Swetha's Fusion
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Karjikai - Karanji - Sihi Kadabu

Saturday, July 09, 2011
Karjikai is a South Indian traditional sweet. It is like a samosa but it’s sweet! Karjikai is made during Ganesh Charthuthi, Ugadhi, or Deepavali. Depending on region of South India it is referred to by different names. This is my mom’s recipe; she always used dry ingredients for the filling so the dish would keep for a long time ….as long as some mischievous hands didn’t eat it away by then! I mention other versions of the filling at the end.

. All purpose flour 2 cups
. Sooji Rawa 1 cup (Semolina)
. A pinch of salt
. Ghee (purified butter) 3 tbsp
. 1/2 cup warm Water to make dough
. Oil for deep frying

For Filling:
. Chickpeas ½ cup
. Grated Dry coconut ½ cup
. Sugar ½ cup
. Cardamom pdr ½ tsp (from 3 – 4 pods)
. Any dry fruit [Optional] Cashew or Almond (roasted and powered coarsely); or Raisins.

1. Mix the flour, Semolina and salt together. Heat 3 tbsp ghee in low flame, pour the boiling ghee into flour mix. Carefully blend the mixture.
2. Add enough water to make a stiff dough. Keep aside covered in a wet cloth or paper towel for half an hour.
3. Knead well again to make the dough soft and pliable.
4. In a blender, powder Chickpeas. Remove the content into a separate bowl.
5. Add grated dry coconut, sugar, cardamom powder and dry fruit. Mix all together and keep aside. – for filling
6. Make small balls from the dough. Roll and flatten each ball into thin circles (about 4 to 5 inches in diameter).
7. Spoon in the filling on one half of the circle and fold along the center. Seal the ends with some water or milk. As you see in the picture I have taken the edges and overlapped to form a design. Start from one corner, take both edges together from the tip of your finger, fold it over and press a bit; repeat the step until you reach the other end. This sounds like a lot of work, but believe me it is not. After practicing on couple of karjikai, your fingers will move very fast. In this way you are sure you have sealed the pouch well. You don’t want the filling to come out while deep frying. Hint: Give this job to the kids (or your husband :P) it will keep them busy and help develop their fine motor skills :D
8. Deep fry the Karjikai in oil on medium flame till crisp and golden. Since Karjikai puffs up while frying, fry 1 or 2 at a time.
9. Remove from oil onto paper towels and allow them to cool completely before storing.

Filling Variation 1 - with jaggary
Dry grated coconut - 2cups; Jaggary ¾ cup(grated); Sesame 4tbsp(roasted & crushed); Cardamom powdered ½ tsp.
Heat a thick bottom pan and add coconut and grated jaggary, fry them together for 6-7 mins, then add crushed sesame and cardamom powder and mix well, again fry for 2-3 mins then turn of the heat.
Filling Variation 2 – with milk
Grated Coconut-1 cup; Sugar-3¼ cups; Milk-1½ cups; Few Almonds; Few Raisins; Cardamom powder ½ tsp; 1 tbsp poppy seeds
Cook grated coconut (use fresh or dried), sugar, milk, chopped almonds and raisins, cardamom powder, and poppy seeds (optional) till the milk evaporates.
Filling Variation 3 – with cashew and melon seeds
Cashewnut – ½ cup; Musk Melon seeds – ½ cup; Powdered sugar – 1 cup; Cardamom powder – ½ tsp.
Dry cashewnuts, melon seeds under hot sun for one hour -- or microwave for 20 seconds :D --and let it cool. Powder separately, and mix together with powdered sugar and cardamom powder.
Filling Variation 4 – With Koa
Crumble sugarless thick milk Koa (if necessary put in a hot pan and keep on low flame and stir for a minute) and mix it with equal measure of powdered sugar, finely chopped cashews, raisins, cardamom powder and grated dry coconut.

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~ Karjikai - Karanji - Sihi Kadabu ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/09/2011 09:22:00 AM ::
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