Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
I favor sweets that aren't that sweet. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? Born to a sweetaholic(!), I am a paradox to my mom's blissful existence in the world of desserts. She can whip up any sweet (any form, texture, complexity) in a jiffy while I am like a fish out of water - even worse if its possible. She looks at my breads, cakes and baking in general and wonders how can I do those when I can't even make a simple sweet(!). Do you get the logic? I sure don't. This dish here is a popular sweet called Karanji that I think is much easier than traditional sweets. I am more of a savory person with just a wee bit of sweet thrown in and this fits my requirement perfectly.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
Its a Maharashtrian sweet that's also popular in other regions - namely Karchikai in Karnataka and Kajjikayalu in Andhra. Our stay in the Northern parts of India has enriched us with their cuisine and my mom with their sweets and desserts. I still remember this one colony (one long street) where we stayed,that housed Maharashtrians entirely except for two houses. Ours and our house owners who spoke Hindi. I picked up Marathi well in my childhood - enough to blabber few words and understand many sentences. Of course, with absence of regular use, I have forgotten whatever little I know, although the same cannot be said of the food.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 8+ people
  • Yields: Makes around 25-30 Karanjis depending upon the size
Ingredients
    For the Cover
  • 1 cup (abt 5 oz/150 grams) All purpose flour (Maida)
  • 1/4 cup (abt 1.5 oz/40 grams) Semolina (Sooji)
  • 1 tbsp melted Ghee, see Tips
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Warm milk to knead, as needed, see Tips
    For the Filling/Stuffing
  • 1 cup (abt 3 oz/80 grams) dry Coconut
  • 1 cup (abt 3.8 oz/110 grams) powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
  • 2 tsp Poppy Seeds, white colored
  • 2 tbsp mixed nuts, finely chopped (and raisins), see Tips
Tips
1. Ghee: To make it less rich, you can add oil instead
2. Milk: You would need somewhere 1/3-1/2 cup of milk. I used 2% milk but you can use whole milk instead. If you are vegan, use water instead.
3. Mixed Nuts: I used a mixture of Pistachios, Almonds and Cashews. I added around 6-7 raisins
Method
1. First prepare the cover since it needs sitting time. Add the semolina to all purpose flour along with salt. Combine well.
2. Add the ghee
3. and rub it into the flour to form breadcrumbs.
4. Slowly stir in the warm milk to the dough.  .
5. Knead the dough
6. until pliable. Should be of medium consistency - neither tight nor very soft.
7. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and set aside for 30 minutes.
8. While that's happening, dry toast the coconut - for around 20-30 seconds
9. No need to brown, just warm it until aromatic
10. In the same pan, dry roast the poppy seeds - another 20-30 seconds
11. Add it to the coconut.
12. Now mix in the mixed nuts and raisins, cardamom
13. and the powdered sugar. Combine well and set aside.
14. Now pinch a small piece of the dough
15. and roll it out into a circle - I think mine was about 5-6" in diameter
16. Add around 2 tsp (or as much as you can fit in!) of the filling in the center.
17. Smear some milk around the corner
18. Bring one end of the circle over the top, to the other end
19. to make a semi circle. Press it well with your fingertips. Its crucial to avoid the stuffing from coming out during frying.
20. Press it down with a fork for a beautiful pattern. If you have empanada maker/mould, you can use it too.
21. Repeat with rest of the dough.
22. Drop 1 or as many you can in your fryer (make sure of the temperature of the oil. Adding too many will bring the temperature down making it soggy with oil and not crispy)
23. You will find them puff up a bit.
24. Ladle in some hot oil on surface now and then (just like you would do for making poori)
25. Turn it for the other side to cook.
26. Its done when its golden brown. Drop it on a paper towel.
Crispy Karanjis  ready!  Cool them completely before storing them in an air tight container. Will keep well for weeks. Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes The crispy outer layer with a sweet and chewy coconut layer inside is a perfect foil to all your diet plans - but hey! Its the festive season after all :) :) All's fair in food and festival - they go hand in hand. Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes

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By Praveen on Feb 10, 2013

Hello All... We Tried this recipe and it came out so well. The Stuffing and the Cover were all too good. Just needed to ensure that the Oil was not too hot, else the cover would not be crispy. Realised that soon and made amends :) Thank U So much for the Recipe

24 Comments

By Harshada on Apr 16, 2015

Hi Aidan, you can use All purpose Flour which is being normally used for baking.

