KARANJI FIESTA | By: Dr. Kaviraj Khialani-Celebrity Master Chef.

KARANJI FIESTA

CRESCENT SHAPED DELIGHTFULLY AWESOME SWEET TREATS

Karanji, a Maharashtrian sweet snack is traditionally made during festivals, especially Diwali. It is made at home with the help of all the members of the family. Children specially get involved while making this sweet. The karanji recipe as originated from Maharashtra has coconut as one of the main ingredients.

This dry sweet snack is rich in taste and full of flavour. It is half crescent in shape and can be stored in an airtight container for a long time. The karanji recipe suggests the use of very simple ingredients to prepare this sweet.  The outer covering is made of flour, water and oil, whereas the inner filling usually has grated coconut, sugar, raisins and cardamoms as the ingredients. Karanji is prepared like a samosa by making the dough and filling separately and then assembling them together.

 As per the karanji recipe, this dish tastes best when deep fried in desi ghee. As mentioned earlier this is a typical festival sweet. It is not prepared throughout the year. People of Maharashtra and Karnataka offer karanji to the guests who visit their house during festivals. This sweet is eaten as a snack at any time of the day. It is made in large numbers and is stored so that throughout the festival season it can be enjoyed. Deviations have happened from the original karanji recipe as time has passed. Although the outer cover has not undergone much change, varieties of filling have been created for this special sweet.

Copra filling – This kind of filling is made of copra or dried coconut instead of fresh grated coconut. The other ingredients remain the same.

Puttani filling – Instead of coconut, Puttani or fried gram dal is the main ingredient of this filling. The other ingredients like sugar, cardamom and raisins are mixed with the dal to prepare the filling.

Coconut filling – Some additional ingredients are added to this filling which makes it different from the traditional one. Cashew nuts, pistachios and poppy seeds are added to this filling to make it special. Sometimes instead of sugar, jaggery or sugar free is added to the filling. This special sweet is nowadays available in baked form rather than fried for those health conscious people.

Khajoor or dates: karanji is also a popular karanji nowadays. It consists of a filling of dates.

Innovative ideas: today we are able to variate in a number of ways to make karanji fillings, some of the ideas include using crumbled up boondi ladoo, burfi and mithai can be crumbled and mixed with a little mava and used as well. We also have an option to use chocolate brownies- eggless versions as well with a little Gulkhand mixed in it as a stuffing for the karanji. Besides we also have the halwa, sheera concepts as well which can be adapted to.

Here are a few simple and easy ways with Karanji, our all-time favourite home-made sweet with a little twist of taste! Wishing all our readers a very Happy Dusshera!

Recipe-1] Desi Nariyal Wali Karanji

Ingredients:

For the Karanji dough:

Maida- 2 cups

Ghee-2 tbsp.

Salt-1/4 tsp

Milk-1/4 cup/ as needed

For the Nariyal wali stuffing:

Desiccated coconut-1/2 cup

Ghee-2 tsp

Green cardamom powder-1/4 tsp

Cashew powder-2 tsp

Raisins-2-3 tsp chopped

Dates-2-3 tsp chopped

Almonds-2-3 tbsp. sliced finely

Powdered sugar-2-3 tsp/as per taste

To fry:

Oil- as needed.

Method:

1. Assemble all the ingredients for the Karanji recipe as listed.

2. Prepare the dough to start with, a semi-hard, firm and pliable dough easy to work with. Cover it with a damp muslin cloth and rest the dough for 20-25 mins.

3. Meantime, we can prepare the filling/stuffing for the karanji. Heat up the ghee in a thick bottomed pan add in the coconut and lightly saute it for a few minutes on a low flame.

4. Add in the green cardamom powder, cashew powder, nuts as desired and give it a nice mix. Once it all starts coming together add in the powdered sugar and mix well, cook for 1-2 mins and turn off the flame. Allow the prepared filling/stuffing mixture to cool.

5. Divide the prepared and rested dough into 12-16 lemon sized portions, roll them out one by one and using a round cutter get a uniform size to all the sheets of the dough, place 2-3 tsp full mixture on one side, apply little water on the edges and using finger tips and then a fork, seal and crimp up/ press the ends in order to secure the filling inside.

6.To fry the prepared Karanji, Heat oil for deep frying in a pan or kadai. Gently place the prepared karanji in hot oil. Just add a few karanji while frying and don’t crowd them.

7.Fry till crisp and golden in color, remove and drain on paper towels/kitchen paper sheets to remove excess oil. Once cooled, store them in air-tight container and serve as needed.

Recipe-2] Akhroat Aur Khajoor Wali Karanji

Ingredients:

For the Karanji dough:

Maida- 2 cups

Ghee-2 tbsp.

Salt-1/4 tsp

Milk-1/4 cup/ as needed

For the Akhroat Aur Khajoor wali stuffing:

Mava- ½ cup grated

Ghee-2-3 tsp

Green cardamom powder-1/4 tsp

Almond -powder-2 tsp

Raisins-2-3 tsp chopped

Dates -1/2 cup finely chopped

walnuts-2-3 tbsp. sliced finely

Powdered sugar-2-3 tsp/as per taste

To fry:

Oil- as needed.

