Saturday, September 11, 2010

Karanji/ Nevri (Baked): A Popular Festival Sweet

Nevri or Karanji is a popular festival sweet made during Ganesh Chaturthi festival. This is a must-have sweet snack while offering prasad to Ganpathi Bappa. This recipe belongs to my Foster Aunt also called as Maushi. She makes the best Nevri and knows many a varieties of it like Jaggery based, Copra based and this one which is Semolina based. Maushi is a dextrous woman who can multi-skill and make 10-12 dishes on Chaturthi day all by herself within 2-3 hours.

She taught me the essential skills required to make the yummiest Modak and Karanji. In her opinion, the Saaran is the essence of a good Nevri. This Nevri is a small way remembering her kindness and generous spirit which has fed many a friends and family members of mine. I got my culinary lessons from her during my teenage days and would always thank her for the lovely meals she dished out for me. I made the baked version of it and we loved it a lot. The stuffing added in the Nevri is known as Saaran. I also used a dough cutter cum carver which I got from India. You can also find this at any Indian grocery & essentials store. The Nevri's were crisp with a nutty and sweet stuffing.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi To One & All!! Ganpati Bappa Moriya....Pudchya Varshi Laukar Yaa...

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Yield: 10-12 Nevri's

Nevri outer shell -
All Purpose Flour - 3 cups
Milk - 1/2 cup
Baking Powder - 1/3 teaspoon
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Ghee (melted) - 1 tablespoon

Nevri Stuffing or Saaran -
Semolina (thin variety) - 1 cup
Poppy seeds or Khus-Khus - 1 tablespoon
Coconut powder or Copra - 5 tablespoon
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Cashew Nut - 1/2 cup
Almonds (slivered) - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Split Dalia/ Putaani/ Futaani/ Split Chana - 1/2 cup

Baking Essentials & Contraptions - Parchment Paper, Dough Cutter and Baking Tray

Saaran: Toast the Semolina on low flame till its fragrant and little brown. Transfer to a tray and allow to cool. Toast the Cashew Nuts and Almonds separately, transfer to a tray and allow to cool. Toast Putaani, Khus-Khus and Coconut Powder together and allow to cool. Grind the Coconut powder and Putaani together. Add all the rest of the ingredients, except Cashew and Almonds and grind to a coarse powder without any water. Set aside. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Nevri: Knead a soft and pliable dough of Maida, Milk, Sugar, Salt and little baking powder. Cover with a wet muslin cloth and leave aside for 1/2 hour. Once 1/2 hour passes, pinch a lemon sized ball and roll out a medium sized Puri. Place a spoon full of the Saaran on one half of the Puri. Slather some water on the other half, meet the ends to form a semi-circle as shown in the picture. Run the edge with a Dough Carver. Add suitable design with a fork.
Baking: Line the tray with Parchment Paper. Arrange the Nevri's side by side. Bake on one side for 15 minutes on 375 degrees, turn over after 15 minutes, bake for 20-25 minutes more till they are light brown and crispy. Transfer to a cooling rack and consume after 2 hours.

Note -
All ingredients should be at room temperature. The Ghee should be in molten state. Do not over-stuff the stuffing in the Nevri. Store in air-tight container and consume within a week. Use dry fruits of your choice.

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