I stepped into the blog world specially for few of my friends who were interested to know the recipes of my dishes. It is worth mentioning that I got immense support and encouragement from my husband in this journey. As a blessing of my new practice, I found a number of wonderful co-bloggers from different part of the world, get acquainted with their culture and of course food. Inspired by them I also started sharing some of very common typical Bengali recipes, so that they also got to know our food and culture.
In order to enhance my knowledge about diverse foods and their ethnicity, I decided to request my lovely blogger friends to share some guest post in my blog. So, today’s post is not about my recipe, instead one from Aruna of ãhãram. As a generous response to my request, Aruna shares the recipe of a traditional sweet from Andhra Pradesh called Kakinada Kaja or Madatha Kaja.
During this course of blog writing I call myself lucky to know a warm person like her. I am glad to have her as a friend and co-blogger. Her lovely comments and responses always work as a boost for me.
She tries to bring the regional variety in Indian food under one umbrella, called ãhãram. Even I got surprised to hit upon few Bengali recipes there. I must admit that along with other South Indian recipes, I am a big fan of her Mumbai Street food recipes. So, it is worth to visit her blog to have an overall idea about Indian food and culture.
Now let me talk about today’s recipe. As I came to know from Aruna, Kaja, plural of which is Kajalu, is a crispy deep fried layerd nuggets made of flour, dipped into sugar syrup. It is the famous sweet from the city Kakinada, so got the name Kakinada Kaja. Again Madatha means folds in Telegu. As layers in the sweet is a result of consecutive foldings, the name is Madatha Kaja.
Aruna’s Kakinada Kaja reminds me of “Khaja” from Puri, Odisha, of which I am a big fan . So as soon as she asked for my opinion on this recipe for guest post, I agreed immediately.
Thank you very much Aruna for all your efforts and such an elaborate description.
Enjoy the flavour of Andhra Pradesh in this sweet, crunchy Kakinada Kaja from Aruna’s Kitchen. 🙂
Time: 60-75 Minutes
- Maida – 1 Cup
- Sugar – 1.5 Cups
- Water – 2/3 Cup for Syrup + More for the Dough
- Rice Flour – 1 tsp
- Ghee – 2 tsp + 2 tsp
- Soda – 2 Large Pinches
- Oil for Deep Frying
Method to Make Dough
- Sieve the maida and soda together.
- Melt 1 tsp of ghee.
- Pour the hot ghee onto the maida.
- Mix to get a crumbly texture.
- Using a little water at a time, knead into a firm dough.
- Cover with a wet cloth and set aside for 15 minutes.
Method to Make the Syrup
- After the dough has rested, add 2/3 cup water to 1.5 cups sugar.
- Over medium heat, boil the mix for about 15 minutes to create a syrup.
- Once the sugar has melted completely, let the syrup simmer over low heat.
Method to Make the Kajalu
- Divide dough into four equal portions.
- Make for thin rotis with each portion.
- Melt the 2 tsp of ghee.
- Add the rice flour to the ghee and make a paste.
- Take one roti.
- Apply a thin layer of the rice paste flour all over the roti.
- Place another roti on top of it.
- Lightly roll the two layers together so that they stick. Do not apply too much pressure. Roll very lightly.
- Roll the two layers into a tight tube.
- Cut the tube into 1/2″ pieces.
- Gently press each kaja so that the layers stick together.
- Heat the oil till it is medium hot.
- Over low to medium heat, fry the kajalu till they are golden brown. Each batch will take anywhere from 8-12 minutes. Frying like this will ensure that the inner layers are also fried perfectly and that you achieve the layered look.
- With a slotted spoon, life the fried kajalu out of the oil.
- Immediately dip the hot kajalu in the simmering paakam/sugar syrup.
- Let the kajalu simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon life the kajalu out of the syrup and spread onto a plate to cool down.
- Store in an air-tight container.
- You could fan-fold each roti instead of staching two and rolling them. That is the traditional way of doing it. However, it is a skill to be mastered and so I showed you an easy way.
- Ensure that the syrup is not too thick, otherwise the kajalu will not absorb it.
- Ensure that the syrup is simmering and the kajalu are hot (straight from the oil) at the instant that you add the kajalu to the syrup. If either one of them is cold, the sugar will crystallize.
- As the kajalu simmer in the syrup, the syrup tends to thicken. So ensure that you make the kajalu in one or at the most two batches.
- If you need to dilute the syrup, boil some water and add the hot water to the syrup. If you add cold water, the sugar will crystallize.