Tag Archives: Karanji

Mawa Samosa / Gujiya… A Special Treat For Divali

It’s nearly time to indulge into sweets!!!  🙂  With Divali / Deepavali (Festival of Lights) coming up next Wednesday, I can see loads of delicious sweet recipes popping up all over the online foodie world.  Obviously, there can be no Divali celebrations without homemade sweets and delicacies! 

As a medical student, I barely had time to get involved in the celebrations since I always had exams around this time of the year.  (I certainly did find time to indulge into sweets)  However, this year I’m planning to get behind the stove and prepare something on my own!  🙂  This recipe is my obvious choice since this is something that I can say I’ve mastered.

Mawa Samosa is a deep fried pastry with a sweet milk-based filling.  Or, we can say it’s a sweet samosa filled with mawa.  And what is mawa?  It is a common ingredient used in Indian sweets, made either from dried whole milk or by heating milk in a pan till thickened.

These are absolutely delicious sweet treats or snacks; crunchy on the outside with a heavenly sweet filling!  Mawa Samosas are commonly served during wedding celebrations and festivals in Mauritius.  In India, several variations of this sweet are made and are known as Gujiya or Karanji.  The filling can be varied with different combinations of mawa, coconut, semolina, dried fruits, nuts or almonds.  🙂  Here’s how I make it :


For the dough :

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tbs oil
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup lukewarm milk or water

For the filling :

  • To make mawa :
    • 1 1/3 cup milk powder
    • 3 tsp ghee or clarified butter or unsalted butter
    • slightly less than 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/4 cup blanched and sliced almonds
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 2 – 3 tbs semolina
  • 1 – 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbs ghee or clarified butter or unsalted butter


Filling :

  • To make the mawa, warm the milk and ghee in the microwave till the ghee melts.  Add 1 cup of the milk powder to this and mix well to obtain a uniform mixture (soft mawa).
  • Next, add the remaining milk powder and mix to dry up the mixture.  Microwave for around 30 – 45 seconds on high power (900 W).  The mixture will now be crumbly.  Grate it over a plate to obtain a coarse powdery mawa (grainy mawa).
  • Of course, if you can buy ready made mawa, you can go ahead and use that.  I’ve even seen my aunt simply using milk powder instead of mawa.  🙂
  • In a heavy bottom pan, melt the ghee.  Add coconut, sliced almonds and semolina.  Stir for a few minutes on medium – low heat.  Add the mawa, stir and cook till lightly browned.  Remove from heat, add cardamom powder and sugar, mix and keep aside.

Dough :

  • Mix flour and oil.  Add lukewarm milk, little at a time and mix to form a soft and pliable dough.  DO NOT add all the milk at one go as you might not need it all.  Cover and set the dough aside for atleast 10 minutes.

Making the Mawa Samosas :

  • Divide the dough into 4 – 6 portions.  Take one portion and roll out till 1 – 2 mm thick (DO NOT use flour for dusting).  Cut out small circles from this using a round bowl or cup with a sharp edge.  I usually make them around 6 cm in diameter but you can make them bigger.
  • Once you’ve cut out the circles from the rolled out dough, you can use the left out parts again by kneading them back into a ball.  None of the dough should go to waste.
  • Next, place 1 – 2 tsp of filling in the center of each circle and fold it into a semi circle.  Seal the edges properly so that it doesn’t open up during frying.
    • You can simply press the edge with your fingers.
    • OR, press the edge with a fork.
    • OR, pinch and fold with your fingers to make ornate edges.
    • OR, you can use molds like these :

  • Prepare the remaining pastries in the same manner, till all the dough is used up.  Usually, I have some of the filling left over.  Store it in the fridge for later use.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan, on low to medium heat.  To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a small piece of dough into the frying pan.  It should sizzle right away but come to the surface slowly.
  • Fry the pastries, few at a time, until light golden brown.  Don’t fry on high heat or else they will be soft and not crispy.
  • Remove on tissue to absorb extra oil.  Store in an airtight container once cooled.


  • The filling can be prepared beforehand and kept in the refrigerator (can be stored for weeks).  You can add, substitute or leave out any ingredient of your choice to the filling.
  • You may add a finishing touch to the Gujiyas by coating then with a thick syrup and allowing them to dry.
  • These store well in an airtight container for around 1 week.

Even if it’s slightly time consuming to make these sweet pastries, once you get the hang of it, it becomes quite easy.  One bite and you’ll forget all that hard work.  🙂  Mawa Samosas are an absolute delish! 

 And beware, you surely won’t stop at one bite!  🙂