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Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Matar Karanji Recipe

Matar Karanji is a delicious winter delicacy from Maharashtrian Cuisine. This savory gujiya made using seasonal fresh green peas is an irresistible tea time snack. A flavorful filling is made with green peas , fresh coconut and aromatic spices. I have replaced maida (refined flour )with whole wheat flour to make the outer pockets. The stuffed green peas dumpling so formed is then deep fried until golden brown and crisp. This matar karanji recipe is vegan and onion-garlic free. It tastes good on its own and can be paired with ketchup or any dip of your choice. I have served the matar karanji with lip smacking Khajur Imli Ki chutney / dates and tamarind dip and masala chai.

What is Karanji ?

Karanji is a traditional Maharashtrian fried sweet dumpling made on special occasions like Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi. It is some what similar to North Indian dish - Gujiya. The sweet karanji is usually stuffed with a mixture of sweetened coconut or sweetened khoya and dry fruits. The outer covering is usually made with refined flour, suji and ghee. There is another variation called pudachi karanji which is a layered gujiya. Savory karanji can also be made by stuffing spiced veggies.

What goes into this Matar Karanji ?

Matar Karanji is a winter delicacy made using fresh green peas. I make this karanji twice or thrice every winter. Matar Usal is another green peas curry to enjoy the seasons fresh produce. To make the stuffing of matar karanji, fresh scrapped coconut is added to tempered fresh green peas along with aromatic spices like asafoetida, cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Green chilies, ginger, cumin coriander powder and garam masala spice up the stuffing. A bit of sugar, lemon juice and fresh coriander leaves make the green peas stuffing all the more flavorful. The outer covering of karanji is usually made with pastry flour. Here, i have replaced maida with whole wheat flour. Little semolina is added to the whole wheat flour along with salt to taste. Hot oil is added to the flour and incorporated well with the flour to give it a bread crumb like texture. A stiff dough is then kneaded which is allowed to rest for around 30 minutes before shaping it to karanji. Small balls are pinched from the dough and rolled out to a small disc. around 2 tablespoon of the matar stuffing is placed at the center of the disc and then it is shaped into half moon shape. The edges are sealed using some water and shaped artistically to make the karanji. This stuffed dumpling is then deep fried in hot oil on low flame until it is crisp and golden brown from all sides.


This Maharashtrian style Matar Karanji is a crowd pleaser for sure. I made it recently for my Sankranti Haldi Kumkum gathering and everyone loved it . Below is the spread i served to all the married women who were invited for the occasion.The spread had Vegetable Kuzhi PaniyaramCoconut ChutneyTomato SoupWhole Wheat NankhataiBanana Muffins and Tilgul ladoo apart from these matar karanji.

Green Peas:

Green peas are one of the most nutritious leguminous vegetables. Fresh tender peas are low in calories and are good sources of protein, vitamins, and soluble as well as insoluble fiber. Fresh pods are excellent sources of folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and many other essential B complex vitamins. Furthermore, they are rich sources of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc and manganese.

Savory Affair @ Healthy Wealthy Cuisines

I am apart of a Facebook gourmet group, Healthy Wealthy Cuisine wherein participating bloggers share recipes every fortnight on a pre-decided themes. Savory affair is the current theme suggested by Shalu Jain who is a wonderful person and a versatile food blogger. I am in love with her food styling and food photography. For this theme, she wanted us to share recipes of savory snacks which are generally served at tea time. Winter season is at its peak and i could not think anything better than these delicious matar karnjis that go perfectly with some masala chai on a winter evening. If you have not yet tasted this Maharashtrian winter delicacy, you should to try out this matar karanji recipe before the fresh green peas disappear from the markets.

Checkout the following contributions by my fellow bloggers on this theme


Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 10-12 matar karanji

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 250 ml

For the outer covering of karanji
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2-3 tablespoon fine semolina
  • 2-3 tablespoon hot oil
  • Salt to taste
For the stuffing
  • 1 cup fresh green peas
  • 1/4 cup fresh coconut, scrapped
  • 2- 3 green chilies
  • 1/2 inch ginger 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon oil + for deep frying
  • Pinch of asafoetida / hing
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
Method :
  1. To begin with making the matar karanji, we will start with kneading the dough for the outer covering of the karanji. For that, in a mixing bowl, take whole wheat flour. Add semolina/suji and salt to taste. Mix well. Now heat 2 tablespoon oil and add the hot oil to the flour. Mix it well so that the oil incorporates well with the flour. The flour should appear like bread crumbs. This step of adding hot oil makes the outer covering crisp and flaky.

2. To this flour, add water little at a time and knead the flour into a semi stiff dough.  Cover the dough with a moist muslin cloth and allow it to rest for around 30 minutes.

3. While our dough is resting, we will prepare the green peas filling. For that, heat 2 tablespoon oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and fennel seeds to it. Once the seeds sizzle, add in asafoetida, followed by the green chili and ginger paste to it. Saute for few seconds. Now lower the flame and add the turmeric powder, garam masala and cumin coriander powder. Stir fry the spices in the oil for around 30 seconds before adding the fresh scrapped coconut to it.

