Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in Bihar and hence Buddhism has had a significant impact on the state. People are largely vegetarian though there are many who are fond of chicken and meat dishes. A remarkable factor of the Bihari cuisine is that the state has imbibed the best and most suitable aspects of the Mauryan, Gupta, Turk, Afghan and Persian and European style of cooking and, at the same time, retained a food culture that bears a distinct hallmark of Bihar.
‘Thekua’, or ‘khajur’, is one of the traditional sweet items in Bihar’s homes. Be it ‘Teej’ or ‘Jitiya’ – festivals when Hindu women keep fast praying for the welfare of their husbands and. children respectively, this is a mandatory item prepared at home, There are many variations of this item; like it could be crispy or soft, big or small etc. But the cooking method is more or less the same. This recipe has been specially made for this month’s Indian Cooking Challenge by Srivalli.
Thekua can be made with either Sugar or Jaggery. I actually used a combination of both in my preparation. S is not very fond of jaggery so it was a compulsion for me to use Sugar in it to make him enjoy this as well. Also, I deep fried some and baked the rest of them. Both were equally good and different in their own taste and texture. Plz remember Coconut is very important in this recipe, and that decides the taste of the final make. So keeping all this is in mind, here is my version of Thekua A.K.A. Indian Cookies.:)
1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup Semolina ( Sooji / Rava)
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup grated Jaggery
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
1 tsp fennel powder
1/2 cup grated Coconut
2 tbsp Ghee
1/2 cup warm Milk to knead
Oil for deep frying OR
if you are baking it : A pinch of Baking Soda.
Mix all the ingredients and knead into a stiff dough. Keep aside for 20 min. You can use more milk to knead if it’s required.
Cut into desired shapes and size. I used a cookie cutter for the same.
Heat oil in a wok and deep fry all the thekuas in batches. Best enjoyed warm, crispy and flavourful. Could be kept in an air tight container for upto 2 weeks.
For baking, just mix baking soda while kneading and bake in a preheated Oven at 180 degrees for 20 min untill golden on top. Dust with some icing sugar before serving..
Love ’em !! 🙂