Celebrate Diwali With This Savory Karanji

By America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
For 25 years, home cooks have relied on America's Test Kitchen for rigorously tested recipes developed by professional test cooks and vetted by 60,000 at-home recipe testers. The family of brands—which includes Cook's Illustrated, Cook's Country, and America's Test Kitchen Kids—offers reliable recipes for cooks of all ages and skill levels. See more online at AmericasTestKitchen.com/TCA. Copyright 2021 America's Test Kitchen. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
November 3, 2021 Updated: November 3, 2021

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.

Karanji

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

Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the karanji with extra vegetable oil.

Bake the karanji until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Let the karanji cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.

For 25 years, home cooks have relied on America's Test Kitchen for rigorously tested recipes developed by professional test cooks and vetted by 60,000 at-home recipe testers. The family of brands—which includes Cook's Illustrated, Cook's Country, and America's Test Kitchen Kids—offers reliable recipes for cooks of all ages and skill levels. See more online at AmericasTestKitchen.com/TCA. Copyright 2021 America's Test Kitchen. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.