Palak Karnaji

Palak Karanji - A Maharashtrian Sweet prepared with a twist.

“This recipe is been created for The Urban Spice and KitchenAid India Diwali Contest” -

    45 minutes + 02 Hours of Resting time of the dough.
    25 minutes
    25 small sized karanjissssss
  • CUISINE: Maharashtrian- Fusion
  • COURSE: Mithais (Indian Sweets)

Keeping the Traditional Karanji in mind I thought of treating the Spinach lovers and the Spinach avoiders by using Spinach, Pistachio nuts, Jaggery, Honey, Whole wheat flour, Semolina, Dry coconut, Sesame seeds, Poppy seeds and other Indian flavourings in the filling.

Ingredients for the filling

  • Spinach leaves without stem – 01 bunch, medium size.
  • Jaggery, grated fine- ½ cup
  • Honey- ½ cup
  • Pistachio nuts powder- 02 tsp
  • Roughly chopped pistachio nuts- 06 tsp
  • Raisins- 10 gm.
  • Whole wheat flour-1/4 th cup
  • Semolina- ¼ th cup
  • Dry coconut, grated- ¾ th cup
  • Sesame seeds- 01 tbsp.
  • Poppy seeds- 1 ½ tbsp
  • Pure Ghee /Peanut oil- 1 ½ tsp
  • Green cardamom powder- ½ tsp.
  • Nutmeg powder- a pinch

Ingredients for the outer crust

  • Semolina- ¼ th cup
  • All-purpose flour- 1 ¾ th cups
  • Salt- ¼ th tsp.
  • Sugar- ½ tbsp.
  • Pure ghee- 1 ½ tbsp.
  • Milk – ½ cup or as required

For covering the dough

  • Muslin cloth ,Damp / moistened- ½ metre

For Deep frying

  • Pure Ghee /Refined Oil- as required for deep frying

For removing excess of oil / ghee from the Karanji

  • Kitchen absorbant paper- 06 nos. big.

Method: For the filling

  1. Wash and blanch the spinach leaves in very hot water for 02-03 minutes, Drain the water and refresh under cold water to retain the green colour of spinach.
  2. Puree the spinach in a food processor / mixer. In a non-stick pan add spinach puree to that add honey ,coarsely ground pistachio nuts and roughly chopped pistachio nuts- 02 tsp. and reduce till a thick consistency. Keep aside to cool Broil / dry roast each ingredient separately i.e. the coconut, sesame seeds and poppy seeds in a heay bottomed non-stick pan, until it turns light golden brown. Do not burn.
  3. Do not mix. Keep each ingredient separately.Let the ingredients cool down. Now in a food processor /mixer ,blend coconut, sesame & poppy seeds separately to a coarse texture.
  4. In a non-stick pan lightly roast the semolina in ghee till it turns golden brown. Keep aside.Roast the whole wheat flour as for semolina Put all the filling ingredients in a food processor/ mixer ,including the flour, semolina, cooked spinach mixture ,coarse powders, jaggery, cardamom and nutmeg powder together and blend them till they form a coarse paste keeping in mind that the beautiful green colour of the spinach is retained. Add roughly chopped Pistachio nuts and raisins. Mix well ,Keep aside.

Method: For the Crust

  1. Heat ghee in a non-stick pan. Once the ghee has melted turn off the flame and keep aside.
  2. Add in the all-purpose flour, semolina, sugar and salt into a large glass bowl. Make a depression in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the hot ghee into it mixing it into the flour thoroughly with your finger tips i.e. just like short crust pastry. Knead the flour and other ingredients slowly by pouring the milk a little at a time.
  3. Once the dough is semi-soft, cover it with a damp muslin cloth and set it aside to rest for at least 02 hours.
  4. Divide the dough into 25 small portions and shape into balls. Roll out each ball into a circle, put a small portion of the prepared filling in middle, fold over to make a semi circle and thinly flute the edges to seal it well.

For the Frying

Heat sufficient ghee in a kadai and deep fry the karanjis on medium heat in till they are crisp and a pleasant golden colour. Drain on absorbent paper and allow to cool completely.

For the Serving

Serve the Maharastrian Karanjis with a healthy twist , which are now ready to be served for the festival of lights i.e. Deepawali.

Chef Tips

  1. The dough is covered with a damp muslin cloth to prevent it from drying.
  2. My reason of using spinach in the Karanji is usually people think of spinach only when it come to Palak Paneer or Palak corn, I thought of creating something out of the box.It reminds me of the Jingle “Taste Bhi Health Bhi”.
  3. Kids usually avoid eating spinach, what could be better than this.