Diwali Special: Karanji

(Link to Marathi Recipe)

Karanji in Marathi
Gujiya in Hindi
Karajikayi in Kannada

Karanji comes under 'must have' for us Maharashtrians for Diwali! Diwali faral is incomplete without these crescent shaped delicacy. My mom makes karanjis and Chirote on Dhanatrayodashi day. She makes these with few different fillings and those fillings are usually made 3-4 days ahead of time making things bit easy on the day. Here are the fillings she usually makes -
  1. Fresh Coconut + Sugar + Poppy Seeds 
  2. Dry coconut + Fine Semolina + Powdered Sugar + Poppy Seeds
  3. Wheat Flour + Dry Coconut + Sesame Seeds + Poppy Seeds + Fine Semolina 
  4. Khawa/Khoya + Sugar + Fresh Coconut
  5. Khowa/Khoya + Gulkand 
Making Karanjis is more or less whole day affair and it is very labor intensive. It is labor of love for sure! You forget everything when these beauties melt in your mouth at first bite. I made detailed video of the whole process to make baked karanjis, only issue you might face with that is the voice over in Marathi :)

Let's see how the whole process starts. I am making the Karanjis with filling 3 from the list above. This filling can be prepared up to 7-8 days ahead of time.
You will need -

2 cups Jaggery (Grated fine, pieces should not be bigger that a lentil grain)
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Dry Coconut (Flakes or grated)
1/2 cup Superfine Rava/Semolina
1/2 cup Sesame Seeds
1/4 cup Poppy Seeds
3 tbsp Almond Oil
1 tsp Cardamom Powder
Pinch of Nutmeg

Filling Preparation - 
Dry roast coconut, sesame seeds, poppy seeds separately until golden brown.
Do NOT mix these together once they are roasted.
Roast semolina with 1 tbsp ghee/oil until golden brown. Set aside separately.
Roast whole wheat flour with remaining ghee/oil. Roast it until golden brown.
Coarsely grind poppy seeds, sesame seeds and coconut (in that order).
Fit 'S' shaped blade to the food processor bowl. 
Put everything, flour, nut powders, jaggery, cardamom-nutmeg, in the food processor.
Process it for 8-10 minutes.
Sieve through larger sieve to remove bigger chunks if any.
Your filling is ready.

To make the Karanjis by traditional method, here is what you need for the cover -
1/2 cup Rava/Semolina
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
2-3 tbsp Oil 
Milk+Water mixed together - As needed.
Oil for deep frying 

Cover Preparation - 
Heat oil in small kadhai.
Mix APF, rava, sugar, salt together in a big bowl. Make a well in the mixture.
Sprinkle pinch of flour in heating oil, flour should sizzle immediately.
Pour oil in the oil in flour mixture. Mix thoroughly with spoon.
Make stiff dough using little bit of water at a time.
Cover with damp towel and set aside for at least 2 hours.
After two hours pound the dough nicely for 15-20 minutes with stone mortar pestle.

Making traditional version of Karanjis -
Divide the dough in 4 equal sized balls. 
Roll thin chapati and spread 1 tbsp oil  evenly.
Now make tight roll, and cut into 1" pieces.
Continue with all the remaining dough and you should have about 40 pieces.
Cover these pieces with damp cloth all the time. This will keep the dough soft.
Take one small piece and roll into about 3-4" diameter puri.
Hold the puri in hand, pinch on the side, and add 1-2 tbsp filling.
Carefully close the karanji. Now press it on the cutting board, and carefully remove the extra dough from the side using karanji cutter.
Continue with remaining balls. Cover prepared karanjis with cloth.
Once all the karanjis are ready,  deep fry in medium hot oil.
Karanjis are now ready! 

Making Baked version of Karanjis -
1 cup APF
1.5 tbsp Earth Balance (or butter)
1.5 tbsp Oil
Pinch of Salt
Ice Cold Water - as needed

Baked Karanji Preparation -
Add salt, oil and earth balance to APF, mix just for few minutes.
Using very little ice cold water at a time make dough. Do not use too much water. The dough is not soft. Do not over work the dough.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour (at least).
Remove the dough from fridge. Do not wor
Divide the dough into 40-45 balls, make karanjis as mentioned above.
Once all the karanjis are ready, preheat oven at 375F.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper, arrange prepared karanjis and bake them for 15-20 minutes.
Check after 12 minutes and decide the baking time.

Tips - 
  1. You can press the karanjis with fork if you do not have karanji cutter. 
  2. You can also try 'murad' (twisted edge) as shown in the video shared above. 
  3. You can use these dough recipe with any kind of filling mentioned above.


  1. Not only did you make the karanji - which you mention is time consuming - you even took a video. Super effort. Unless the karanji is made well it can be quite tough on the jaws and otherwise quite rightly said - it is a melt in the mouth


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