Make your own Indian karanji

By America’s Test Kitchen | November 4th, 2021

Celebrate Diwali with this savory karanji recipe

Indian karanji, for article on make your own Indian karanji

Make your own Indian karanji using this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. This popular fried dumpling can have sweet or savory fillings.

Karanji are a type of dumpling popular in Maharashtra, India. They’re typically fried and can have sweet or savory fillings. You’ll find karanji in several parts of India, and they are called by different names in different languages.

You can eat karanji any time, but they’re especially popular as a snack during the festival of Diwali, a religious festival of lights that originated in India.

Diwali lasts for five days and usually occurs between October and November. Diwali means “row of lights” in Sanskrit, and during the festival people decorate their homes with special oil lamps called diyas. Our karanji are baked (not fried) and savory – they’re filled with peas!


Makes 10 karanji

  • 1 package store-bought pie dough
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons water, plus extra for brushing
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing
  1. Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Working with 1 pie dough round at a time, use a 4-inch round cutter to cut out 10 dough rounds. Transfer the dough rounds to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while making the filling.
  3. In a bowl, combine peas, water, garam masala, cumin, ginger, garlic, salt and vegetable oil. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. Use a potato masher to mash the filling until it is mostly broken down and some whole peas remain. Stir with a rubber spatula to combine.
  4. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and discard the plastic. Use a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon to place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each dough round.
  5. Use your finger to lightly coat the edge of each dough round with water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Press the edges together to seal.
  6. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the karanji with extra vegetable oil.
  7. Bake the karanji until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Let the karanji cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.

PHOTO, ABOVE: Karanji are especially popular as a snack during the festival of Diwali. CREDIT: Elle Simone Scott.

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