November 7, 2010

Kajjaya - rice and cane sugar fritters


One of the best times of the year, deepavali, is a time of celebration, heavy dinners and loads of high calorie sweets. One such South Indian sweet is kajjaya. This weekend, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, making some traditional festive food. We had some good friends for a potluck dinner last night. So, this week, I will be sharing with you some of their recipes I loved!

What I used: Makes 12-14 servings
1 cup raw rice
¾ cup jaggery (whole cane sugar)
2-3cups ghee/oil to deep fry
2Tbsp water

Soak rice in water overnight. In the morning, drain it in a colander. You may also dry it out on a muslin cloth, until the rice is partially dry. 

Powder the partially wet/dry rice into a slightly coarse flour/powder. Set it aside. Cover the powder with muslin cloth or similar material, to prevent the rice flour from drying out.


In a thick bottom pan, add jaggery and water. On medium heat, bring it to a simmer. Test to see if it has reached a ball consistency.

Add a small amount of the syrup in a bowl of cold water. Touch it with your finger, and slowly roll it, if it’s runny, it is not ready. If the syrup forms a soft ball, we are good.


Slowly add a little rice flour stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed. Repeat, till all the flour is poured in. Turn off the heat. Add a little oil on the top, and spread it evenly so the top layer does not dry out. Let it cool. (You may store this in an airtight container, under refrigeration, for over a year)
Make small lemon sized balls, and, on a greased paper, or plastic, flatten it out to look like a round thick paper.
In a deep fry pan, add ghee or oil. Heat on medium flame until you can see fumes. Lower the temperature a notch. Now add a small dough ball into it. If it starts to foam and cook, the oil is ready.  


Add in the flattened dough, gently, it will swell like a doughnut, turn it to the other side. Cook both sides evenly golden brown. Strain out the excess oil. Rest it for an hour in a colander, and store it in a cool place. Crisp rice and jaggery fritters are ready!