Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thekua -Bihari Fried Sweet (Cookies)

Thekua is a simple deep fried sweet made of Wheat flour,coconut,optional dry fruits and jaggery or sugar syrup.It is a staple of festival feast especially during the Chath Pooja which is celebrated in Bihar and also in Jharkhand,some parts of Nepal etc.Thekua is also known as khajoori or khajoorain or Thakua.

I came to know of this through the newspaper TimesOfIndia which had written about this dish as a part of the Chath Pooja festival that was celebrated last week of October.Chath Pooja is a festival celebrated in Bihar,Jharkhand,Uttarakhand and parts of UP for the Sun God and is usually a 4 day festival.More than just a festival it is an observance of rituals and other practices and is a form of nature worship.Do read more about the festival from the link above and also check the wiki definition of Thakua/Thekua .

Thekua is made on the third day as a offering to God along with Kansara which is a rice flour laddu.I googled for the thekua and found several recipes and adapted from here and here .I went with the basic thekua recipe of wheat flour,jaggery syrup and coconut though several spices and dry fruits including chopped and deseeded dates can also be added to this.The sweet is normally pressed onto a saancha or a mould so as to get a patterned cookie,but I just used my fork to make the design.

Ingredients:
Wheat Flour: 1 cup
Fresh grated Coconut :2-4 tbsp
Cardamom powdered: 1/4 tsp+
Ghee: 1 tbsp

Jaggery Syrup: 4-6 tbsp as needed to make a dough.
Ghee for Deep Frying: 1/2 cup + as needed

Preparation:
In a big bowl,mix together wheat flour (aatta),coconut grated,ghee and cardamom.Add 1/4 cup jaggery syrup and knead to form a dough.Keep on adding 1 tbsp of jaggery syrup as needed to make a smooth dough.You can use dry coconut flakes or coconut powder instread of fresh coconut.Also other additions are chopped dryfruits,pepper powder ,fennel seed powder or whatever you like.Normal sugar syrup (sugar dissolved in water) can be used instead of jaggery syrup.

Pinch small balls of the dough,pat into rounds,slightly flatten them and press them on a mould/saancha to get a flat patterned cookie shape.I flattened it with hands and then using a fork made design on it.

Heat ghee in a kadai/pan for deep frying and deep fry the cookies 2-3 at a time to a deep brown /reddish brown colour.Drain on paper towels.

The cookies turned out perfect for me though healthwise they are not that good.Deep frying in ghee is good once in a while though ;) .These are supposed to harden as time passes but mine were crunchier but never that harder.A baked version of these will also be fine and much more healthier.

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