Little crescents with savoury vegetable centres. Traditional fillings in this Gujarati snack include green peas, tuvar lilva (whole pigeon peas), green beans, green chickpeas or corn. Occasionally, one finds the sweet version, stuffed with dry fruits or nuts.
Like the samosa or karanji, the ghugra has a maida (all purpose flour) shell, and is usually deep fried. With rare exceptions, our home is a no-fry zone. We tried baking them with a whole wheat shell. The results were surprisingly good. This dough will work for baked samosas as well.
For the filling: For the dough:
2 cups fresh or frozen peas/whole green grams, tuvar lilva/chopped green beans/corn (we used tuvar lilva)
3 green chillies chopped
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. ajwain (or cumin seeds)
¼ cup grated coconut (fresh or dry)
2 tsps. toasted sesame seeds
pinch of asafoetida
pinch of sugar
1 tsp. oil
3 tbsps. coriander leaves
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
**all purpose flour or chapati flour will work as well.
3 tbsps. ghee or melted butter (We used Earth Balance trans fat free margarine)
**We do not recommend oil. It tends to make the dough greasy while baking. It also doesn’t impart quite the right flavour.
3 tbsps. soy (or regular) yogurt
a pinch of baking soda
2 tbsps. melted ghee/butter/trans fat free margarine for brushing.
For the filling:
For the dough:
1. If using frozen veggies, microwave them for a minute. Grind the veggies into a coarse paste with the ginger and chillies.
2. Heat the oil, splutter the ajwain seeds, add the asafoetida. Stir, and add the veggie paste and salt.
3. Cook the veggies covered for a few minutes. If it dries out, sprinkle a little water. Take it off the fire, add the coconut, sesame, sugar, coriander leaves and lime juice. Mix it and set it aside to cool.
4. Knead the dough using a little water to make a soft, pliable dough. Let it rest for five minutes.
5. Divide the dough and the filling into 20 equal balls.
6. Preheat the oven to 375F with two racks placed towards the middle.
7. Dust the surface with some flour, and roll out each disc into a thin circle with a diameter of 4.5 to 5 inches. Dip your finger in a bowl of water and wet the edge along the entire circumference. Put a ball of filling towards the front of the circle. (Make sure the filling is not too dry. Wet it a tad if necessary).
8. Fold the top half over the front half into a half-moon. If you’re like J, you’ll do some curling action with your thumb and forefinger. If you’re like B, you’ll simply crimp the edges down with a fork. In short, seal them well.
9. Line these up on one or two baking sheets. For crisp bottoms, don’t use parchment or silicone liners. These babies don’t stick to the pan. When they are all done, brush the surface with ghee/butter/trans fat free margarine.
10. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the trays back to front and swap their positions. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
Serve with date and tamarind chutney.
Send it to Nupur at One Hot Stove for her A to Z Veggie event under “G”.