Thekua is a deep-fried cookie of sorts, and is traditionally made in Bihar on the occasion of Chhat Pooja as well as on other festive occasions. It is a simple recipe made special by a sophisticated use of restraint in terms of flavouring. We’ve used powdered jaggery here because it dissolves readily and imparts a glorious dark, caramelized hue to the cookies.
- 2 cups whole wheat atta
- 2 tablespoons fine sooji
- ¾ cup jaggery powder
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup desiccated coconut
- 1 teaspoon coarsely crushed fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon green cardamom powder
- 3 tablespoons thick ghee
- Vegetable oil for frying
- First, dissolve the jaggery in the water and microwave for 30-40 seconds. Stir well and keep aside.
- Next, all the other ingredients (except the frying oil) in a mixing bowl and rub well until the mixture appears sandy. When you clump the mixture into a fist, it should hold shape.
- Now add the jaggery water a little at a time to make a stiff dough. Don’t worry if the dough looks uneven or cracked. It will yield a flaky cookie when fried.
- Heat the oil on a low flame.
- Meanwhile, pinch off small balls about the size of a small lime and shape into cookies by pressing into Sondesh moulds or under a cookie press. You could even use the bottom of a patterned drinking glass or a fork to make designs.
- Fry the cookies slowly over very low heat until a rich gold in colour.
- Drain and allow them to firm up and cool on a paper towel before storing in an airtight jar.
Tip: To make the healthier baked version add more ghee to the dough and about 1/2 tsp baking soda to make it light. Enjoy!