Karjikai or karanji as it is known in Hindi is to Diwali what Christmas pudding is to…well, Christmas, naturally. So a few days before Diwali, the making of this delicious but fairly complicated sweet is a must-happen ritual in our house…
First, the stuffing for the karjikai is made. Fine semolina (what is called “chiroti rave” in Kannada) and black sesame are roasted separately. The sesame is then ground corasely and added to the roasted semolina along with grated dried coconut, jaggery, raisins and bits of cashew. The purists may balk at the jaggery because normally, sugar is the sweetener used. But the jaggery is healthier and lends a lovely flavour that sugar doesn’t
Then, the covering is made - maida kneaded with water, oil and flour along with a dash of homemade ghee – “taste ke liye”!
Then the making of the karjikai begins. Small round shapes are rolled out of the dough and a little stuffing placed just a tad off centre
Then the “round” is gently folded over the stuffing and sealed. The sealing must be more secure than a chastity belt otherwise, when the kakijai is fried, the stuffing rushes out and the show is over!
Once all the karjikais are made, they are deep-fried in hot oil.