Chauri chi Karanji - A to Z Maharashtrian Sweets
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 history. I have always been fascinated by the history surrounding a dish. So I was so excited about reading what Anjali of Annaparabrahma 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 significance, except that we always used to get a huge box of this from my maternal grandmom at least 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 different filling as well.
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 attachment behind making it. She says this is something sisters make for their brothers and the coconut breaking tradition they have. What a lovely tradition to keep up!
This sweet is specially made during NaraLi Pournima.
Meaning of dish name goes according to her as, Chauri = coconut and jaggery mix, Karanji = Crescents
Also even though we make Karanji regularly, the stuffing is different. This stuffing with fresh grated coconut and jaggery is what we stuff for Kudumulu/ Modak for Vinayagar Chaturthi.
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 a 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