Method:

1. Assemble all the ingredients for the Karanji recipe as listed.

2. Prepare the dough to start with, a semi-hard, firm and pliable dough easy to work with. Cover it with a damp muslin cloth and rest the dough for 20-25 mins.

3. Meantime, we can prepare the filling/stuffing for the karanji. Heat up the ghee in a thick bottomed pan add in the mava and dates and lightly saute it for a few minutes on a low flame.

4. Add in the green cardamom powder, almond powder, nuts as desired and give it a nice mix. Once it all starts coming together add in the powdered sugar and mix well, cook for 1-2 mins and turn off the flame. Allow the prepared filling/stuffing mixture to cool.

5. Divide the prepared and rested dough into 12-16 lemon sized portions, roll them out one by one and using a round cutter get a uniform size to all the sheets of the dough, place 2-3 tsp full mixture on one side, apply little water on the edges and using finger tips and then a fork, seal and crimp up/ press the ends in order to secure the filling inside.

6.To fry the prepared Karanji, Heat oil for deep frying in a pan or kadai. Gently place the prepared karanji in hot oil. Just add a few karanji while frying and don’t crowd them.

7.Fry till crisp and golden in color, remove and drain on paper towels/kitchen paper sheets to remove excess oil. Once cooled, store them in air-tight container and serve as needed.

Recipe-3] Chukandar aur Charoli Wali Karanji

Ingredients:

For the Karanji dough:

Maida- 2 cups

Ghee-2 tbsp.

Salt-1/4 tsp

Milk-1/4 cup/ as needed

For the Chukandar aur Charoli wali stuffing:

Mava- ½ cup grated

Ghee-2-3 tsp

Green cardamom powder-1/4 tsp

Beetroot/ chukandar- 2 med sized, peeled, grated.

Raisins-2-3 tsp chopped

Dates -1/2 cup finely chopped

Charoli- 2-3 tsp.

Powdered sugar-2-3 tsp/as per taste

To fry:

Oil- as needed.

Method:

1. Assemble all the ingredients for the Karanji recipe as listed.

2. Prepare the dough to start with, a semi-hard, firm and pliable dough easy to work with. Cover it with a damp muslin cloth and rest the dough for 20-25 mins.

3. Meantime, we can prepare the filling/stuffing for the karanji. Heat up the ghee in a thick bottomed pan add in the grated beetroot and dates and lightly saute it for a few minutes on a low flame for 3-4 mins, add in the grated mava and cook on low flame for 3-4 mins.

4. Add in the green cardamom powder, Charoli, nuts as desired and give it a nice mix. Once it all starts coming together add in the powdered sugar and mix well, cook for 1-2 mins and turn off the flame. Allow the prepared filling/stuffing mixture to cool.

5. Divide the prepared and rested dough into 12-16 lemon sized portions, roll them out one by one and using a round cutter get a uniform size to all the sheets of the dough, place 2-3 tsp full mixture on one side, apply little water on the edges and using finger tips and then a fork, seal and crimp up/ press the ends in order to secure the filling inside.

6.To fry the prepared Karanji, Heat oil for deep frying in a pan or kadai. Gently place the prepared karanji in hot oil. Just add a few karanji while frying and don’t crowd them.

7.Fry till crisp and golden in color, remove and drain on paper towels/kitchen paper sheets to remove excess oil. Once cooled, store them in air-tight container and serve as needed.

Recipe-4] Lauki Aur Badam Wali Karanji

Ingredients:

For the Karanji dough:

Maida- 2 cups

Ghee-2 tbsp.

Salt-1/4 tsp

Milk-1/4 cup/ as needed

For the Lauki aur Badam wali stuffing:

Mava- ½ cup grated

Ghee-2-3 tsp

Green cardamom powder-1/4 tsp

Lauki/Dudhi/bottle-gourd- 300 gms, peeled and grated

Almond -powder-2 tsp

Raisins-2-3 tsp chopped

Dates -1/2 cup finely chopped

Powdered sugar-2-3 tsp/as per taste

To fry:

Oil- as needed.

Method:

1. Assemble all the ingredients for the Karanji recipe as listed.

2. Prepare the dough to start with, a semi-hard, firm and pliable dough easy to work with. Cover it with a damp muslin cloth and rest the dough for 20-25 mins.

3. Meantime, we can prepare the filling/stuffing for the karanji. Heat up the ghee in a thick bottomed pan add in the grated Lauki/ bottle-gourd and cook for 2-3 mins, add in the grated mava and dates and lightly saute it for a few minutes on a low flame.

4. Add in the green cardamom powder, almond powder, nuts as desired and give it a nice mix. Once it all starts coming together add in the powdered sugar and mix well, cook for 1-2 mins and turn off the flame. Allow the prepared filling/stuffing mixture to cool.

