Indian fusion, baked hand pies stuffed with savory filling of green peas, onions and cheese. Quick and easy recipe with a shortcut!
Matar or Vatana Karanji, is one of my husband’s childhood favorites. His grandmother made it for him when he refused to eat the ‘regular’ lunch consisting of the chappati bread and green peas bhaaji/subji. She ingeniously turned the chapatti and vatana bhaaji into a deep fried karanji which, I am told,he gobbled up 🙂 So I have been making Matar Karanjis for his birthday ever since we were newly married.
I did not want to deep fry the karanjis so decided to try the Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits turning my karanjis into hand pies. There is a warm, homey feeling to hand pies, which spells love to me. I tried to make the beautiful handmade edges and really wish I was good at making them 🙁 Gladly, it does not affect the taste. The cheese makes them oh so ooeey gooeey good!
For the curried green peas filling, I make the easy filling my mother taught me for vatana/ green peas patties and kheema patties. I have the recipe for the ground meat filling in the Kheema Calzone post.
The hand pies bake quickly, which is a bonus, as you will not wait to dive into these savory delights! I had loved the ease and taste of the Baked Vada Paav Poppers I made with the Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits so wanted to try it for the karanjis too.
12 ounce Pillsbury Grands Jr. refrigerated buttermilk flavored, flaky biscuit dough
½ cup grated Mexican blend cheese
For the egg wash- 1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of water (optional)
To make the Matar karanji Hand Pies
In a pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and stir fry it until it is translucent, about 1~2 minutes. Add the grated ginger and garlic and stir for another minute. Add the turmeric, chili and garam masala powders and give it a quick stir to bring out their fragrance.
Add the defrosted green peas and stir for a minute. Add the salt and fry for another minute. Turn heat down to low, cover the pan and let the mixture cook for about 2 minutes.
Remove lid, add the lime juice and the chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves, stir well and remove from heat. Set aside to cool.
Separate the biscuit dough. Taking one piece at a time, on a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 6 inches in diameter. Repeat with the other nine pieces.
Divide the filling and the grated cheese into 10 parts each.
For each karanji or hand pie, place the green pea filling in the center, top with cheese and fold the karanji, pinching the edges together. Make a decorative edge by hand or seal the edges with tines of a fork.
Transfer to a greased baking tray or a baking tray lined with a silicone baking sheet. Repeat with the other karanjis/ handpies. Brush them with the egg wash, if using, and bake in a preheated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 8~10 minutes or until baked and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and serve with green chutney and/ or spicy ketchup.