Maharashtrian Karanji

Maharashtrian Karanji

Maharashtrian Karanji

Karanjis are Diwali, Holi and Ganpati festival speciality in Maharashtra.

Karanjis are Diwali, Holi and Ganpati festival speciality in Maharashtra. Also called Gujiya in many places, the traditional karanji is a sweet pastry, stuffed with grated and sweetened coconut or sooji. It is a crispy and savoury dumpling which is deep fried in oil.
Usher in the festive Diwali mood this year, with Karanjis to snack on.


27 Pieces


20 Minutes


For the stuffing

  • 1/2 cup dry coconut, grated
  • 3/4 Sooji / Rava/ semolina
  • 1 tbsp Khus Khus (poppy seeds)
  • 4 tbsp mixed dry fruits
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp cardamom powder
  • Ghee

Making the dough

  • 2 cups of maida
  • Ghee
  • Salt
  • Divide the dough into 27 small dough balls
  • Sunflower oil for deep frying the Karanjis.

Method: Preparing the Filling

  • Warm a pan on low flame
  • Into the warm pan put in the grated dry coconut to roast.
  • When the coconut turns a little brown, set it aside to cool.
  • Add two tbsp of ghee to the pan and roast the sooji.
  • Add the dry fruits and khuskhus or poppy seeds to the sooji and roast a little more
  • Now add the grated and dry roasted coconut. Roast for 2 minutes more
  • Turn off the stove
  • Into the sooji in the pan, pour in the powdered sugar and the cardamom powder
  • Mix everything well and keep aside.

Prepare the dough

  • In a bowl mix the maida, ghee and salt
  • Add in a little water and start kneading
  • Knead till you get a ball of soft dough
  • Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes
  • Divide the dough into 27 small balls

Making the Karanjis

  • Roll out each ball of the dough into a small roti. Do not use dry flour to help you roll out the chapatis
  • Place a spoon full of the filling mix, in the middle of the roti
  • Fold over one side of the roti over to the filling to form a crescent
  • Press and seal the sides to secure the filling inside

Frying the Karanji

  • In a wok, pour in the Sunflower oil
  • When the oil heats up, slide in the Karanjis, one after the other into the piping hot oil.
  • Fry the Karanjis quickly to avoid burning them
  • Lay them on a kitchen towel or absorbent papers.
  • Once the Karanjis cool down, they are ready to be served or stored in airtight containers

The Best cooking Oil -which oils are the healthiest

The Best cooking Oil -which oils are the healthiest

The Best cooking Oil -which oils are the healthiest

Cooking oils lay the foundation of taste for any recipe or cuisine. They are therefore one of the first ingredient that needs thorough analysis so that oils best suited to a particular dish is used for cooking. Moreover, cooking oils are also one of the factors that affect a healthy diet plan.

Using oil to cook is meant not only enhance taste. The intent is the holistic well being of a person. This refers to the mental, psychological and physical health of a person. These, however, are not separate entities. They are co related while being interdependent. A physically well individual will always be in a better mind frame and hence will be psychologically sane. Unless a major trauma distorts the situation, the cycle of well-being continues.

With an array of choices available in cooking oils, it can be confusing to choose the best. Moreover, some recipes demand a particular kind of oil. Here we are dispelling the clutter to make you chose better.

Depending on what you plan on cooking, consider these :

  • You could start off with a little planning. Are you deep frying dishes or are making a curry? It could be a mix and match or it might be a regular menu.
  • Are you sticking to a diet plan? The salads can be tossed in a little oil for health benefits
  • Do you plan on cooking an authentic regional dish with its distinct taste?
    Once you know the kind of food you would be cooking, keep the listed characteristics of various oils in mind. These will help you to make informed choices when it comes to choosing the right oil.

