This post of mine is meant for Thekua but without mentioning little details of Chhath Puja, it is possible for me to create the flavor of this Bihari delicacy. After all, I have spent two eventful years in Bihar thanks to my decision working there back in 2008. I still (and will do in future) cherish my memories of Bihar and it is worth mention about me witnessing the festival of Chhath Puja there. I used to stay along with a Bengali family as a paying guest and they being born and brought up in Bihar were impromptu with the culture of Bihar. I used to be invited with them by many Bihari families to celebrate Chhath Puja. Chhath is an Indian festival where Surya Dev (the Sun) is worshiped along with his wife who is famously known as Chhathi Maiya (Mother Chhath). this festival is meant to thanks the Sun for providing the power of energy and life to the human being. The four-day long festival is inclusive of several customs and obviously preparation of traditional Indian, to be specific Bihari food to offer as Prasad. People used to invite neighbors and friends in the evening to have Prasad and that is inclusive of homemade small Roti, Kheer prepared with Sugarcane Juice and last but not the least “Thekua”.
It is not that I have had Theuka for the first time in Bihar, in fact, I had it several times before thanks to Ram Khilawan Kaku. There’s a stand of hand pull Rickshaw nearby my ancestral home in Central Kolkata and the rickshaw pullers are mostly from the state of Bihar. Ram Khilawan Kaku was a very sweet Rikshaw puller with whom baba has very good relation till date. Kaku and his fellow Rickshaw pullers used to prepare Thekua during Chhath Puja and my dad being the best father in the world never ever failed to get my portion of the epitome of Indian cookies from them every year. Slightly nutty and chunky, properly fried, Thekua is a treat one should try to experience the richness of a different kind of Indian sweet.
Thekua is a type of whole wheat cookie which is also known as Khajur or Khajuriya and it is the official dessert of the “Mithil” community who resides in India and Nepal. Khajur is quite popular in Bihar, Jharkhand, and even West Bengal and served as Prashad in Chhath Puja. Prepared with a mixture of Whole Wheat, Ghee, and Jaggery, Khajur tastes amazing and is full of deshi flavors. Making Thekua is quite easy and it does not require baking. Traditionally it is prepared by deep frying in Oil. Though Thekua mold is easily available in Bihar but it is a bit difficult to find the mold outside the state. I have used a “Jugaru” method to shape my Thekua using my grater.
Updated on 10th Nov, 15: Now I am available with a proper mold thanks to my colleague who is from Bihar and will be updating the pictures of Thekua prepared using the mold soon.
Updated on 03 November 2016: I thought it is worth changing the pictures with some better clicks .
- Whole Wheat Flour / Atta: 2 cups (300 g)
- Jaggery / Gur: 1 cup (150 g)
- Desiccated Coconut: 1 Cup
- Green Cardamom: 8-10
- Clarified Butter / Ghee: 2 tbsp.
- Cashew Nut and Almond: 25 g (optional)
- Refined Vegetable Oil: for Deep Frying
- Make a powder of the green cardamoms and keep it aside.
- Chop cashew nuts and almonds, however, this step is optional.If you don't want to add dry fruits then just skip it.
- I love the crunchiness of dry fruits and moreover, I have a good stock of dry fruits after
- Diwali so I just have utilized them to make thekua .
- Take Jaggery along with ½ cup of water in a pan and heat it to melt the Jaggery to prepare Jaggery water. We don't need thick syrup for this.
- Mix 1 tbsp. of Ghee in the hot Jaggery water and give the water a stand of 5-7 minutes.
- Now take Wheat flour along with the desiccated coconut, powdered cardamom and chopped dry fruits in a bowl and add little Jaggery water and start kneading it.
- Prepare a tight dough using entire Jaggery water. If required add little more wheat flour to make the dough perfect.
- Keep the dough a rest of 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 20 equal portions of a size of little smaller than ping pong balls.
- Thekua can be prepared using a “ mold” but I don't have a mold available with me so I have used my onion grater to decorate it , however , the decoration is entirely optional .
- Take one wheat ball and place it over the onion grater and press it little on the upper surface of the grater to get a decorated yet flattened small disk. If you don’t want to decorate it, then just flattened a wheat ball with the help of your hands.
- Following the process mentioned rest of the Khajur to be prepared.
- Now heat sufficient oil along with 1 tbsp. of Ghee in a wok for deep frying.
- Start frying Thekua in a batch of 3-4 depending on the radius of the wok in low flame till they turn golden brown in color and thoroughly cooked from inside. Don’t fry Khajur in high flame.
- Prepare rest of the Thekua and place those on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Thekua can be stored in an Air tight container.