Take dry coconut and milk in a pan and turn the heat on medium
Let it come to a simmer, stir every 2-3 minutes and cook. Cook till all the milk dries out (there is no bubbles forming on the side) It takes around 20 minutes.
Now add sugar. As it melts becomes runny and cook till it dries out again.
Now add semolina and poppy seeds. Mix and cook for 2 minutes. Let it cool down completely.
Kneading The Dough:
Take all purpose flour and salt in a bowl. Add oil. Mix with your fingertips and it looks like breadcrumbs.
Now start adding little water at a time and knead till you get a smooth yet stiff dough. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
After resting time, again knead the dough 2-3 times to make it smooth. Divide into 20 equal portions, make a smooth ball and flatten between your palm.
Take one flattened disc and roll into a 4-inch diameter circle with the help of a rolling pin and rolling board. Roll all of them and keep them in a plate (spread in a plate, do not stack). Keep it covered with a clean kitchen towel.
Now take one rolled disc. Place 1 tablespoon of stuffing in the center. Apply water around the edges using the finger or pastry brush (this helps to seal the edges).
Fold into a half-moon shape and seal the edges by pressing with your finger. Take time and seal really well otherwise it will open up while frying and it becomes a huge mess.
Now using the designed cutter cut the edges. If you are expert enough, then you can make the design by hand by pleating the edges (like our moms do).
Similarly, shape all of them, keep them in a plate on a single layer and keep covered with a kitchen towel.
When you are about to finish shaping, heat the oil in kadai/pan for deep frying on medium heat. Once hot, slide few karanji carefully in it.
Flip them and move around for even browning from both sides. When it is golden brown and crispy from both sides, remove it using slotted spatula and keep on paper towel lined plate. Repeat frying for rest.
Let fried karanji cool down completely before storing it in the container.
Stuffing has to be dry otherwise it will soften the outer crispy layer after storing.
Sealing the edges properly is very important. So use water to help the edges seal nicely.
You can use gujia mould available in the market to shape them.
Keep shaped karanji covered to avoid drying.
You can double, triple the karanji amount. Keep in mind that cooking time will be increased for stuffing as milk takes time to evaporate.
Q: How do I know that oil is ready for frying?A: Drop a tiny little portion of dough ball into the hot oil
If it comes on top immediately meaning, oil is too hot
If it stays at the bottom for longer and comes on top after a long time meaning, oil is not hot enough.
If it comes on top after 2-3 seconds meaning, oil is perfect for frying.
Q: Why my outer cover is soft and not crispy, flaky?A: There are few points to consider to make the crispy and flaky outer pastry.
The dough has to be stiff (yet smooth). If your dough is soft like roti then crust becomes crispy but not flaky.
The fat vs flour ratio has to right. So do not reduce the oil amount while kneading the dough.
Do not fry into the really hot oil. The temp has to be medium hot.