CRESCENT SHAPED DELIGHTFULLY AWESOME TREATS
Karanji, a Maharashtrian sweet snack is traditionally made during festivals, especially Diwali. It is made at home with the help of all the members of the family. Children especially get involved while making this sweet. The Karanji recipe as originated from Maharashtra has coconut as one of the main ingredients.
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This dry sweet snack is rich in taste and full of flavour. It is half-crescent in shape and can be stored in an airtight container for a long time. The karanji recipe suggests the use of very simple ingredients to prepare this sweet. The outer covering is made of flour, water and oil, whereas the inner filling usually has grated coconut, sugar, raisins and cardamoms as the ingredients. Karanji is prepared like a samosa by making the dough and filling separately and then assembling them together.
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As per the karanji recipe, this dish tastes best when deep-fried in desi ghee. As mentioned earlier this is a typical festival sweet. It is not prepared throughout the year. People of Maharashtra and Karnataka offer karanji to the guests who visit their houses during festivals. This sweet is eaten as a snack at any time of the day. It is made in large numbers and is stored so that throughout the festival season it can be enjoyed. Alterations have happened from the original karanji recipe as time has passed. Although the outer cover has not changed much, varieties of filling have been created for this special sweet.
Copra filling – This kind of filling is made of copra or dried coconut instead of freshly grated coconut. The other ingredients remain the same.
Puttani filling – Instead of coconut, Puttani or fried gram dal is the main ingredient of this filling. The other ingredients like sugar, cardamom and raisins are mixed with the dal to prepare the filling.
Coconut filling – Some additional ingredients are added to this filling which makes it different from the traditional one. Cashew nuts, pistachios and poppy seeds are added to this filling to make it special. Sometimes instead of sugar, jaggery or sugar-free is added to the filling. This special sweet is nowadays available in baked form rather than fried for those health-conscious people.
Khajoor or dates
Karanji is also a popular karanji nowadays. It consists of a filling of dates.
Today we are able to variate in a number of ways to make karanji fillings. Some of the ideas include using crumbled up boondi ladoo, burfi and mithai can be crumbled and mixed with a little mava and used as well. We also have the option to use chocolate brownies- eggless versions as well with a little Gulkhand mixed in it as a stuffing for the karanji. Besides, we also have the halwa, sheera concepts as well which can be adapted to.
The Food and Hospitality Industry has always stepped up on a very positive note when it comes to making moments and occasions like these special for our valued guests and food lovers! A lot of hotels and restaurants plan up special menus with a tri-coloured theme attached to suit Independence Day! There is a décor and ambience created in the outlets to add that look and feel experience to make the auspicious day all the more patriotic and the feeling of pride which every Indian carries on this day is just incomparable. Republic Day & Independence Day theme-related welcome drinks, display pieces from fruit and vegetable carvings, spice and salt displays, margarine carvings etc have also been spotted as a part of presenting the menu for the day in a very appealing and impressive manner.
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Buffets, special a la carte offers, table promotions, tent card delights, live counters, chefs’ special offerings, and mocktail bar specials are some of the attractions that see a houseful of food lovers visiting the food outlets to celebrate the day with family and friends. In India, the term “tricolour” refers to the Indian national flag. The National flag of India is a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron (Kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The design of the flag of India was first presented in 1921 to the Late Shri Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the All-India Congress, and was created by Pingali Venkayya.
The Chakra or the wheel also symbolizes the Power of the State governed by Dharma. It is also called the tiranga or tricolour. The National Flag is a horizontal tricolour of Indian saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and Indian green at the bottom in equal proportion.
The ratio of width of the flag to its length is 2:3. In the centre of the white band is a navy-blue wheel which represents the chakra. The top saffron colour indicates the strength and courage of the country. The white middle band indicates peace and truth with Dharma Chakra. The green shows the fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land.
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Food is also one of the important elements associated with the tricolour and as we represent various meanings and values via colors it not only pleases the senses and whets the appetite but also creates wonderful concoctions and makes our culinary diaspora more rich and varied from Indian cooking to international it gives a sense of brotherhood and togetherness creating a melange of flavours, tastes and balance.
Here are a few of my favourite easy-to-make recipes with a mix-n-match touch of a twist on this auspicious occasion on the eve of our Independence Day 2023.
Here are a few simple and easy ways with Karanji, our all-time favourite homemade sweet with a little twist of taste!
Recipe-1] DESI NARIYAL WALI KARANJI
Recipe-2] AKHROAT AUR KHAJOOR WALI KARANJI
Recipe-3] CHUKANDAR AUR CHAROLI WALI KARANJI
Recipe-4] LAUKI AUR BADAM WALI KARANJI
Recipe- 5] VIDESI TADKE WALI KARANJI
Recipe-6] GAJAR AUR GULKHAND WALI KARANJI
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About the author
Dr. Kaviraj Khialani – celebrity master chef - is a Mumbai-based author, writer, academician, food –health-lifestyle coach, mentor & consultant.
He is specialized in over 33 International Cuisines & has worked with brands like the Taj Group of Hotels, Kuwait Airways to name a few. Chef Kaviraj has been awarded several Global and National Awards for his outstanding performance and achievements in his chosen field. He has been featured on Star Plus and Colors Television on several food shows as well.