Kakinada Kaja

Today our Blogging Marathon Group members are embarking on an Indian Food Odyssey journeying across 30 states and Union territories of India. Our idea is to highlight the diversity and similarities of the food culture across the states.
So lets delve deeper and satisfy our thirst for exploring the various cuisines. The series starts with my home state 'Andhra Pradesh', the home for most(all?) people identifying with 'Telugu' as their mother tongue (That is one way how I define my home state :) )

With the latest division of our state, many of us find it hard to digest the division and create an identity for the breakaway state, 'Telangana'. I have no political inclinations or aspirations but nonetheless I find it hard not to express my feelings.

Coming to today's recipe, these sweetmeats are kind of an identity to the city of Kakinada. There are different variations in the preparation of these Kajas or Madatha Kajas as they are also referred to. This is the version I am comfortable with and have seen many of my friends make them at home. 

I have verified this fool-proof recipe umpteen times with my friends and decided to take the risk of making these delicious 'crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside Kajas' and enjoyed with my friends and family.

Please note that I have deliberately made them bite size as a way to portion control and minimize wastage when served/offered to kids. Enjoy them for festivals, momentous occasions or just parties/potlucks :).

Ingredients - 

All Purpose Flour / Maida 1 cup + more for dusting
Baking Soda a pinch (or baking powder)
Ghee 3 Tbsp (Divided use)
Water to knead the dough
Rice Flour 2 Tbsp (approx)
Oil for deep frying
For Sugar Syrup - 
Sugar 1 1/2 cups 
Water 3/4 cup
Cardamom powder 1/4 tsp

Kakinada Kaja

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda and ghee. Rub in the ghee into the flour to resemble bread crumbs.

Add in sufficient water and knead into a stiff dough. Cover and set aside for 15 min.

Divide the dough into 15 equal portions and work with 3 portions at a time while keeping the remaining covered.

Roll out one portion of the dough into a thin circle (like a roti/puri), add a little ghee and sprinkle some rice flour. Pat the ghee-rice flour mixture evenly all over the rolled out dough.

Roll out another portion of the dough and layer it on the first one. Repeat the ghee-rice flour mixture routine for the second layer as well. Roll out the third portion and place it on top of the second one. 

Apply a little water all around the edge and jelly-roll or carpet-roll the three layered portions. Make sure the edges are together. Gently roll and slice into 8-10 pieces. (Fig 2 and 3)

Flatten each piece as in fig 4.

Repeat the rolling the rotis, layering them, jelly-rolling them, slicing them and flattening them for the remaining dough.

To prepare the sugar syrup - Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar to 3/4 cup of water and let it boil. Let it simmer until a single thread consistency is achieved. Sprinkle the cardamom powder and set aside.

Heat oil in a kadai/wok and make sure the oil is not too hot. Reduce the flame to less than medium.

Gently slide the flattened pieces into the medium hot oil and let them cook through. When they are all uniformly browned, remove using a slotted spoon and dunk them in the warm sugar syrup. Make sure the syrup remains warm throughout the process.

After about 10-15 minutes, remove the kajas from the syrup and let them air dry.

Continue the frying, dunking in the syrup, removing and air drying until all of them are done.

Once the syrup dries, store them in an air tight container and enjoy them. They should be firm from the outside and juice from the inside.

Preparation Time 45 min
Makes 40-50 bite size kajas
Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, April 1, 2014


  1. Padmajha Says:
  2. Nice to start the Mega BM with a sweet! And a nice choice for AP as well.Looks nice Harini :)

  3. Srivalli Says:
  4. You have done them so well Harini..can't wait to read your rest of the series...

  5. Crisp outside and juicy inside,tempting me harini!! Would love to try this sometime, seriously this BM is going to plump me up even more!!! :)

  6. Kalyani Says:
  7. Hey ! Lovely one to start the BM Harini ! I think Gayatri also has made a similar version ;) look forward to the BM series ...

  8. jayanthi Says:
  9. mouth-watering kajas just like in sweet shops. They look yummy..

  10. Anonymous Says:
  11. the lovely cute sweet treats :)

  12. Unknown Says:
  13. This is in my to do list and you have tempted me badly :) Now plz pass me some dear ;) looks fantastic and great start for mega marathon dear :)

  14. Harini this is a delicious sweet to begin the marathon with. I am loving the bite sized concept and it looks so so inviting.

  15. My favorite

  16. Unknown Says:
  17. Kaja looks so inviting & delicious. This is one of my favorite dishes.

  18. wow super delicious one from AP..eye catching dishes from bm members..

  19. Priya Says:
  20. Colorful adhra cusine .Love the sweet .

  21. Pavani Says:
  22. Same pinch Harini. I loved making these for the first time and they came out soo good.
    Looking forward to your posts this month.

  23. Unknown Says:
  24. what a delicious start to the Mega marathon!!! love it!!

  25. sweet beginnings, i have to try this recipe..this is from my native place which borders andhra, so i really want to make this soon, looking forward to your posts

  26. Archana Says:
  27. Harini this is awesome. I am drooling and drooling here. Wow how I wish I can have some of these. Or I was in Willi Wonka's to have these off the screen

  28. Such a sweet start for the mega marathon ! Khaza looks lovely.....

  29. Rajani S Says:
  30. A sweet note to start the month long BM journey! Nice :)

  31. Looks easy and yummy !!

  32. Delicious and lovely looking sweet.

  33. Sweet start to the month. Like the idea of bite size pieces and you got a lovely golden color. Telangana is a touchy subject. Wonder which state is next.

  34. These kajas are so tempting! I have to try them :) Looking forward to the rest of your posts!

  35. Kaja looks so inviting and delicious,its on my to do list..Now after seeing so many pictures I am confident to try..

  36. looks so sweet and delicious

  37. Priya Suresh Says:
  38. Kaja came out extremely attractive, lovely way to start this long marathon.

  39. kaja look so yumm..

  40. Awesome step by step pictures.. Feel like grabbing some dear..

  41. sahiti Says:
  42. I thoght these madata kajas are called Tapeswaram kajas and gottam/Kottayya kajas... the ones without layers and filled with juice... are kakinada kajas...please correct me if I am wrong.
    Ofcourse, whatever the name is these kajas look inviting...:-)

  43. Unknown Says:
  44. Looks perfect and amazing!!

  45. kajas came out perfect. Nice start to the marathon. Looking forward to see what you have cooked for the series

  46. I made a rice flour ghee paste for the layering. Though I don't know much about the different kajas, your looks so shiny and juicy. Need to try your version...

  47. Suma Gandlur Says:
  48. That's a fabulous way to start. They have turned out perfect.

  49. Nisha Says:
  50. A nice way to start the BM. Delectable sweets, so tempting Harini.

  51. Anna Says:
  52. Instead of ghee, can you use oil and make the rice flour and oil paste to apply in between layers?

  53. Harini R Says:
  54. @Anna - A better substitute would be shortening(Crisco)/Dalda. I have not heard of oil being used in here.

  55. VP Says:
  56. Hi Harini, I made the kaja's , and they looked and tasted delicious. However, after a few hours (in less than a day), they started to look really dry. They were still soft, but not as juicy as they were initially. Is this normal? How do you prevent them from drying out?

  57. Harini R Says:
  58. @VP - Thanks for trying them out and glad they came out well. I am thinking maybe the syrup was a little thick that is the reason for it drying out.

  59. unnatisilks Says:
  60. kajas look so delicious.
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  61. Jayanth Says:
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