4. Stir the masala well. Now tip in the fresh green peas and saute it with the coconut masala for about 1-2 minutes. Now, add sugar and salt and cover cook for 5-7 minutes or until the peas are soft and tender. Stir the mix in between so that it does not catch the bottom. You may add around 1-2 tablespoon of water if required to the peas while cooking.

5. Once the peas are done through, garnish the matar stuffing with fresh coriander leaves and season it with lemon juice. Put off the flame . Mildly mash the stuffing with a potato masher and allow it cook down completely.

6. After the resting time, knead the dough again for 1-2 minutes. Pinch out small portions of the dough and make equal lemon sized balls out of it. Roll out each dough ball using a rolling pin to a poori size disc. Do not apply oil or flour while rolling out the dough. Place 1-2 tablespoon stuffing in the center of the disc. Brush the edges of the dough disc with water and give it a half moon shape. Seal the edges and cut the karanji with a cutter or shape it in a karanji maker (mould). You may alternatively, give artistic shape to the karanji by pleating the edges or pressing the edges with a fork as shown in the picture below.

7. Make a batch of 4-5 karanjis at a time and then proceed towards frying. You may shape all the karanjis first and deep fry them together. If doing so, make sure you keep the shaped karanjis and the dough covered in a muslin cloth so that they do not dry out.

8. Heat enough oil in a small kadhai (frying wok). Once the oil is hot, tip in 2-3 karanji into it. Do not over crowd while frying. Lower the flame and deep fry the matar karanji until it turns crisp and golden brown from all sides.

9. Remove the karnjis with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on an absorbent sheet. Deep fry all the karanji similarly.

10. Serve the crisp and flaky matar karanjis at tea time on its own or with some dip of your choice. I have served them with masala chai and khajur imli chutney.


Recipe Notes:
  • Matar karanji is typically made during winter season using fresh green peas. However, you may enjoy this delicacy whole year round using frozen peas.
  • You may add some boiled potatoes also along with green peas to make the stuffing as a variation.
  • Lemon juice can be replaced with amchur powder.
  • You may adjust the quantity of spices and green chilies used here as per your spice tolerance.
  • Make sure the dough is rested for atleast 30 minutes before making the karanji and the stuffing is cooled completely before shaping the karanji.
  • Deep fry the karanjis in hot oil on low flame so that they become crisp and flaky.
  • The matar stuffing can also be had as a flavorful side dish with hot pooris or in sandwiches , samosa or kachoris.
  • This is an onion garlic free dish, however you may add minced garlic and finely chopped onions if you wish to.
I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

If you are looking for more green peas recipes, do check out the following:


  1. So delicious and tempting Matar Karanji!! I love the addition of coconut here must have added a nutty taste..I make Matar Kachoris in almost the same way but do not add coconut. Will add next time I make it. So prefect winter time snack with masala chai!

    1. Fresh coconut adds a lovely flavor to the matar Karanji Swati. I am sure you would love it as much as we do. Thanks.

  2. Loved your savory version of Karanji using matar. Looks so tempting and delicious. Best way to use the fresh peas in the season

  3. Matar karanji looks so perfect and so drool-worthy! I want to dig in these scrumptious karanjis right away.

  4. Matar Karanji looks so so flaky and yum :) Along with some adark wali chai this perfectly fit to have. Lovely use of fresh green peas in this karanji sure....

  5. The matar karanji sounds absolutely well made, delicious, flaky and flavorful... that whole chai platter looks so good!

  6. So yummy, I love matar karanji or matar kachori as we call it. Whenever I make them, reminds me of my mum. Like the idea of using wheat flour instead of plain flour. Perfect winter time snack.

  7. Have made only sweet version of karanji but never planned to make this savoury. These seems to be really yummy.

  8. This is such a brilliant idea to make a savory karanji. I have not even thought of making it this way. I have made savory empanadas which is pretty similar. The green peas filling is amazing. I will be making this soon.

  9. What better way to make good use of green peas in the winter season other than matar karanji. I live this as being from Maharashtra, this one is very famous here. Yours karanji looks so tempting and delicious.

  10. matar karanji looks absolutely tempting! Hot karanji with some piping hot masala chai, would be the best evening!! Perfect winter delicacy!

  11. Matar Karanji looks perfect & best paired with a cup of ginger tea!Using wheat flour makes it a tad bit healthy too!

  12. TThese flakey, crispy, and absolutely delicious looking savory matar karanjis really tempting me to grab some. Well explained recipe with beautiful photos!

  13. my kids loved it in the lunch box. Infact it was good to hear thier friends liked it as well. Wonderful recipe.

  14. I can imagine enjoying hot Matar Karanji with all the chutnys and masala chai on cold and frosty evening. Beautiful step-by-step pictures.