Karanji (Karchikai, Kajjikayalu)

By DK on Sep 12, 2012
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.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
My mom learnt this recipe from our Maharashtrian neighbors ages ago. They used to make this during Ganesh chaturthi and during Diwali festivals. Though she doesn't make it often enough, she makes a similar South Indian dessert named Somasi. I like them both. The outer cover is crispy and slightly crunchy and provides a tasty balance with the sweet coconut filling. Very easy to make and keeps well for weeks in an air tight container though, trust me, it won't last you that long.
References

mom's recipe diary

Basic Information
Prep Time: 30 min to 1 hour
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 8+ people
Yield: 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.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
2
Add the ghee
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
3
and rub it into the flour to form breadcrumbs.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
4
Slowly stir in the warm milk to the dough.  .
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
5
Knead the dough
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
6
until pliable. Should be of medium consistency - neither tight nor very soft.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
7
Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and set aside for 30 minutes.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
8
While that's happening, dry toast the coconut - for around 20-30 seconds
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
9
No need to brown, just warm it until aromatic
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
10
In the same pan, dry roast the poppy seeds - another 20-30 seconds
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
11
Add it to the coconut.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
12
Now mix in the mixed nuts and raisins, cardamom
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
13
and the powdered sugar. Combine well and set aside.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
14
Now pinch a small piece of the dough
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
15
and roll it out into a circle - I think mine was about 5-6" in diameter
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
16
Add around 2 tsp (or as much as you can fit in!) of the filling in the center.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
17
Smear some milk around the corner
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
18
Bring one end of the circle over the top, to the other end
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
19
to make a semi circle. Press it well with your fingertips. Its crucial to avoid the stuffing from coming out during frying.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
20
Press it down with a fork for a beautiful pattern. If you have empanada maker/mould, you can use it too.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
21
Repeat with rest of the dough.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
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)
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
23
You will find them puff up a bit.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
24
Ladle in some hot oil on surface now and then (just like you would do for making poori)
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
25
Turn it for the other side to cook.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
26
Its done when its golden brown. Drop it on a paper towel.
Kajjikayalu (Andhra) Recipe | Karnataka Karchikkai Recipe | Ganesh (Vinayaka) Chaturthi recipes
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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16 Responses to “Karanji (Karchikai, Kajjikayalu)”
  1. 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

  2. archana das

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

  3. archana das

    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

  4. ROZY

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

  5. Anu

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

  6. Prabha

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

  7. Aidan Pawaroo

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

  8. rashmi

    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…

  9. 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:

  10. 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.

  11. Naidile

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

  12. 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.

  13. Lovely shape.. well prepared:)

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