We had quite a fun cooking late on Saturday night. Our dinner was simple as hubby dear was not in town. And kids graced us by going to bed early. We found ourselves in the kitchen by 9.30 pm and I saw Athamma was getting something ready. I was busy cooking for one of the pending events. Imagine staying up late to cook up for events. Seriously, I found myself laughing over it. But nevertheless all interested. Athamma was planning to make Kajjikayalu. I remembered helping out Amma, when she used to make these a decade back. Its been quite long, since we made it at. I know hubby likes these and its been on mind for a while. But we always get our dose of these, when my sister-in-laws gets them when they visit us.
Since it was already getting late, I said we will do it on Sunday. Once my dish was all done, I sat to work on the Mela entries. Let me confess right away, I may not be able to do the round up in another atleast 2-3 days. Anyway I was busy working, when suddenly the skies opened and it really poured. Power got cut and I sat up fanning the kids till wee hours. It was all thunder and lightning. Konda and Chinnu were fast asleep, while Peddu got up. He says 'Ma, Paa', the moment he gets up. He shows the milk and asks for a feed. This is how he is being doing off late. He recognizes all objects and says just the first syllable. We got to understand what he is saying. I thought he might get scared of the thunder, but he happily slipped on the milk, looking at the lightning that managed to peep in. We then slipped to oblivion not knowing when the rains stopped.
Morning next, was one beautiful one to wake up too! It was all so chill and misty. Imagine we getting this climate in this season. But then our city is known for its off seasonal behaviors, and that's one of the reasons why I love it so much! We thought we will get down to making the Kajjikayalu or Karjikayalu as its also called, before the kids come down on us, so I clicked away many pictures while making it. Thought of making a video, but since hubby dear wasn't around, I couldn't manage both cooking and capturing!
Kajjikalu is a famous Andhra sweet. Its outer layer is made with All purpose flour or Maida and is stuffed with different fillings. It can be of these separately or combined. We can use Coconut filling, Fried Gram, Poppy seeds, and yes you can think of others too. We made both coconut and dalia fillings. To know which is what, Athamma toped the dalia ones with red colour!
For the cover:
All purpose flour / Maida - 1 cup Ghee - 2 tsp Salt - a pinch Water to knead
For the filling:
Grated Copra - 1 cup Sugar - 1/2 cup or (you can increase as per your taste) Cashew nuts - 10 whole ( you can use other nuts combination with raisins) Poppy seeds - 2 tsp Cardamom a pinch
Oil for Deep frying
Method to prepare:
Kajjikayalu are normally made in half moon shapes. There are many ways to make this. You can even make these in the molds available.
To make the dough, take the flour, salt and ghee in a bowl. Mix well. Then slowly add water to knead into a stiff dough. If you want to get a crispy cover, the dough has to be stiff. When you allow it to rest, it will get soft again. So either you mix some more flour before rolling out. Or you knead and roll out immediately
To make the fillings, grate the Copra or the Dried coconut. This tastes great and also stays longer as the fresh one might get spoiled.
Chop the cashew nuts into small pieces. Mix the grated coconut, cashew nuts, sugar, poppy seeds and cardamom together. This will be a dry mixture.
Making the kajjikaya on the rolling board.
Once you are ready to roll out, divide the dough into small equal balls. Using the rolling pin, dust the balls, flatten them into small circles, like the puris.
Scoop a spoonful of the coconut filling and place on the middle. List one side of the dough, bring to the other side and press well. You can dab some more flour and press well so that the filling doesn't come out.
Making it in your palm.
Once you roll out the cover, take it on to your left palm. Hold it while you scoop in the fillings. Now gently cover both open sides. You will end up having a half moon.
In all shapes, to get the design, you have to turn the sides like tuck in and then press. Then again tuck in. As shown in the picture.
This is much easier way to make. Roll out two small puri size dough. Place the filling in the middle. Place the other puri on top and press down well.
Once you have all the Kajjikaya filled and ready, Heat the oil for deep frying. Once the oil is hot, simmer and gently drop in the kajjikaya. Fry in low flame, only then the outer layer will be crispy.
Turn to the other side, when its cooked on one side. Once its done on both sides, drain them on to a kitchen towel.
I actually didn't count how many came as I was eating them non stop without having my breakfast too! Talk of an addiction!
Sending this to Vani of Batasari, who is hosting the RCI: Andhra Festival Foods! I never knew about this until Asha told me. I would've been really sad to have missed it. Thanks Asha and thanks Vani, will try to send in more!