Rice Bran oil:

Extracted from the husk or the bran of rice grains, rice bran oil is the new health oil everyone is hankering for. The fact is, rice bran oil has been around for a while. Yet it has been able to garner attention only recently. Apt as a medium for deep frying, Rice bran oil is also rich in Oryzanol, an antioxidant. Being neutral in taste, Rice bran is also versatile.

Olive Oil:

One of the most favoured oil, as a healthy choice, Olive oil is derived from the fruit. Neutral in taste, Olive oil blends into food, enhancing the essence of the dish. Olive oil lets the individual vegetables stand out with its distinct taste and flavours. Being neutral in taste and rich in monounsaturated content, it is a preferred dressing for salads too.

Canola oil:

Canola is a flower. Akin to mustard, Oil extracted from Canola is versatile in its property. With a characteristic high smoking point, Canola oil does not burn easily. This is also a versatile oil. Additionally, Canola oil is helpful in reducing inflammation due to its alpha-linolenic acid content.

Sunflower oil:

Sunflower oil is a wonder oil since it enhances taste in food as much as it benefits the skin texture when used in cosmetics. Preferred the world over, as an oil for deep frying, Sunflower oil is an emollient too, rich in vitamin E. This makes Sunflower oil an aid in reversing age as well.

Coconut Oil:

With a distinct flavour of its own, coconut oil is considered “fatty”. Though coconut oil is high on the fat content, its benefits cannot be denied. Full of flavour, this oil is an immense aid in lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure levels. One of its most interesting use of coconut oil is when it is used in lieu of butter for baking and frying.

Almond Oil:

Known for its properties of aiding hair growth as well as skin texture, Almond oil is also one of the best oils for cooking. Due to its Vitamin E content along with Zinc and potassium, Almond oil is a choice that should be made for the health one’s heart. Moreover, its high smoking point makes Almond oil an ideal oil for frying and sauté.

Soya bean oil:

Soya is a proven source of high protein. Hence the oil extracted out of soya beans is, naturally protein rich. However, it is also one of the few oils that are naturally low on trans fat. Loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids along with Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats, Soyabean Refined Oil is one of the healthiest choices around.

Flaxseed Oil:

Quoted as a weight loss aiding remedy, due to its alpha-linoleic acid content, it is also a constipation reliever. Flaxseeds find its place in ayurvedic medicines and therefore has medicinal value too. As an oil it helps in healing arthritis as well as cholesterol related problems. With an inclination towards a nutty flavour, this oil is great for baking and as salad dressings.

Sesame oil:

A regular in Asian dishes, Sesame oil has a strong flavour of its own. An oil with a storehouse of health benefits, sesame oil is without an ounce of doubt, one of the best, at par with Olive oil. Research has also proven that this oil is an absolute an anti-depressant.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

Healthy Eating Tips for Diwali 2018

Healthy Eating Tips for Diwali 2018

Healthy Eating Tips for Diwali 2018

Festivals are carefree times. These are the occasions when you want to let go of all the limitations that were self-imposed for a better living. This inevitably includes restrictions on our regular diet in terms of no fat, less salt, more fibre etc. However, when the festival happens to be Diwali, there really is no holding back on food, sweets and the calorie-loaded goodies. At the end of the festivities, when life goes back to normal, it is time to revert back to the food restrictions along with hitting the gym a lot harder, to shed the extra kg.

These post-Diwali efforts can be cut down to a minimum if we follow a few tips to stay on track with what and how we eat during the celebrations.

Here are a few tips to help you eat right through this Diwali. Stick to these tips to help you enjoy Diwali, without the constant worry of putting on extra flab.

1) Find Alternatives:

Sweets, snacks and feasts are the norms for Diwali celebrations. Most of the sweets made for Diwali are sugar syrup based or have sugar as an integral part of their recipes. It is not so feasible to replace all the sugar content with jaggery or natural sweeteners like Stevie leaves or sugar-free sweeteners for healthy eating. However, it would be a good idea to make bigger batches of sweets and snacks made for diabetic people in the family, so that most of these snacks get consumed. This will automatically take care of curtailing the excessive sugar intake.

