What is Thekua?
Thekua is an important part of our Bihari culture . It is a fried sweet delicacy (most importantly, a prasad offering) which is used in Chhath Puja. Mostly celebrated in Bihar and some parts of UP, this puja is offered to Sun God. This is considered one of the toughest pujas of all time, and almost all of the folks of Bihar try to come and celebrate this festival in their hometown. Thekua is prepared by making a dough of whole wheat flour, jaggery, fennel seeds, chopped dry coconut, and desi ghee. After making the dough, the round discs are deep fried in desi ghee.
One more version of Thekua is the sugar one. It is mostly used as snack. Almost every home has their version of making it and all the students who stay in hostels or outside their city take a big dabba of these once they return from their hometown.
Why Did I Bake Thekua?
Sometimes we shy away from eating deep fried snacks. So, I wanted to make this delicacy at home to relish with my family minus all the grease.
Baked Thekua Cookies
- 2 Cups Whole wheat flour
- 3/4-1 Cup Liquid Jaggery
- 2 Tbsp Desi Ghee for kneading the dough
- 1 Tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 Tbsp Dry Coconut flakes
- Little water for kneading the dough(it is optional)
- 1 Tsp Ghee for brushing the thekua before baking.
- 1 Tsp Salt
- Mix whole wheat flour, coconut flakes, salt, and crushed fennel seeds.
- Add desi ghee and using your fingers and palms, mix it well. The ghee should be mixed with flour. When you take the dry dough in your palm, you should be able to bind it.
- Take the jaggery powder or crushed jaggery in a glass bowl mix with 2 tbsp of water and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Remember, we just need to make liquid jaggery, not jaggery syrup. Syrup will not work here. Keep an eye on it while making the liquid.
- After it becomes liquid, make a tight dough with the liquid jaggery. The dough won’t be very smooth and soft. If you want to make it sweeter, use one cup of liquid jaggery, or if you like less sweeter version like us, use 3/4 cup.
- Most probably you will not need to add water for making the dough, but if it’s still dry, use only a few spoons. Using more water will turn it into a loose dough, and that will spoil you thekua.
- Make small balls of the same size and just flatten them a little like chocolate chip cookies. Traditional moulds are used but if you don’t have one, no problem.
- Preheat the oven at 375 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Bake the thekua cookies for around 20-25 minutes. They will look light brown in colour and feel soft now. The cookies will harden after you remove from oven(remove them while they are still soft) and keep them on counter.Watch out after minutes ,if you delay in removing it from the oven it will be hard ,and will not taste great.
- It’s really important not to make very thick or thin cookies. Thick cookies will take more time and thin cookies will harden.
- Your time can vary a little depending on your oven. Keep an eye on your cookies or set the timer a little early.
- Your cookies are ready to eat. After they come to room temp., you can store them for up to one week in an air-tight container.