Oct 19, 2009

Baked karanji for Diwali

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


In a heavy bottom kadhai or a non-stick pan, roast the coconut and sugar on low heat till the coconut starts to turn a little red and the sugar melts.

Turn off the heat; add cardamom powder and the nuts. Let cool.

Unroll the pie dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it thinner.

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.


  1. Oh gawd! They look so good! I just cant have enough of these :)

  2. Wow it's looking just yummm!!!! thanks for sharing. I will try this with some spicy stuffing ;)

  3. I also made the same baked karanji's. Baked one really taste great without oil.

    Yours look great!!

  4. Baked is lovely, anytime is a good time for karanji!

  5. coconut karaji i love n havn't made since long......
    even if it baked it has lots of butter n still is not very low cal...we do a mistake n gorge on thinking it is low fat n all....
    i do like this actually ...so warning you baby...:)...

  6. Awesome idea.. wondering if baking would work with the normal maida covering.. -Naina

  7. Crispy karanji looks yummy, cant believe that these beauties are baked..yumm!

  8. Looks absolutely delicious Jaya.

  9. Thank you DK, Khaugiri, Chakhlere and Bindiya.

    Sangeeta, coconut karanjis are my favorite too. And you are right, though baked, the dough still has a lot of butter in it. But what is a little butter once a year, hun? :)

    Naina, I am not sure if baking would work with normal maida covering. Probably if you increased the amount of ghee in the dough?

    Thank you Priya and Anju.

  10. ha ha...once made and kept there on the kitchen slab i can't control....and we have all these excuses all year round...apart from this matthhi is my dushman...he he..

  11. I too had this idea for long time now, but kept postponing trying it. Good to know that it works

  12. You, my friend, are genius...okay...so you got the idea from somewhere maybe but these look so very good! AND AND AND....I'm all about baking rather than frying...even my samosas....but alas, they don't taste quite the same. This recipe I have not tried but now I am thinking....I simply must!

  13. They look perfect. Baked karanjis are a great idea, Jaya. Hope you had a lovely Diwali!

  14. Great healthy alternative as well as satiating the Diwali desires :))
    I was thinking of trying these with wonton wraps but never got to it..maybe one day...

  15. such a lovely recipe..rather you have made it so simple, thxx

  16. nice recipe.you have a nice blog.you can visit my blog and give ur comments.

  17. We love these, tho I have never done it baked. Next time i will try baking them. Made these last year for Diwali. Could do nothing almost this year:-(

  18. Yummy!! Mom used to make shankarpalis all the time. In Karnataka, we have an equivalent to Karanji called Karikadibu where the filling is dry coconut, sugar and buna channa( huri kadale).

  19. I love to eat Baked items. The Baked karanji is looking really Yummy.

    green tea

  20. Loved the idea of baked karanji.I remember my Aayi's faaral would not be complete without this. this time I did not make anything.

    You know I have one question about using puff pastry sheets though. I feel it is loaded in calories including trans fats, would it not be better if it is deep fried instead? Just a thought..

  21. Was looking for a baked Karanji recipe and stumbled upon yours. Just wanted to make you aware that the pillsbury pie crust is made with partially hydrogenated lard (pork fat). So these Karanjis are not totally vegetarian as you would expect them to be for Diwali.

    1. Thanks a lot Avanti. I was looking for baked karanji and after reading this I was debating 'does Pillsbury has vanaspati' and I came across your comments. Thanks a lot. It is better to deep fry them in some oil than using Pillsbury

    2. There are other receipes on the net made with maida and little ghee.

  22. Avanti, thanks for the info. I was not aware that Pilsbury pie crust is made with partially hydrogenated lard. This Diwali, I am planning to make them the traditional way. Happy Diwali to you.

  23. Where can you get pie dough?

  24. You can use empanada dough also for baking. Goya brand


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