Alternatively, try baking some of the sweets and snacks like chakli, sankarpali, karanji, the potatoes for aloo tikki, baked samosas etc. Healthy eating is an individual choice.

2) Keep yourself hydrated:

A lot of sweet and salty snacks will eventually dehydrate your body. Especially during Diwali, most of us are so busy binging on the goodies, that we completely ignore the everyday water intake portion, recommended for healthy living. Keep your water intake high. If needed, set the phone reminder to help you track your day’s water intake at regular intervals.Unsweetened juices are also a good way of keeping the fluid intake on the higher side.

Drinking an adequate amount of water also curbs the urge to eat and gorge on the irresistible snacks and the goodies. This will not only help you eat less but also save you the extra efforts, that you will need to put in post-Diwali, to neutralise the Diwali feasting affects.

3) Relearn Portion control:

Most of us today, in urban India are calorie conscious. Hence portion control is a practice of everyday life. However, when it comes to Diwali, most of this control gives way. Hence with the festivities in full swing and mouth-watering delicacies spread out, it is time to relearn portion control in Diwali.

Portion control is not always easy. Here are a few tips to help you achieve the same:

  • Help yourself to smaller plates ;
  • Smaller plates will help you serve yourself portions;
  • Avoid second helpings;
  • Choose food that is low on calorie

4) Plan your meals:

Diwali is synonymous with happy get-together of friends and family over sumptuous foods and snacks. Eating out, indulgence in food and lavish meals for guests and families are the most usual ways of spending these holidays together with the loved ones. Unlike a usual day, Diwali meals inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner are rich in fat, sugar, salt and flour. If the temptations are too much to resist and you end up eating for the better part of the day, restrict your dinner intake. Or if you have a friend’s Diwali dinner party to attend, plan your meals for the day. Keep lunch and breakfast small and light. If it is a lunch you are attending, plan your dinners.

5) Make a choice to eat salads:

Salads provide our body with fibre. A nutritionist would advise salads to be eaten every day since it is the right way to eat. During Diwali especially, when we eat so much oil and ghee based food, cleansing the system becomes a necessity. This Diwali, make a conscious choice to include a lot of fibre in your food. When you have guests over for a Diwali feast, serve salads as well.

6) Cut down on your salt intake:

Salt intake is often restricted for weight loss. Salt makes it easy for the body to retain water, leading to swelling and weight gain. During the Diwali feasting, our body takes in a lot of both salt and sugar. This needs to be restricted. If you have a Diwali party planned up, keep yourself sugar and salt-free for the better part of the day.

7) Prepare Beforehand:

This is more about getting your system all cleaned up before the big celebration. Start eating healthy, lessen the intake of salt, hydrate yourself and load yourself up with fibres. A cleaned system from inside is a well a prepared system for the Diwali onslaught of sweets and snacks.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

10 common mistakes that may ruin your best Recipes

10 common mistakes that may ruin your best Recipes

10 common mistakes that may ruin your best Recipes

Cooking is an art. The thought that goes into the making of a recipe, is an amalgamation of the cook’s experience and creativity. A lot of time, care and work are put into the making of a dish. However, at times, a minor error too can spoil the entire recipe. Here are a few things to keep in mind to avoid an unpleasant recipe making experience.

1) Do not get overly creative:

So you have this recipe, handed down since generations in the family. By now you think you can give this dish a twist, to make it taste a little different, pleasantly. Pause for a moment and think about it. Make a small portion of that recipe with your twist. Taste to feel if that palatable twist, that you were thinking of, does anything at all to enhance the taste of the recipe at all. If that does not happen, then lay off that trick. It will only spoil a perfect recipe.

