ready for the Puja with diya, haldi-kumkum, and the karanjis
It’s time to hit the gym or jogging track or whatever it is that you are able to do to reduce the guilt (amongst other stuff that might have been added) of over-indulgence. But before I do that I must put down these two recipes lest I forget how I made them this time. I never seem to follow recipes for familiar things…
At our home we make karnajis as prasad for Laxmipujan. The fresh coconut filling makes it different from the North Indian gunjiya, which is stuffed with a mix of khoya and dessicated coconut, and sometimes, a little bit of sooji (semolina) as well. The fresh coconut reduces the shelf life of the karanjis, but don’t ask how long they are good for. I wouldn’t know!
2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 C oil
pinch of salt
Sift the flour and salt and mix in the oil. Knead with water for a barely-soft dough. Rest. The dough. You prepare the stuffing. 🙂
For the stuffing:
1 C khoya
2 C fresh grated coconut
1 t ground cardamom powder
1/4 C chopped nuts (almonds and/or cashews)
1/4 C raisins
Lightly roast the khoya till soft and glistening. Add the coconut and the sugar. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Turn off heat and add the nuts and cardamom powder. Cool. 8)
Pinch off small balls (about 1/2″-3/4″ round) and roll out thin, slightly oblong rounds. Place a spoonful of filling on one side, fold over and pinch down into half-moons, moistening the edges with a little water, if required. For a proper karanji the twisted edge is key to traditional presentation. This takes practice and patience. Also means twice as long to prepare them! I learnt this watching my North Indian neighbours make their gunjiyas during Holi (and practicing in my ample free time!).
The pinching is important to thin out the dough before twisting, so that the final edge will not be too thick as to stay under-cooked or taste too doughy. Fry in ghee on medium heat, flipping as they turn a light shade of gold.
A simple rule of thumb to choose the correct frying medium is refined peanut oil for all savouries, and always ghee for all things sweet!
My original recipe! Inspired by watching the MIL make it, of course. The potatoes are completely my idea and TH thinks they make my sev more kushkhusheet (or khasta, in Hindi)!
5 C besan (chickpea flour)
4 t red chilli powder (or more)
3/4 t turmeric
2 medium potatoes (boiled and peeled)
3 T hot oil
Grate the potatoes on the fine side. Take all the ingredients in a bowl and add the hot oil and mix. Add enough water to make a soft dough (it will be a little sticky). Wet hands before taking a lump of this dough and filling the sev-press. Press sev (in a sweeping spiral, out to in) into a karahi full of hot oil. Let fry for a couple of minutes on one side. Flip carefully and let cook another couple of minutes or till the colour is beginning to darken. Remove and drain. Crush the sev spiral (or it will do it on its own!) and store in an airtight canister.
The above quantity make a lot! About a cubic foot in volume! But the cooking is quick, so at least one item I was able to store in the traditional sized tin for Divali (half full, nevertheless…).
You can serve the sev topped with fresh chopped onion-tomato-green chilli-cilantro mix for a quick snack variation. You may also increase or vary the spices in the dough mix (more chilli powder, maybe mint…) to do a different take.
the salty: sev, chivda, and paparia
and the sweet: karanji, shankarparey, and laddu
PS: Pictures will be added as soon as WordPress cooperates. Right now, it is barely letting me type (with no ’emphasis’ options etc…) Very visually boring but I wanted to post the sequel before we are into the next Holiday! 🙂
PPS: Well, it was tech-challenged me!! But I figured it out on my own!