  • Reem | Simply Reem
    Reem | Simply Reem
    October 26, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Beautiful my dear…..
    What a perfect choice of recipe for this time of the year,
    I am gonna make this soon, always loved them but somehow never tried at home.
    Beautiful pics, specially the small handi’s n diya….

  • Tadka Pasta
    Tadka Pasta
    October 26, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    That was so lovely, Kankana. Really enjoyed reading this post and drooling over those delicate gujiyas.

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    October 26, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Such lovely photos, I especially like the one on the platter with the fabric.

  • Ira Rodrigues
    Ira Rodrigues
    October 26, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Wishing you happy Diwali Kankana.
    Btw, the mood of your photographs are created very well *bravo! it really suits for the festive, i just loving it!

  • Ann
    October 26, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Wow – that looks delicious and your photos are simply stunning! I hope you have a GREAT festival, but judging by the deliciousness and sheer happiness of your post – I suspect you will!

  • Nash at plateful
    Nash at plateful
    October 26, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    How do you take such stunning pictures, sweetness? Really! My favorite is the second shot-WOW. Not sure if I’ve tasted gujiya, looks delish. Happy Dipawali dearest, belated though!

  • Baker Street
    Baker Street
    October 26, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Happy Diwali K! Gujiya is one my husbands favoritest thing and I have never attempted making it. The recipe you posted sounds fairly simple and one that i might try!

  • Spandana
    October 26, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    Beautiful pics kankana.. my mom makes them with coconut filling!!
    Mawa filling sounds very delicious!!
    I loved the small colorful candle pots 🙂

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook
    October 27, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    Happy Diwali to you! My neighbors are turning all lights and I was thinking of you. I hope you had a nice celebration. I love every photos… the coconut filling is killing me. Do you eat this only this time? I can eat this every day…. looks so yummy!

  • Priya
    October 27, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    Nice presentation,kankana..hope u had wonderful diwali with ur family..

  • Suzi
    October 27, 2011 at 5:59 AM

    Kankana these look lovely. Nice and crispy, yum. Happy Diwali to you and your family.

  • Sarah Naveen
    Sarah Naveen
    October 27, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    What amazing pics Kankana..I am in love with each one of them..wanna gobble up some of those cutie pies !
    Happy Diwali!

  • yummy supper
    yummy supper
    October 27, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Kankana, I hope you had a nice Diwali!
    🙂 Erin

  • wizzythestick
    October 27, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    A belated Shubh Divali! These look out of this world good. I have never had these before but this is definitely going on my to do list

  • sally
    October 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    What beautiful little treats! They sound delicious!

  • Kelly
    October 27, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Kankana, your pictures are so beautiful and full of richness. These Indian treats are right up my alley: cardamom, coconut and raw nuts – delightful!

  • skip to malou
    skip to malou
    October 27, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Happy Diwali Kankana! I know the feeling of missing celebrations and holidays like Diwali is. But isn’t it neat that we could re-create these festivities through food. It takes us home with every bite… and the rest is left with our imagination to take us “home”
    The weekend is here… I hope you will have a fun one!

  • Kalyani
    October 27, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    wow looks delicious and tempting clicks ……..

  • Priya
    October 27, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    Great shots…..Love the one with the pots!

  • Charles
    October 28, 2011 at 1:08 AM

    Happy Diwali! Thank you for sharing these stories and photos with us. So nice to read! I love the look of these little sweets. So delicious looking!

  • Angie@Angiesrecipes
    [email protected]
    October 28, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    Beautiful festive treat! Happy Diwali to you and your family!

  • Joanne
    October 28, 2011 at 5:18 AM

    I love learning about new Indian sweets and that filling sounds incredibly delicious!

  • nancy at good food matters
    nancy at good food matters
    October 28, 2011 at 5:27 AM

    a festival of light–how wonderful! I loved learning about Diwali, and these photographs capture the mood perfectly—they are especially stunning. Beautiful work, beautiful treat.

  • Karen Xavier
    Karen Xavier
    October 28, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    Hope you had a wonderful Diwali. These sweets do look really fantastic and inviting!

  • Kiran @
    Kiran @
    October 31, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Happy Diwali love – the photos are as beautiful and reminisce of how we celebrate back at home 🙂

  • Pia
    November 1, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    gorgeous photographs, kankana! and the gujiyas were too, i’m sure. not sure about getting mawa here, so i’m going to try these with homemade chhana instead.

  • Mallika
    November 7, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    That looks divine, gujiyas are my favorites and I love them to core!

  • alpana
    November 7, 2011 at 6:01 AM

    One of my fav’s ……..looks awesome………pics are beyond amazing as always. Thanks for sharing this wonderful treat.

  • mjskitchen
    April 1, 2021 at 9:56 AM

    I can just look at your lovely photos and hear the crack from the crispiness of those delicious treats. YUM! Wish I had a dozen of them sitting in front of me right now.

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