2) Choose you base Oil correctly:

It is a perception that oils with neutral tastes are the best since they can be versatile. This, however, is not always true. Every recipe has influences like regional flavours, spice preference, expected texture etc. Oils like rice bran or mustard or even sesame are a must for some recipes. For instance, to make a recipe in line with the taste of Kerela, the use of curry leaves would be as important as choosing the right oil, or for cooking a Rajasthani Dish it would be as impertinent to use Oil as against Ghee unless replaced by a Sunflower oil.

3) Overcooking kills:

Every recipe would usually specify the cooking time. This should ideally be stuck to. If the instructions say that the oven is to be heated to a particular degree or the gas stove has to have the flame going on low, medium or high, stick to the instructions. The one sharing the recipe has perfected the dish on these specifications and therefore knows what overcooking or under cooking can do to that dish.

4) Choose the ingredients with caution:

A recipe is not a connotation of sorts that is stewed on a pot over the fire. It is a dish made with specific ingredients, carefully included to complement each other, while the taste of the individual item needs to add to the flavour. Each of the ingredients also needs to be able to blend and merge with each others’ flavours to make the dish the best. Hence, take your time and choose the right ingredients. In case you have to replace an ingredient, be aware of the change that you would induce into the recipe.

5) Stick to the cooking process:

Are you planning on a recipe made of pasta? Or maybe a batch of cookies? For the pasta, keep in mind that the pressure cooker is the last thing you need or deep frying in oil is the least you can do, to spoil a recipe of cookies. Every food has a defined limit till which it can be explored to, may it be boiling, sauté, blanching, frying etc. Just as a pasta cannot be pressure cooked or a batch of cookies, deep fried, other food items have limitations on experimentation too. Hence, stick to the cooking process, unless your experiments and experiences have taught you otherwise.

6) Keep the measurements right:

Many a time when we ask the older generation about the amount of salt or sugar or about any of the other ingredients to be used, they would often say that they don’t have a measurement but rather an inkling of how much of which ingredient to use. Yet when you notice them working in the kitchen, they would use a particular spoon or a cup or a counted number of pinches of ingredients, nothing more or less than that. This is the essence of measurements. It gives a dish its perfect balance.

7) Know how much to stir or flip your food:

Some recipes need a constant stir, while some needs only to be flipped, some of the food need to be touched while cooking and some don’t need any stirring or touching at all. Do not tease the food when it is cooking, the wrong way. That is asking for the recipe to spoil itself.

8) Thaw your vegetables:

Most of us use vegetables and other food items stored in the refrigerator. The cold inside the vegetables do not let them cook , evenly. It is, therefore, best to let the vegetables sit out till they come down to the normal temperature. This will ensure that the veggies are thoroughly cooked from inside out.

9) Do not saute or fry the onions and garlic to the extreme:

Onions and garlic are the base ingredients that go into the wok in most of the Indian cooking. Sauteing these need to be done with a lot of care. A burnt base is a sure shot at a spoilt recipe.

10) Preheat the oven and heat the oil:

While cooking on the stove, ensure that the oil is hot enough for the ingredients. If it is an oven that you are using, be sure about the preheating temperature. The correct temperature will help get the vegetables that crispy outer crust.

Conclusion: Recipes are work of passion. Many are handled down since generations and still used as it was handed down. Others have been modified, as each added a twist to it on individual preferences. Since food is one area, where the person cooking can be easily and tangibly judged, keep these tips in mind to avert a recipe disaster.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

8 Healthy and Delicious Sweets for this Diwali

8 Healthy and Delicious Sweets for this Diwali

8 Healthy and Delicious Sweets for this Diwali

Traditional sumptuous Diwali sweets like gulab jamun, karenjis, ladoo, jalebi etc are either ghee ladden or are sugar saturated. This was never a problem during the old days when sedentary lifestyle was not a norm. People would enjoy the Diwali delicacies and work them off as easily too. However, today’s life, though is jet-setting, it is mostly sedentary. Hence the need to stay calorie conscious is pressing. Given the need to be so precise about food intake, Diwali, recipes and cuisines are being given the healthier spins to make the festival enjoyable for everyone.

