Karanji ("kuh-RUN-jee") 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.
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HEAT AND LINE: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
CUT: Working with 1 pie dough round at a time, use 4-inch round cutter to cut out 10 dough rounds. Transfer dough rounds to parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while making filling.
COOK: In bowl, combine peas, water, garam masala, cumin, ginger, garlic, salt, and vegetable oil. Heat in microwave for 2 minutes. Use oven mitts to remove bowl from microwave.
MASH: Use potato masher to mash filling until mostly broken down and some whole peas remain. Stir with rubber spatula to combine.
FILL: Remove baking sheet from refrigerator and discard plastic. Use 1-tablespoon measuring spoon to place 1 tablespoon filling in center of each dough round.
SHAPE AND SEAL: Use your finger to lightly coat edge of each dough round with water. Fold dough over filling to create half-moon shape. Use your fingers to press edges together to seal.
BRUSH: Use pastry brush to brush tops of karanji with extra vegetable oil.
Karanji are sweet or savory dumplings that are typically fried. They are often served around 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!