Happy Diwali to all! May the New Year bring health and happiness through out the world. This year because of COVID-19, everyone has veep stuck at home and now it’s almost the end of the year! For us Diwali starts off the holiday season. This year I have been so busy with my consulting practice and with writing my cookbook that I didn’t get time to start making the Diwali sweets until last evening. I usually start making these 3-4 days in advance. But anyways, with my husband helping out, we managed to make 5 different Diwali snacks – a mix of sweet and savory ones.
This year in addition I made an almond barfi (fudge) similar to the cashew nut fudge (kaju Katli) and then I made these stuffed empanadas called as karanji or gujiyas. I decided to try making them using gluten free flour and they came out pretty good! I made a sweet coconut and nut filling flavored with cardamom.
Here’s how I made it. I used my favorite gluten free flour blend – King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour blend.
- 2 cups shredded coconut or fresh grated coconut
- 1 cup cashew nuts
- ½ cup walnuts
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 cups King Arthur gluten free measure for measure flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder (Al free)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold (use palm shortening to keep dairy free)
- 1 cup cold almond milk (or any other dairy free milk)
- 2 to 4 tbsp ice water as needed.
- 1½ to 2 cups avocado oil
- Heat a frying pan or skillet and toast the coconut on low heat until toasted and golden. Transfer to a dish. To the same pan add the nuts and lightly toast them for about 2 mins. Transfer the coconut and the nuts to a food processor and process for about 2-3 pulses until you get a coarse powder. Do not over process. Transfer to a large bowl and add the coconut sugar and the cardamom and mix. Keep aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix till well blended. Then cut the butter (or shortening) into small chunks and add into the dough. Mix using your hands gently to form a crumbly dough.
- Add the milk slowly and mix until a dough consistency is obtained. Add the cold water slowly 1 tbsp at a time until you get a smooth and soft dough. Cover the dough with a damp dish cloth and keep in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator and divide it into about 14 equal balls.
- Take 1 dough ball at a time and roll it gently to form a small circle (about 3 inches dia). Then take about 2 tbsp of the filling mixture and place on the bottom half of the circle. Fold the upper half of the circle over the filling using some water to seal the edges. Crimp the edges using your fingers or the back of a fork. Finish making all the karanjis the same way.
- Heat the avocado oil in a deep frying pan on medium heat until the oil is hot. Add 2 karanjis at a time into the hot oil and deep fry on low to medium heat for about 2-3 minutes until the karanjis are golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to catch the excess oil.
- Finish frying all karanjis the same way.