5. Divide the prepared and rested dough into 12-16 lemon sized portions, roll them out one by one and using a round cutter get a uniform size to all the sheets of the dough, place 2-3 tsp full mixture on one side, apply little water on the edges and using finger tips and then a fork, seal and crimp up/ press the ends in order to secure the filling inside.

6.To fry the prepared Karanji, Heat oil for deep frying in a pan or kadai. Gently place the prepared karanji in hot oil. Just add a few karanji while frying and don’t crowd them.

7.Fry till crisp and golden in color, remove and drain on paper towels/kitchen paper sheets to remove excess oil. Once cooled, store them in air-tight container and serve as needed.

Recipe- 5] Videsi Tadke Wali Karanji

Ingredients:

For the Karanji dough:

Maida- 2 cups

Ghee-2 tbsp.

Salt-1/4 tsp

Milk-1/4 cup/ as needed

For the Videsi Tadke Wali stuffing:

Dark/ bitter chocolate-1/4 cup, grated

White chocolate-1/4 cup, grated

Butter-2 tsp

Almond flakes/ sliced-2-3 tsp

Raisins-2-3 tsp chopped

Dates -1/2 cup finely chopped

Digestive biscuits- 4-5 no, powdered

Apricots/ berries/ prunes- 2-3 tbsp. cut

Glazed cherries- 5-6 no chopped

Powdered sugar-2-3 tsp/as per taste

To fry:

Oil- as needed.

Method:

1. Assemble all the ingredients for the Karanji recipe as listed.

2. Prepare the dough to start with, a semi-hard, firm and pliable dough easy to work with. Cover it with a damp muslin cloth and rest the dough for 20-25 mins.

3. Meantime, we can prepare the filling/stuffing for the karanji. Warm up the butter in a thick bottomed pan add in the fruits, nuts, powdered digestive biscuits and dates and lightly saute it for a few minutes on a low flame.

4. Add in the almond powder, nuts/berries etc as desired and give it a nice mix. Once it all starts coming together add in the powdered sugar and mix well, cook for 1-2 mins and turn off the flame. Allow the prepared filling/stuffing mixture to cool.

5. Divide the prepared and rested dough into 12-16 lemon sized portions, roll them out one by one and using a round cutter get a uniform size to all the sheets of the dough, place 2-3 tsp full mixture on one side, apply little water on the edges and using finger tips and then a fork, seal and crimp up/ press the ends in order to secure the filling inside.

6.To fry the prepared Karanji, Heat oil for deep frying in a pan or kadai. Gently place the prepared karanji in hot oil. Just add a few karanji while frying and don’t crowd them.

7.Fry till crisp and golden in color, remove and drain on paper towels/kitchen paper sheets to remove excess oil. Once cooled, store them in air-tight container and serve as needed.

Recipe-6] Gajar aur Gulkhand Wali Karanji

Ingredients:

For the Karanji dough:

Maida- 2 cups

Ghee-2 tbsp.

Salt-1/4 tsp

Milk-1/4 cup/ as needed

For the Gajar Aur Gulkhand wali stuffing:

Mava- ½ cup grated

Ghee-2-3 tsp

Green cardamom powder-1/4 tsp

Carrots- 300 gms, peeled and grated

Almond -powder-2 tsp

Raisins-2-3 tsp chopped

Dates -1/2 cup finely chopped

Powdered sugar-2-3 tsp/as per taste

Gulkhand- 2-3 tsp

To fry:

Oil- as needed.

Method:

1. Assemble all the ingredients for the Karanji recipe as listed.

2. Prepare the dough to start with, a semi-hard, firm and pliable dough easy to work with. Cover it with a damp muslin cloth and rest the dough for 20-25 mins.

3. Meantime, we can prepare the filling/stuffing for the karanji. Heat up the ghee in a thick bottomed pan add in the grated carrots and cook for 2-3 mins, add in the grated mava and dates and lightly saute it for a few minutes on a low flame.

4. Add in the green cardamom powder, almond powder, nuts as desired and give it a nice mix. Once it all starts coming together add in the powdered sugar and mix well, cook for 1-2 mins and turn off the flame. Allow the prepared filling/stuffing mixture to cool and then add in Gulkhand and mix well, chill for 30 mins.

5. Divide the prepared and rested dough into 12-16 lemon sized portions, roll them out one by one and using a round cutter get a uniform size to all the sheets of the dough, place 2-3 tsp full mixture on one side, apply little water on the edges and using finger tips and then a fork, seal and crimp up/ press the ends in order to secure the filling inside.

6.To fry the prepared Karanji, Heat oil for deep frying in a pan or kadai. Gently place the prepared karanji in hot oil. Just add a few karanji while frying and don’t crowd them.

7.Fry till crisp and golden in color, remove and drain on paper towels/kitchen paper sheets to remove excess oil. Once cooled, store them in air-tight container and serve as needed.

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