Vacation to a lot of Bongs meant visit to Puri, a beach city in the state of Orissa in India. For one of my maasi (aunts) vacation “always” meant visit to Puri. She used to go there every year for almost a decade. Even for me the first time I saw a sea was in Puri when I was 5 years old.
Once in Puri the evenings are generally spent on the beach of the Bay of Bengal. The mornings are scorching hot and hence people generally spend that in site-seeing in video-coaches (buses playing movies in a VCR). One of these must visits is the famous Jagannatha temple. People offer puja there and bring back prasad to Kolkata for their friends and families. The prasad is always the famous Puri’s Goja.
Goja is a crispy sweet. It is a kind of wheat and rice flour cracker dipped in sugar syrup. Making it is easy when you know the exact steps. Otherwise it is easy to mess up the layering process. It took me couple of attempts to get the perfect Goja.
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour ( maida)
- Rice flour: 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
- White oil (e.g. Sunflower or Cannola): 2 tbsp + oil for deep frying
- 2 tbsp. ghee ( clarified butter)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
In a small bowl mix 2 tbsp of ghee and 2 tbsp of rice flour and keep aside for further use.
In a thick pan take water and sugar and boil on a medium heat till the sugar completely dissolves and the syrup reaches a medium thick or one string consistency. Keep the syrup warm. The consistency of the sugar syrup should be such that once they dry on the goja it should leave the goja glossy and not caked white.
Take equal portions of maida, rice flour and 2 tbsp of oil in a mixing bowl and mix them well. Knead the mixture into a stiff dough by gradually adding water to it. Keep it covered for half an hour. Knead it once more and you are all set to go.
Divide the dough into even number of portions (2,4,6,8) and roll out each portions into flat chapatti (roti) like discs. Take one chapatti and apply the rice flour and ghee mixture on one surface with the back of a spoon. Now take another rolled out chapatti and cover it. Start rolling up the joined chapattis starting from one end to other. Once you finish rolling up cut with a knife into equal sized portion. Take each of these portions and roll them flat by lightly pressing your rolling pin.
Here a step by step guide for you. Click on the images to see enlarged version.
Heat oil in a pan and deep fry till both sides takes a golden brown hue. This is the time when the layers in the Goja will separate out. Remove and drain out the excess oil on a paper towel and dip them into the sugar syrup. Keep them for about 3-4 mins. Take out and serve hot or cold