June 15, 2011

Kozhi Ada.../ Savory Meat pockets.

Posting here after a while since I couldn't think anything to write about and didn't feel like cooking too. My stories of our culture and home food fueled this blog and when my mind was preoccupied with other things, thinking about food seemed a luxury. Rhapsodizing about it and posting glory photos of food that is so elaborate that cooking it in itself is a vacation now, seemed even worse!

So I was job hunting instead. All my creativity went to creating cover letters and my photo skills into creating portfolios and resumes...blog hopping shifted to job site hopping...Instead of luscious food posted by friends, all I could see was insipid requirements and disheartening emails. All part of the striving force that we call life.:) That still goes on along with the myriad other demands in a day..:)

But yesterday I had a dream.(yeah,..in the middle of all this.. ) of these crisp delicacies and even the words that I should use to describe them..so here I am, taking a break from my full time occupation to blog. Before you make a beeline for my house, no, I didn't make these.. just remnants of the last visit home.

Kozhi Ada  means a savory crisp pocket filled with spiced chicken..but  its not an ada filled with Kozhi/chicken....the only ones I have eaten are filled with Beef.  I guess its made with chicken too nowadays. The name is a misnomer like the American Chicken Fried Steak , which is not chicken either..
Ada is the Kerala Dumpling.. steamed or fried crescent shaped dough filled with sweet or savory filling.
The sweet filling is mostly coconut and sugar flavored with cardamom powder. And the savory ones range from fish filling to chicken to egg.
They look like samosas but are super crunchy versions of it.. the wrapper is similar to chips or tortilla chips.. and the filling also is very dry and crunchy. They are made so small that you can pop a whole ada in your mouth at one go... bite into one and the dry spicy fillings just spills out..

Now these.. my mom never made .. too much effort , she says...but my mother in law is an expert and so are all members of her family, who are from North of Calicut in Kerala. So if you know anybody from that part of Kerala, ask them for a taste of the best Kozhi adas ever.  We are always lucky to have my MIL or her sister getting us a a big batch of these adas waiting for us when we reach home, which we all fight over. And trying to get it back here without turning into a powdery mess is an adventure in packing.. discovered a new use for Bubble wrap.:)

So if anyone wants to bring some over for me from home, I will give you my address.:)))
Anyway, do try this and try it with patience, as getting the wrappers crispy is the key to a good Kozhi Ada.

You Will Need:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt to taste
Water sparingly
2 Tbsp Dalda/Ghee/ Veg Shortening.

For the Filling:
1 cup Cooked chicken or beef (or raw meat)
1 cup Onions chopped finely
4-5 Green spicy chilies chopped
1 tsp red chili powder (use less for less spicy)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
Fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp
1 tsp Garam Masala
Salt to taste.


Mix the ghee(clarified butter) or veg shortening into the flour along with salt and work it in to resemble crumbles. Add just enough cold water little by little to make a hard dough . Keep aside. 
Cook the meat or chicken with the turmeric, red chili powder, coriander and salt. Shred the cooked meat or chicken with your fingers into strands.
Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onions, curry leaves, fennel seeds and green chilies. When the onions start getting golden brown, add the meat/chicken and saute on low heat till the meat mixture is full dry and powdery, It is not the like the samosa filling which is a  semi-wet onion mix. Add garam masala and adjust salt.
To Assemble:
Roll out small discs of the dough..about 3 inch in diameter. The  dough should be thin but not too thin. Add 2 tsp of filling on one side, cover with the other side of dough and pinch the edges together in a pattern to make a crescent shape. Keep aside and continue making till all the filling is exhausted.

 Heat oil in a cast iron skillet, and when it is hot, add the adas one by one (not more than 4-5 at a time depending on the size of your pan.. do not over crowd) and fry on medium low heat till golden brown.. It takes patience, as if the heat is too high, the outside will get cooked but not the inside, and if its too low heat, the whole ada will be a soggy oily mess. You need it to get crispy and super crunchy all the way through. If fried well, it stays outside for days.


Sarah Naveen said...

Dear mallugirl,

i know job hunting can be frustrating at times...I have been doing it for sometime for my cousin( me still in H4 ..so cant even think of the word "job",) who happens to be a doctor from India , and couldn't practice here :)......as she says oru componter ayenkilum kittiyirunenkil ennu ...
All the very best :) :)..
Kozhi ada adipoli!!!! try cheyyanam...kottayam sidelottu ithu kandittilla...pinne ivide vannittu kannur , calicut friends nte veettil ninnu kazhichittundu ....and i have noticed eppozhum outer cover different ayittu irikkum...

indosungod said...