By Harshada on Apr 16, 2015

Hi There, To make its crispy, use maida always and while preparing dough, instead of adding just plain ghee, add hot ghee. DO NOT add much ghee in dough; otherwise, it will absorb oil while frying and will become chewy.

By jancy on Oct 19, 2014

:( I made with my mil but my karanji came out soft and rubber like. I am very depressed..is there a way out to save them I mean will frying again help

I suspect its the temperature of your oil. Also did you make the cover very thick? If thick, it will be soft. If thin cover, it will be crispy. --DK

By vandana k. on Oct 18, 2014

out layer becomes soft not cripsy. Need to put more ghee?

By almas hashmi on Oct 18, 2014

I like this recipe ,will try it for sure ,I hope it becomes crispy,

By traditionallymodernfood on Aug 26, 2014

Looks yummy:-)

By lizy on Aug 26, 2014

i made them with wonton wrappers(faster) and carrot halwa(as filling-shredded kind).tasty and easy recepie

By ramya on Aug 26, 2014

hi I tried the recipie and the outer layer was very soft and not crispy. can you please help me out here

By latha on Feb 20, 2014

hi im latha, i tried to prepare these sweet but they were too soft not crunchy ,the outer layer was too soft that i was unable to relish the taste ,may i know why it happened i mean which step of mine have went wrong please tell me

By archana das on Dec 11, 2013

thank you for yr quick response . i am dying to make it.

By archana das on Dec 9, 2013

i thought whenever u said 1cup it means 250gms? but here i find sometimes 1cup is 110 gms maida and sometimes 1cup is 80gms dry coconut ? please explain .

All foods are not alike. Some weigh more and some less. You are right - I do use the US measurement cup to measure my ingredients which is 1 cup = 250 mL. But if you weigh the ingredients with that cup different food will weigh differently. Which is why expert bakers generally use weight instead of cup measurements to make their creations --DK

By tripti on Dec 1, 2013

:wink:

By ROZY on Sep 29, 2013

thank you so much for giving method to make kajjikayalu. :-P

By Anu on Sep 19, 2013

I tried ur recipe using wheat as well as maida. Both were crispy and tasty. Thank u chef!

By Prabha on Sep 10, 2013

:) I followed ur recipe, just made one small change used wheat flour instead of maida.the karanjis were excellent. thank u.

By Aidan Pawaroo on May 24, 2013

:?: What flours which easily avilable in the UK could be subb for the maida

By foodchilli.com | DIWALI SWEETS on Nov 27, 2012

[...] Karanji (Karchikai, Kajjikayalu) [...]

By Happy Diwali (Indian New Year) on Nov 13, 2012

[...] chefinyou.com via Winn on [...]

By rashmi on Nov 9, 2012

hi, i made them for the first time...though everyone liked it but i was not satisfied. Because i know wat went wrong. My karanji's outer layer was like soft puris after i fried in oil...i dont know what went wrong. i used little milk and kneaded the flour using water....was that the mistake?? i dont understand where could it go wrong...plz help...

By sowmya on Sep 18, 2012

hi chef, im a foodie as well except im not as regular as you. But i love your blog and follow it. We shd have a foodie meet, wat say! :wink:

By seetha on Sep 15, 2012

Hi, I am a regular visitor to your site. Very well given the steps with pictures. I would like to try this recipe.We make Kozhakattai,Payasam Appam and Vadai for Ganesh festival.

By Naidile on Sep 14, 2012

can this be made when the maida is substituted with wheat flour...??

By Happy Cook / Finla on Sep 13, 2012

I wish i could make these, but then i am sure it won't taste or look as yours. I am tempted to make them as you have written it will keep for weeks as i know my bunch will eat one and the rest i will be the one who is eating.

By chitra on Sep 12, 2012

Lovely shape.. well prepared:)