karanji also known kajjikayalu

Karanji Recipe (Kajjikayalu)

Updated: August 28, 2022, By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Karanji also known as Kajjikayalu are deep fried sweet dumplings made with a filling of coconut, powdered sugar and nuts. These are simply delicious & are an addictive festive treat made during Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Sankranti and Holi. Karanji is the Maharashtrian name for this fried dumpling or fried pastry and is also known by different names such as gujiya, kajjikayalu, karjikayi & sweet somas in different regions of India. Each of these have a slightly different filling.

karanji also known kajjikayalu

In this post I share the recipe to make karanji, which is the same as Andhra Kajjikayalu.
Gujiya is made majorly with a filling of mawa & nuts, the Karnataka style karjikayi is made with fried gram flour, coconut and poppy seeds and the sweet somas are made sometimes with rava and sometimes with fried gram, coconut, seeds and nuts.

However there are no hard and fast rules to follow, the ingredients used for stuffing is more of a personal choice. Every family has a different recipe for the stuffing. I am sharing the recipe which Mom would make for us.

Sometimes she would also add roasted semolina for crunch or roasted & crushed peanuts to the same.

About Karanji

To make karanji, a pastry dough made with all-purpose, semolina & ghee is made first. A sweet filling is prepared by roasting desiccated coconut, and nuts briefly, to which powdered sugar or jaggery is added.

Some variations use poppy seeds and sesame seeds too for the filling. The filling is flavored with ground cardamom & nutmeg (optional).

The dough is rolled to flat discs like small puris and then filled with the prepared sweet coconut. Karanji is shaped to half-moon and are sealed on the edges to safe the filling.

These are deep fried in oil until crisp, golden and flaky.

The process to make these may seem long and yes they do take time but are easy to make. It is always good to have a helping hand while you make these. If you are a person with fast and multitasking abilities you can make them alone, without help.

To make the entire take easier, I usually make the filling ahead but mix the powdered sugar only when I am ready to shape the karanji.

What better time to make these other than during festivals? I know these are extremely delicious and additive and anyone would want to enjoy them all-round the year.

If this is your first time making these karanji, do read my pro tips and faqs below so you get the best results out of this recipe.

You may like to check this collection of 100 diwali sweets recipes and these diwali snacks recipes.

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karanji also known as kajjikayalu

How to Make Karanji (Stepwise Photos)

Make Dough

1. Measure ½ cup dried coconut (copra), ¼ cup chopped cashews,½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional), ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder and a pinch of nutmeg powder (optional). Keep all these aside.


2. To make the outer covering, to a large mixing bowl, add 1 cup organic all-purpose flour (maida), 2 tablespoons semolina (rava) and a pinch of salt. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in your deep frying kadai and pour it here. Mix everything well.

add flour, semolina

3. Add ⅓ cup warm water. Be careful not to add more else the dough will turn sticky and soak up oil while frying.

Add water

4. Mix and make a tight dough, adding more water if required. The dough has to be soft yet non sticky. Do not over knead it. Keep this covered and set aside until the filling is ready.

Mix and make a tight dough

Make Filling

5. Fry ¼ cup chopped cashews (or mixed nuts) in 1 teaspoon ghee.

Fry cashews

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.

add coconut

7. Add cardamom powder and nutmeg. Turn off the stove. Mix and transfer this to a large bowl for cooling.

Add cardamom powder

8. Meanwhile add half cup sugar to a grinder jar and powder it. Once the coconut cools down completely, add powdered sugar & mix. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking. For less sweeter karanji you may start with lesser sugar powder. We have a sweet tooth so I use all of the powdered sugar. Also note that the outer covering is unsweetened so I make the filling on the sweeter side.

Add powdered sugar

Shape Karanji

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 if required.

Divide the dough

10. Make a thin puri about 5 inches in size. Add 1½ to 2 tbsp of sweet filling to the center. If you make thick puri your karanji will not turn crispy, it has to be medium thick. Dip your finger in a bowl of water and smear it all over the edges of the puri.

Make a thin puri

11. Cover it like you see in the picture. Seal the edges by pressing both the layers. Make sure the karanji is sealed properly else they will open up in the oil while frying. You can make about 4 karanji first and begin to fry while you make the rest. Do not allow them to dry up. Keep them covered with a moist cloth.

add sweet filling to the center

12. Using a fork gently press towards the edge to make a light design.

karanji recipe

Deep Fry

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. If it sinks, it means the oil is not hot enough. Let the oil heat well. Also make sure it is not smoking hot, else the karanji will brown before the covering fries to crisp texture.

Heat oil

14. Gently drop karanji in hot oil and do not disturb them for few minutes. Turn them and fry on both the sides. They will puff up while frying. On a medium heat fry them until golden and crisp.

