I know Diwali is come and gone, but indulge me with this and the next post. I did make the kranji and the savory shankarpali, just never got around to posting it before Diwali. I had a busy week making the faral (snacks or munchis, mostly fried, like this one), cleaning the house and cooking for five families for the weekend Diwali bash. Not much time left for posting or visiting a lot of blogs.
After the high of instant coconut barfi, I decided to google baked karanji and found a recipe here. The brilliant lady had used frozen Pillsbury Pie Crust to make the casing for karanji. Karanji for the uninitiated is half moons of falky dough, stuffed with delicious sweet filling of coconut, sugar and nuts and deep fried in ghee. In the interest of heart healthy goodness, I did not want to deep fry my karanjis in ghee, so I was all for baking the pie crust dough.
For the filling:
1 cup fresh coconut, grated (frozen is fine too)
1/2 cup sugar
4 – 5 cardamoms, crushed into powder
A few nuts like cashews or almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped
A handful of raisins
With a cookie cutter or the lid of a ricotta cheese container, cut rounds. Save the scrapes, wedge them and reuse to cut some more circles.
Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle, run a finger dipped in some milk around the edges, fold the circle in half and seal the edges shut.
Keep aside on a cookie sheet, covered with a moist towel. This takes a little time so if possible keep the prepared karanjis in the fridge till you are ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 350 and place the karanjis in the oven. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes till they start turning golden brown.
Take out and let them cool before eating them.
Note: The dough is a little salty to pass off as authentic karanji but apart from that the crust is as flaky and crunchy as the original.
The dough gets softer after a lot of handling on account of the amount of butter it has. Try to make this in the day, when you don't have to switch on the overhead lights.
Next time I will try it with Puff Pastry Sheets rolled thinner to avoid a lot of flakes.