This recipe is from my friends mom, Dr. K.R. She can make hundreds of these in no time. It is a fairly easy sweet to make but I failed miserably the first time I made these and then actually saw aunty make this in person and figured out what went wrong.
A simple dough is shaped into long rolls, sliced, fried and drenched in a simple sugar syrup. The fried rolls absorb the syrup and changes the texture of the rolls and turns it into a sticky confection. A lot of Indian sweets follow this same pattern. Sweets like these are in a category of its own in Indian cooking. Maybe the equivalent of making cookies or fudge in western cultures. Sweets play an important role in happy events and celebrations in India. They are made to celebrate religious festivals, special occasions and given to friends and families as gifts.They can also be served as tea or coffee time snacks.They are fairly sweet so usually one piece will do.
So for Christmas, I offer you all a Khaaja. Have a great Holidays!
2 cups All purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 stick Blue Bonnet margarine
1/2 c water
2 tbs rice flour
Oil for frying
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light or dark Brown sugar
1.5 cups water
Melt the margarine and add 1/2 c water to it. In a mixing bowl add flour and salt and add the melted margarine. Knead into a soft and pliable dough for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Make the syrup by combining both the sugars and 1.5 c water. Bring to a boil and then shut heat down very low to keep warm.
Take the dough and divide into 2 sections. Take a section and roll out into a square as thin as possible. Sprinkle some oil all over surface except for one edge. Sprinkle rice flour onto oil and spread evenly all over surface. Starting at the edge with oil-rice flour mixture, start rolling into a tight swiss roll. When you come to edge that does’t have oil-rice flour mixture, smear little water and seal edges to roll. Now cut into about 1 inch sections. Then flatten them slightly with rolling pin.
Heat oil in a skillet on low flame. Add the khaaja pieces and fry slowly, once they start floating you can increase heat until they are golden brown. Remove from oil and add to warm syrup to coat.you can shut off the heat to the syrup.
Roll out the second dough ball as above and fry. When this batch is ready to remove from oil after frying, remove the first batch from sugar syrup and place on a tray and add the second batch to syrup. Served best when made fresh.
Tip: You can make these ahead of time by frying the roll pieces and then refrigerating them. When you want fresh Khaaja, place them on a baking sheet and warm them up in the oven and then place in warm sugar syrup as needed.