Makes 18 big sized caranjis
The excitement of Diwali rises as we look forward to the weekend of get togethers and parties to celebrate Diwali with family and friends. Most of us have fond memories of our childhood Diwalis in India that we try to recreate here for our children. One memory that we all chuckle about but do not want our kids to emulate is when we were the self appointed faral critcs !
In India, plates full of Diwali faral snacks were exchanged between friends and families during Diwali and we as kids, would try to judge whose faral snacks were too hard on the teeth or so soft that they lacked the crunch etc…. I now realize how easy it was to sit back and critique……spoiled brats that we were:)
Today I will tell you that making these faral snacks is a true labor of love. I am especially reminded of this when I make the Caranjis. I was blessed with a mother who was a phenomenal cook. Aai’s , my mom’s, Caranjis were crisp on the outside and had that moist, sweet, fresh coconut filling inside. One bite of that superb Caranji and I was in Diwali heaven! She never said anything about them being labor intensive and made it look so easy. But I bet you my children (and husband :)) will hear about my labor of love:)
This recipe is based on my Aai’s incredible Caranjis. I use the frozen coconut, microwave and food processor to make my task much easier….but shhh!…. no one needs to know:)
For the cover-
- 3/4 cup fine semolina
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- tiny pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon butter, warmed up in the microwave for 1 minute
- about 3/4 cup milk or just enough to get the dough in a ball. I used 2 percent milk
- food coloring . I used 2 drops each of the red, yellow and green McCormick food colors
- 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature + 2 tablespoons rice flour creamed well together until light and fluffy.
For the filling–
- 1 ¼cups frozen shredded coconut, defrosted
- between 5/8 and 3/4 cup of sugar, depending on how sweet you like your Caranji and also how sweet the coconut is by itself
- tiny pinch of salt
- 1½ teaspoons cardamom powder
- 1½ teaspoons toasted poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon cashew nut pieces
- All purpose flour for rolling the dough
- about 1/4 cup of milk to use as ‘glue’ to stick the semi circles of Caranji
- Oil to fry the Caranjis
To make the Caranjis-
For the cover-
- In a food processor, whirl together the semolina, all purpose flour and salt. add the butter and process for a few seconds. The mixture will look like bread crumbs.
- Add the milk in a stream until the dough just comes together.
- Divide the dough into 3 parts. Add the 2 drops of yellow food coloring and mix again adding a few drops of milk if needed so you have a soft ball of dough. Repeat process with the red and green food colors. I like the dough to be a little variegated. If you like the colors more even, you may want to divide the mixture after Step 1, then add the food colors to 1/4 cup of milk each.
- Cover the dough with a wrap and keep aside for 30 minutes minimum.
Meanwhile, make the filling-
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine the defrosted coconut, sugar and salt.
- Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
- Stir and microwave for 2 more minutes.
- Repeat step 3. Total microwave time is 6 minutes.
- Add the cardamom powder, poppy seeds, raisins and cashew nut pieces and combine well.
- Let the mixture cool.
Here is the step by step-
- Knead each ball of dough very well. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a circles about 12 inches in diameter.
- Starting with the green circle, I spread 1/3 of the creamed rice flour and butter mixture on it.
- Top with the pink layer, spread 1/3 of the creamed rice flour and butter mixture on it.
- Repeat with the yellow layer.
- Roll all the layers into a tight roll and with the palms of your hands roll the ‘roll of dough’. It lengthens as you roll it like a rolling pin.
- Cut into about 18 pieces.
- On a floured surface, gently roll each cut piece into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.
- Brush 1/2 the circumference of each dough circle with a little milk, add a couple of tablespoons of the coconut filling and stick the other semi circle on the surface with milk . Press to seal. Cut edges with a cutter .
- Fry the Caranjis on low heat for about 7 minutes or until the dough is nice and crisp. These Caranjis can also be baked instead of frying.
Trust me when I tell you that these scrumptious Caranjis with the ooey gooey coconut filling will warm your heart as they melt in your mouth!
Wishing you all a great weekend!