That is a delicious looking pocket. You seemed to be in contemplative mood. Wishing you all the best in your jobhunt.

sra said...

They look delicious, can only imagine the taste. Best of luck with the job hunt.

cook from doha said...

koahi adas are one of my fav too......nd it is always stored in my pantry.......i dont make it but shipped from kerala........nd best wishes in your job hunting.......thavakalthu alallah.....u will get a good job.....

Myra said...

Hello Shaheen,
I was only thinking about you a few days ago, as you say Shaheen
"C'est la Vie"
hope you will get good vibrations very soon !
if i was living closer i would definitely make up a big batch of "Kozhi Ada" to share with you and your family xxx
missed you
yours Myra xx

Happy Cook / Finla said...

I think our food blogs are a hobby and it is natural that hunting for a job is more important, hope you get a job you have been looking for.
If you mom says it takes too much time then i don't want even think about doing them, wish my MIL was good in laking these like yours :-)

Shabs.. said...

Oh, Shaheen. I am in the same boat as u r..Hunting for jobs and sending in applications and no luck:(...I have been doing it intensely for the past few months and all need experience. I have stopped job searchiing for a while now as we r going to India next month..Planning to take up any petty jobs after coming back for the heck of experience! Good luck with the Job..

BTW, Ada thinna kaalam marannu, today I made Kumz, and was thinking of all these dishes that we get to eat back in India!Cant wait to get to India, and I am spending my nombu there, this time, so going to hog on all these to a point that i am never going to miss it:):)...

Mallugirl said...

sarah, yeah compounder joli is good.. i was just mentioning that to my in laws recently.:)) being on h4 is worse or is it good? at least u don't have to "look" for a job. immigrant woes!!

indo, contemplative ..maybe..but feels more like seething now. but this post is actually cathartic.

sra. haven't read any blogs in a while now. yeah, these taste unstoppable.. maybe thats why i was missing them!

cook from doah.. enjoy!! u guys really make the most of the short distance to kerala.:) what else do u import? chattipathiri? thanks for the prayers.

myra, cest la vie indeed!! was just thinking of those word when i saw ur note!

Mallugirl said...

finla.. thats what i think when i see ur luscious desserts!! they look so complicated.yeah, blogs are an escape from the mundane and the routine.:)

shabs, good luck to u too. aw, maybe we shud start a job hunting support group or s ub blog for that!!:) anyway, have a lot of fun during nombu and rent a stomach if u can't eat too much. take fotos too if u can and regale us.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! Looks delicious wish I could eat them rite away...
I tried your meen pathiri and it was awesome,Thanks for posting this one will surely try and let u knw..inshaallah I will pray for your job.

Mélange said...

kozhiyada is my fav too.Look stunning at your place..

Good luck for job hunting !

And,why you still not considering me as Mallu blogger ? haha..or this kerala mela needs any intro/recommendation of existing bloggers like in bank and all ?
(jus kiddin)

BongMom said...

Post more of these and with all the people flocking here and loving it, you can get a book deal about Kerala Food and that will make you half a millionaire, ahem.

The Thai place near our home has something like these. It is irresistibly delicious. The wrapper is closer to pastry sheets but not as flaky though.

Ok, one more idea, open up a restaurant serving Coastal food and I will be a loyal customer

Suman Singh said...

Meat pockets look delicous and tempting..love the recipe..Good luck with the job hunt.

asha said...

Hey Shaheen, its been a while since I checked your blog. I am with my newly married youngest sis right now and in the middle of giving her tips on cooking. I took your site to show her - for authentic, good recipes with excellent directions - that's when I noticed there has been some good activity recently. Happy to see that.

All the best for the job hunting. Sometimes it can get to you - these hobby interests do help in keep some balance and uplifting one's mood. For me, its photography and going through cookery blogs like yours for ideas :)

Hang in there. Hope you get a well deserved, great job soon. You are pretty good at your work!

Shreeja N said...


Loved the KozhiAda recipe n am going to try this out. Sure to be njoyd by my son and husband :)

Smitha said...

Hi Shaheen,
I have always been a big fan of your blog.Although I have visited your blog many times, this kozhi ada blog forced me to leave you a comment. This takes me back to my childhood days when I used to have a family friend who was from Calicut and they used to make this very often at home and my sister and I would literally go there to binge on these crispy adas.They are just heavenly! Good luck with your job search.