There are some dishes that have beautiful tales woven around it, some take a fancy avatar and some become blended with the current trend that you no longer know the histroy. I have always been fascinated by the histroy surrounding a dish. So I was so excited on reading what Anjali had to write about Chauri chi Karanji.
Karanji is known to me as kajjikayalu (Telugu) or Somas (Tamil). Even in Andhra and Tamil Nadu, this sweet is prepared for all festivals and for certain poojas as well. I do not remember the signifance, except that we always used to get a huge box of this from my maternal grandmom atleast twice a year. Amma never used to make this sweet and later after marriage, I heard Athamma talking about it and mentioning they use a slightly differnt filling as well.
I made different versions of this based on what I learnt from Athamma.
When I landed on Anjali’s space, I ended up reading so many posts, all spinning on her native cuisine, with so many stories to talk about. I was quite taken in by how this particular sweet had so much meaning and attachement behind making it. She says this is something sisters make for their brothers and the coconut breaking tradition they have. What a lovely tradion to keep up!
This sweet is especially made during NaraLi Pournima.
I love to eat that stuffing as such, so I was all excited to stuff it into a deep fried pastry.
Another interesting note was about the coconut grater that is called Khauni in Koli. It is called “Aruvamanai” in Tamil and “Kathipeeta” in Telugu, which literally means knife and chopping board.
I still have one, though I hardly ever use it now. I remember using it in Amma’s kitchen, where we have to squat down and press on this board to chop vegetables. The pointed tip in front is for grating coconut. This traditional instrument is now replaced with modern Anjali gadgets. Amma has one and I rely on it for my grating now.
As expected, I enjoyed this so much and must have gobbled most myself. This is surely a must make again sweet.
Step by Step Pictures for making Chauri chi Karanji
Chauri chi Karanji
For the pastry / Outer layer:
All purpose flour / Maida – 1 heaped cup
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Semolina / Rava – 1/4 cup
Milk – 1/4 cup
Water to knead
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Oil to deep frying
How to make the pastry:
Soak the semolina in the milk for 10 mins.
Take the flour in a wide bowl, add in the salt, ghee, next the soaked rava, mix together. Then slowly add milk to knead together to a stiff dough. Cover and let it rest for 10 mins.
While it is resting, make the stuffing or the Chauri
Coconut, grated – 1 cup
Jaggery – 1 cup
Mixed nuts/ raisins/ sesame seeds/ pumpkin seeds
Cardamom/ nutmeg – 1/2 teaspoon
How to make the stuffing
In a nonstick pan, take jaggery and coconut together.
Keep stirring till it leaves the sides of the vessel. Put off the heat, add all the roasted chopped nuts, spice and mix well.
Let it cool completely
How to make the Chauri chi Karanji
When you are ready to make the karanjis, knead the dough once again.
You can make it two ways. Individual discs or a huge rolled out one from which you can cut out small ones.
I rolled out a huge dish and used a cookie cutter to cut out individual smaller discs.
On the rolled discs, place a spoonful of the chauri on half side. Now fold over the other half to shape it like a crescent. Press the edges to seal well, to prevent the stuffing come out during frying.
Tip to ensure your outer layer is sealed well is to wet your fingers and apply to the sides. then press over, it gets sealed well.
Fry the crescents in hot oil on medium heat till nice and golden. Drain onto a kitchen towel.
Store in an airtight box.
Chauri chi Karanji | How to make Coconut Jaggery stuffed Karanji