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Baked Palak Karanji ( Baked Spinach Karanji)

A Maharashtrian Sweet prepared with a twist.
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 flavorings in the filling.

Preparation Time : 45 minutes + 02 Hours of Resting time of the dough.
Baking Time : 14 to 15 minutes
Serves: 25 small sized karanjis

Ingredients and Quantity:

Ingredients for the filling:

Spinach leaves without stem – 01 bunch, medium size.
Jaggery, grated fine- ½ cup
Honey- ½ cup
Pistachio nuts coarsely ground- 02 tsp
Roughly chopped pistachio nuts- 06 tbsp
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 / Extra Virgin Olive Oil- 1 ½ tsp
Green cardamom powder- ½ tsp.
Nutmeg powder- a pinch

Ingredients for the outer crust:

Semolina- ¼ th cup
Whole Wheat 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


Preheat the oven at 350◦ F.

Grease the baking sheet with little clarified butter.

  • For the filling:
    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.
    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 heavy bottomed non-stick pan, until it turns light golden brown. Do not burn.
    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.
    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.
  • For the crust:
    Heat ghee in a non-stick pan. Once the ghee has melted turn off the flame and keep aside.
    Add in the whole-wheat 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 fingertips i.e. just like short crust pastry. Knead the flour and other ingredients slowly by pouring the milk a little at a time.
    Once the dough is semi-soft, cover it with a damp muslin cloth and set it aside to rest for at least 02 hours.
    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 Baking:

Place the Karanjis on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 14 to 15 minutes i.e. 7 minutes each side.

  • 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 comes 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.



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