Kulhi Kaajaa is a spicy local snack that’s prepared by deep frying spicy pieces of dough.
Makes: around 50 pieces.
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
1 inch thin slice of ginger
10 curry leaves
2 tbsp. grated coconut
1 ½ tsp. red chilli powder (or to taste)
½ tsp. black pepper powder (or to taste)
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ cup ground dried tuna
2 tsp. rihaakuru (Maldivian fish paste)
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 ½ cups flour
1 ¼ tsp. salt (or to taste)
8 tbsp. warm water (or as needed)
2 cups oil
Roughly chop up the onion and garlic.
Add the onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, grated coconut, red chilli powder, black pepper, cumin and ground dried tuna to your grinder and grind until everything is all minced and comes together.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the ‘rihaakuru’ and lime juice. Mix well to get everything combined.
Then sift the flour and salt together into the bowl. Give it a good mix. At this stage the mixture is going to look crumby.
Then start kneading the mixture, adding water gradually, a tablespoon at a time, until you get a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into portions.
Generously flour your rolling surface and pin. Roll one of the portions into a thin circular shape. Then use your knife to cut it into diamond shape bits. Just do some horizontal lines and vertical lines and you’d get the diamond shape pieces.
Heat the oil in a pot. Use a little dough ball to test the oil temperature. The temperature is right when the ball floats and you see bubbles forming around it.
Gently place some dough pieces in the oil. Don’t crowd the oil. The pieces need to float around a little to get fried nicely.
Fry the dough pieces until they are reddish. You’ll have to flip them halfway through to get both sides fried evenly.
Remove the fried dough pieces to a steel strainer. Keep them in the strainer for around 5 minutes and then lay them over some kitchen towels.
Repeat steps 7 to 11 until you run out of dough and that’s it. You can store the ‘kulhi kaajaa’ in a closed container at room temperature.