Exquisite Karanji Canapes

Indian fusion recipe for distinctive dessert canapes, rich with the exquisite taste of the traditional karanji, and with no added sugar!

Indian fusion, easy recipe for exquisite Karanji Dessert Canapes with a coconut honey filling
Karanji Canapes-distinctive dessert canapes, rich with the exquisite taste of the traditional karanji and with no added sugar!
Indian fusion, easy recipe for exquisite Karanji Dessert Canapes with a coconut honey filling
Exquisite Karanji Canapes!
Indian fusion, easy recipe for exquisite Karanji Dessert Canapes with a coconut honey filling
Close up- Exquisite Karanji Canapes

For many of us Indian Americans, the festive party season begins with Diwali and ends after the New Year parties. Diwali parties have the special snacks that are mostly deep fried and then there are the sweets and of course the heavy dinners too. And year after year many of us complain about gaining weight at these parties. We want all the taste but none of the humongous calories of our favorite foods, right?

Karanjis are one of the favorite faral snacks. They are like sweet empanadas stuffed with a traditional coconut, poppy seed and sugar stuffing and then deep fried…..you get the picture 🙂 So these Karanji Canapes are my humble effort to capture all that exquisite flavor into bite size dessert canapes. So we can party on guilt free, people!

The delish aroma and taste of the karanjis takes me back to my childhood home. As kids, we would wait for our three week Diwali vacation to begin. My Aai (mom) would be busy getting the house cleaned first and then the faral making would begin. Faral consists of an array of traditional snacks and sweets that are made for Diwali. As we came home from school, these heavenly aromas greeted us day after day. Much has changed now in India and these traditional snacks and sweets are available year round in the food stores. So the faral snacks are not a huge attraction to kids growing up these days.

 In my mind however, the wafting aromas of that homemade faral, made with the traditional family recipes, signify that Diwali is coming. So for my children growing up in America, I have tried to recreate that magic of Diwali. With all the effort that goes into making these snacks and sweets, I make them only once a year, so faral is a very special Diwali treat for them as well.

The Karanji Canapes are a breeze to make and they pack in a punch of that authentic karanji taste. And all with just 10 minutes of baking!

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Exquisite Karanji Canapes

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


To make the Exquisite Karanji Canapes-

  1. In a pan over medium heat dry roast the poppy seeds for about 3 to 4 minutes or until they are golden and toasty. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Turn the heat to low, add the dry shredded coconut and roast it until lightly golden. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Mix together the toasted poppy seeds, coconut, salt and cardamom seed powder. Add the honey and mix in with your fingertips, crumbling the toasted coconut shreds.
  4. Fill the mini pastry filo shells, top with the nuts and cherries, if using, and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Let cool to room temperature. Serve the enticing Karanji Canapes!

Do check out my Diwali collection for healthier recipes for many of the other Diwali snacks and sweets.

Easy microwave recipe for #Diwali #sweets coconut rava ladus using angel flake coconut
Raghavdas Ladu- Microwave recipe and many other Diwali recipes with healthier, non fried options

Traditional Indian recipe for scrumptious Diwali sweet caranjis/ gujjiyas

It also has the recipe for the colorful Crispy Caranjis with the  Ooey Gooey Good Coconut Filling

Karanjis made as tea time snacks can be savory like this one below with the Indian spiced green pea filling.

Indian fusion recipe for savory hand pies made with a scrumptious green pea filling with Indian spices
Savory Matar Karanji hand pies

Caranji/ Karanji is also known as Ghugra and Gujjiya in other states of India. It is fascinating to me to note the variations in the recipes of both the cover and the filling. Do check out these recipes shared by some of my talented blogger friends-

Jagruti's Mawa Ghugra/ Gujiya
Jagruti’s Mawa Ghugra/ Gujiya
Ruchi's Dry Fruit Ghugra
Ruchi’s Dry Fruit Ghugra
Sapana's Baked Gujiya
Sapana’s Baked Gujiya

Sarika’s Mawa Gujiyas

Enjoy the festivities folks!




35 thoughts on “Exquisite Karanji Canapes

Add yours

  1. Thanks so much Judi. A follower on FB wrote to me that she is going to make these for her Christmas party. They already have the red and green decorations too!
    Wow! I have to check out your Kerala and Atlanta fusion recipe- sounds so yummy. What did you name it? Yes it is fun to make and combine best of both worlds.


  2. Loved the concept & the canapes look beautiful. As a child, I always would look forward to Maharashtrian aunties who got me faral for Diwali & in exchange we would give them our south indian varities. Celebrations are a great way to bond !! Food always connects, I truly believe this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am laughing as i am reading your comment because I would wait for the Manglorean aunty to send her faral 🙂 I agree whole heartedly about food connecting us all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I adore your presentation Sandhya, and those fork imprints are awesome. I love the idea of the invisible fork because you don’t need it…how creative! I love these little canapes, they look so perfect and delicious! Wonderful recipe! I hope you have been doing well!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much Antonia. Hope you and your family are all better now. The cough and cold we have here this season seems to linger for a couple of weeks 😦

        Liked by 1 person

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