A healthy spin to sweets in Diwali might sound preposterous to many. The perception that any kind of baking or using healthier versions of ingredients will do complete injustice to a recipe is not unfounded. However, these healthy recipes turn out as good as the traditional ones. Here are a few sweets that can be made the healthy way this Diwali.

1) Makahana Kheer:

Traditionally, Diwali kheer is made with a lot of dry fruits, sugar, rice and ghee. This not only makes the kheer rich and tasty but also quite calorie loaded. Kheer is, however, one of the most savoured dishes. To give this dish a healthy twist for the diabetic and the calorie conscious, the rice in the kheer can be replaced by lotus seeds or makhana.

Clarified butter or ghee is used for frying the makanas for the recipe. Consumption of ghee in the recommended measurement proves beneficial for our health. However most of the calorie conscious people avoid the intake of ghee as it is low in protein but high in fat content. To make this recipe healthy, its best to dry roast the makhana. Full milk for the kheer can be replaced by skimmed milk and the sweetness can be enhanced by sugar-free cubes. If you can lay your hands on some organic jaggery, it would work out the best towards making this dish healthier.

2) Whole Wheat Halwa:

Halwa made for Diwali is usually made from carrots, lavishly fried in ghee and sugar and garnished with chopped dry fruits. This is obviously not the kind of halwa that can be tagged as a healthy or low calorie. The healthier version of this halwa, is made by replacing the base ingredient of this dish with whole wheat or wheat bran flour. Clarified ghee must be used and limited to a tablespoon so that the wheat flour does not stick to the pan while it is roasted. Garnished with dry fruits, the whole wheat atta is one of the healthiest version of halwa one may have.

3) Healthy flex seeds Ladoos:

Besan ke ladoo, coconut ladoo and ladoos made of semolina are a must for Diwali in any Indian household. The recipe involves a lot of frying and roasting of the base ingredients along with sugar.

The healthier twist to this recipe is adding roasted and grounded flaxseeds to the recipe along with dry fruits. Sugar will be a part of these ladoos. However, the healthier version will include sugar-free sweeteners or organic jaggery.

4) Roasted Chivda:

This is one Diwali snack that every Maharashtrian household will definitely make. Traditionally each of the ingredients that goes into this recipe is deep fried. An easy to make snack, all that is needed is for the ingredients to be dry roasted. The tampering at the end can be in two tablespoons of any healthy oil, like rice bran oil or sunflower oil. Once this super easy make snack is ready, store it in airtight containers to last, long after Diwali too.

5) Baked Sankarpali:

Made out of semolina and maida mixed with sugar traditionally, Sankarpalli is a deep fried cookie. It is flaky in texture and makes for a great snack. This is another Diwali speciality of Maharashtra though, in the northern parts of India, this is a popular snack.

Making sankarpalli healthy is convenient as the taste and the texture of these diamond shaped cookies don’t really change with an alteration in its cooking method. Though the colour would be a deeper brown for the fried ones and more pale for the baked ones, nothing else changes for this snack when baked.

6) Dates and Oats Ladoo :

This Diwali diverge from the traditional sweets and indulge in a healthy sweet snack of dates and oats. Both of these ingredients are known for their health-enhancing properties. The ingredients are dry roasted and then mixed together to form ladoos. Storing them in airtight containers make them last for a couple of days.


Diwali is a festival of happiness and bright lights. No one should be compromising on this occasion may it be for calorie counts or for a guilt-ridden trip. Healthy does not have to mean bland food. This perception stems from ill-informed information and knowledge about the food we eat and consider bad for the weighing scale. For instance, fat is avoided at every turn when it comes to eating healthy. However how many of us really understand that some of the fat is important for the body to function? This Diwali try to bake and dry roast the ingredients and make way for the sweets into your healthy lifestyle.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.