So, after a (thankfully) uneventful journey I am here in my quaint, sleepy little city of Bokaro and enjoying (read gorging) every (awake) moment. But inspite of all the fun and euphoria, I have not forgotten my promise which I made to bring to you some yumminess from this part of the world and if you have been following my stories, you might have taken a glimpse already. So, starting on a sweet note, I bring to you the quintessential Bihari sweet- Thekua, which not only forms a part of every major festival-Holi, Diwali or Chatth but also a part of every Bihari’s bags who leaves home for studies or work. Made with wholewheat flour, sweetened with jaggery and flavoured with fennel seeds and dried coconut, these score over almost every packaged cookies in the market; they can either be deep fried in ghee or baked. Perfect accompaniment to your masala chai moments if you are looking for less sweeter alternatives.
- Whole wheat flour- 250gm
- Jaggery- 100 gm
- Water- 4 tablespoons (for melting jaggery)
- Shredded coconut- ½ cup
- Cardamom powder- 1 teaspoon
- Fennel seeds- 1 teaspoon
- Baking powder-½ teaspoon
- Ghee (clarified butter) for frying- 2 cups + 2 (warm and melted) tablespoons for kneading the flour
- Place the flour in a wide and deep dish suitable for kneading. Make a well in the center of the flour and add 2 tablespoons ghee. Mix the ghee with flour using both hands, rubbing the mixture between both palms for 10 minutes until both ingredients are well combined. At this point the flour will achieve a smooth talc like consistency
- In the meantime melt jaggery on a low flame with water, stirring consistently until a homogenous consistency is achieved. Turn off the heat and set aside till the jaggery-water mixture reaches room temperature
- Mix cardamom powder, fennel seeds and desiccated coconut with the flour
- Now, gradually add the jaggery syrup with one hand to the above mixture while continuously mixing it well with the other. Be carful to not add the entire syrup mixture in one go to avoid making the dough too wet and sticky. Once ready the dough should be relatively stiff
- Form the dough into small tennis sized balls and then pressing each ball gently between the palms make small diskettes. At this point you can make small patterns onto the diskettes using a toothpick or fork
- Heat ghee in a deep wok. Drop a tiny piece of dough into the hot ghee to check if it is hot enough for frying- the dough should rise up to the surface if the ghee is hot
- Fry the diskettes until dark golden brown on both sides and place on a kitchen towel to absorb excess ghee. The thekuas taste delicious even when hot or once cooled to room temperature. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, they keep well for a month or two.