Gently drop karanji

15. Remove them to a cooling rack or a steel colander.

Drain them on a kitchen tissue

Cool karanji completely and store in a clean steel air tight container for 2 weeks.

karanji recipe

Pro Tips

Coconut: Traditionally dried coconut also known as copra is used. It is not the same as desiccated coconut or powdered coconut. You may use more quantity of desiccated coconut or fresh coconut but they don’t taste the same. Also the flavor is very different. With fresh coconut karanji won’t keep good for long.

Sugar / Jaggery: For the sweetener sugar works best, if using jaggery we add a few tablespoons of fried gram flour (Roasted chana dal flour/ chutney dal flour).

Poppy seeds: I don’t use poppy seeds as they are not available in the Country I live. You may leave out that or use sesame seeds.

Ghee: The quantity of ghee is what decides the texture of your karanji covering. I have made these recently with more amount of ghee and got better results than before. So I updated my old recipe with a little more ghee.

Dough: Remember not to make the dough too soft or sticky. Karanji will soak up oil while frying.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

karanji recipe

Karanji Recipe (Kajjikayalu)

5 from 25 votes
Karanji also known as kajjikayalu are popular deep fried pastry, filled with sweetened coconut & nuts. These are a popular festive sweet snack made in Maharashtra and South India.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

For the filling

  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • ½ cup dried coconut grated copra or desiccated coconut
  • ¼ cup cashews or mixed nuts. chopped
  • ½ cup sugar (or jaggery powder, adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)
  • teaspoon cardamom powder / elaichi

For the outer covering

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (organic maida)
  • 2 tablespoons semolina / fine rava
  • 2 tablespoons ghee hot
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • cup warm water (use only as needed)

For Frying

  • oil as required


Make Dough

  • To a mixing bowl, add flour, semolina, salt and hot ghee. (Heat ghee in a kadai and pour it here.) Mix everything well with a spoon first and then with fingers.
  • Pour warm water little by little to make a stiff and non-sticky dough. Start with ¼ cup water and add more as required.
  • Cover and set aside till the filling is ready.

Make Filling

  • Heat a pan with 1 teaspoon ghee and fry cashews until light golden.
  • Add coconut and saute until a nice aroma comes out. This takes just 1 to 2 mins. Add cardamom powder and nutmeg (optional). If using poppy seeds you can add them now and saute for just 1 minute until they turn crunchy.
  • Turn off and transfer this to a plate/ bowl to cool. Meanwhile add sugar to a grinder and make a fine powder.
  • When the coconut cools down completely, add the sugar and mix well. For a less sweeter karanji, you may start with lesser sugar, taste test and add more as needed.

How to Make Karanji

  • Divide the dough to 8 equal parts and keep them covered. Begin to roll the balls gently to small puris of about 4 to 5 inches. It should be neither too thick not too thin.
  • If you do not get round shapes, use a round cookie cutter, pastry cutter or a lid of a steel jar and cut to round shaped puris.
  • Add 1½ to 2 tbsps. mixture to these center of the puri. Dip your finger in a bowl of water and smear the water around the edge of the 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 in a kadai for deep frying on a medium flame.
  • To test if it is hot enough, drop a small portion of the dough to the oil. If the oil is ready for frying, the dough will sizzle and rise up to the surface. If it is not ready it will sink. Also the dough should not brown which means it is too hot.
  • When the oil is just right – medium hot, add the karanji one after the other. Do not disturb them for 2 minutes.
  • When they firm up, turn them to the other side and fry until crisp and golden. Remember that karanji should be fried on a medium heat else they won't turn crispy.
  • Cool karanji completely and store in a airtight jar.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Karanji Recipe (Kajjikayalu)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 223 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 8mg0%
Potassium 90mg3%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Karanji Recipe (Kajjikayalu)

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Came out really well. I did it as Margali prasadam using exact measurements without tasting it.
I’m happy about the outcome, Thank you mam❣️!

How long would these stay fresh in a tight tin or Ziploc?

5 stars
Can i use wheat flour for outer covering?

5 stars
Hi Swasthi

I tried the butter paneer and it was a hit,
Loved by everyone.
Thanks for the lovely recipe.

5 stars
I am following your recipes….cameout very well…especially murukulu….thank u for sharing such tasty recipes…

5 stars
I follow your site religiously and I love your recipes. Every recipe I tried came out well. The information you provide is very useful. And I love ur site and the pics and the appearance of your site. Very well organised. Hats off to you,

5 stars

Hai swathi, thanks for the recipe. I love the kajikayalu. I want chilimidi recipe can u post this recipe. Wish happy Deepavali you and your family

Looks so sweet. i love karanjii. Thanks for the recipe.