Karanji recipe video – Karanji, Kajjikayalu, Karjikai, Nevri are the other names to these sweet stuffed deep fried snacks. These are made during festivals most commonly during Diwali and Sankranti or pongal. Ingredients like coconut, sugar/ jaggery, semolina, poppy seeds, fried gram, cashews etc are used for stuffing karanji.
Another similar sweet snack made on similar lines is Gujiya stuffed with mawa. Making kajjikayalu or karanji is so easy at home that even a first timer can make them very well. I have used organic sugar to make these but you can also use jaggery.
Traditionally these are made with dried copra which lends a unique aroma and taste to the karanji. But they can also be made with fresh coconut or desiccated coconut. If using fresh coconut it has to be roasted well and the shelf life is lesser.
Karanji recipe or kajjikayalu
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
For the filling
- ½ cup dried coconut grated or desiccated coconut
- 3 tbsps cashews chopped
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder / elaichi
For the outer covering
- 1 cup plain flour (I used organic unbleached flour)
- 2 tbsps semolina / rawa (You can use upto 4 tbsps)
- 1 tbsp ghee hot
- Pinch salt
- 1/3 cup water Little less (approximation, use as needed)
How to make the recipe
Making karanji dough
- Add to a mixing bowl all the ingredients to make the outer covering except ghee & water.
- Heat ghee in a pan and add it to the mix. Use well and pour water little by little to make a stiff dough.
- Cover and set aside till the filling is ready.
- Heat the same pan we used for heating ghee, add little more ghee and fry cashews until golden. Transfer this to a plate.
- Add coconut and saute until a nice aroma comes out. This takes just 1 to 2 mins. Add cardamom powder and switch off. If using poppy seeds you can add them now and saute for just 1 minute.
- Transfer this as well to a plate.
- Allow the coconut to cool down a bit. Add sugar to this and mix well. Check the sugar level to suit your taste.
- Divide the dough to 8 to 10 equal parts and keep them covered. Begin to roll the balls gently to small thin puris of about 4 to 5 inches. If you do not get round shapes, use a pastry cutter or a lid of a steel jar and cut to round shaped puris.
- Add 1¼ to 1½ tbsp of the mixture to these puri.
- Join the edges to make a semi circle shaped karanji.
- Make sure you press down well and the edges stick up well.
- With the help of a fork make light incisions to get a design.
- Heat oil on a kadai, when it is hot enough drop the karanji to the oil and fry on a medium heat until golden and crunchy.
- You will have to make and fry them simultaneously to prevent breakage or drying up.
- Cool karanji completely and store in a airtight jar.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
How to make karanji or kajjikayalu recipe
1. Measure all the ingredients as mentioned in the recipe card and set aside.
2. To make the outer covering, add flour, semolina and salt to a mixing bowl. Heat the ghee and then add it here. Mix everything well.
3. Add water just as needed. Be careful not to add more else the dough will turn sticky and soak up oil while frying.
4. Mix and make a tight dough. The dough has to be soft yet non sticky. Do not over knead the dough. Keep this covered and set aside until the filling is ready.
5. Fry cashews in very little ghee. I used the same pot used for heating ghee earlier.
6. When the cashews are lightly roasted add coconut. Fry on a medium heat just for 1 to 2 mins or until the mixture turns hot.
7. Add cardamom powder and switch off. Mix and transfer this to a wide bowl.
8. Add powdered sugar. Coconut should not be very hot. Mix and set aside.
9. Divide the dough to 10 to 12 equal parts.Begin to roll a ball on the rolling area. I didn’t use any flour or oil. You may lightly grease the board.
10. Make a thin puri about 5 inches in size. Then add 1 to 1.5 tbsp of sweet filling to the center. If you do not make the puri thin then karanji will not turn crispy.
11. Cover it like you see in the picture. Seal the edges by pressing both them. Make sure the karanji is sealed properly otherwise they will open up in the oil while frying. You can make about 4 karnaji first and begin to fry while you make the rest. Do not allow them to dry up. Keep them covered.
12. Using a fork gently press towards the edge to make a light design.
13. Heat oil for deep frying on a medium heat. To check if the oil is of the right temperature, add little dough to the pan. It has to rise without turning brown.
14. Gently drop karanji in hot oil and do not disturb them for few seconds. Then flip them and fry on both the sides. They will puff up while frying. On a medium heat fry them until golden and crisp.
15. Drain them on a kitchen tissue.
Cool them completely and store in a clean steel jar.