This post of mine is meant for Thekua however, without mentioning little details about Chhath Puja, it is not 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 of working there back in 2008. I still (and will do in future) cherish my memories of Bihar. It is worth mention about how I witnessed the festival of Chhath Puja there. I used to stay along with a Bengali family as a paying guest. They were born and brought up in Bihar. Both uncle and auntie were impromptu with the culture of Bihar. They were quite popular among the community. Needless to say, they used to get several invitations for Chhath Puja and so did I
Chhath Puja and Thekua Prashad!
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”.
My Thekua Memories!
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. 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. My dad never ever failed to get my portion of the epitome of Indian cookies from them every year. Slightly nutty and chunky, properly fried, Thekua indeed 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. It is also known as Khajur or Khajuriya. Thekua is the official dessert of the “Mithil” community who resides in India and and also in Nepal. Khajur is quite popular in Bihar, Jharkhand, and even West Bengal. 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. Thekua is a deep-fried cookie. Though Thekua mold is easily available in Bihar however, 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.
Here’s how I make Thekua at Debjanir Rannaghar!
- 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.
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- 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.
- Using a mold shape the Thekua. If not available with a Thekua mold, use a fork to decorate.
- Take one wheat ball and place it over the mold.
- Press it little on the upper surface of the mold 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.
- Make rest of the cookies following the same process.
- 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 pan 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.
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.