Thekua Recipe | Indian Fried Cookies

5 from 1 vote
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Every Indian festival brings us the magic of a unique gourmet gala. Whether it is Bengal’s very own Durga Puja, Kerala’s Onam or Bihar’s Chaath Puja, each festival is closely linked to a spread of distinct delicacies.

When it comes to Chhath Puja, the first thing that comes to our mind is thekua.  Thekua is a kind of crispy, crunchy, mildly sweet cookie.

It is not an Indian version of baked cookies in the western world; rather an age-old indigenous innovation that we can feel proud of because it is a signature of our culinary diversity and excellence across our beloved geographical landscape.

Thekua

Key Takeaways:

  • Indian festivals are accompanied by a variety of unique delicacies, showcasing the culinary diversity of different regions.
  • Thekua is a traditional sweet associated with Chhath Puja, a festival that worships the Sun God.
  • Thekua is a crispy, mildly sweet cookie made with whole grain flour, jaggery, coconut, and flavored with cardamom and fennel seeds.
  • It can be fried in ghee or oil, and variations such as coconut, nutty, spiced, sesame, cardamom, and chocolate thekua can be tried.
  • Pro tips include using quality ingredients, adjusting jaggery sweetness, resting the dough, maintaining oil temperature, frying in small batches, draining excess oil, and experimenting with flavors. Enjoy thekua with tea or milk.

The Ingredients:

Thekua Ingredients

  • 2 cups Whole grain flour or atta
  • 1 cup Chopped Jaggery
  • 1 cup Lukewarm Milk
  • 3 tablespoons Small coconut pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Cashew nuts
  • 1 tablespoon Raisins
  • 1 tablespoon Fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee
  • 0.5 ltr Refined oil

How to Make Thekua (Step by Step Images)?

1. Add chopped jaggery, coconut, dry fruits, fennel seeds and salt to whole grain flour. Mix well.

Mix chopped jaggery, coconut, dry fruits, fennel seeds and salt to whole grain flour

2. Add ghee. Give a proper mix.

Adding ghee to the mix

3. Add milk slowly and mix well. Add more milk until a consistently semi-soft texture is obtained.

Make it consistently semi-soft texture by adding milk

4. Make sure to knead gently; overworking on dough is highly discouraged.

knead gently

5. Keep the mixture aside for 10 minutes.

Dough is ready

6. Make balls from the dough.  Use your palms to flatten each ball. Alternatively, you can use a rolling pin.

Make balls from the dough

7. You can give these balls different shapes with the help of a fork, toothpick or a bamboo skewer.

give these balls different shapes with the help of a fork, toothpick or a bamboo skewer step by step image

8. Deep fry them in oil or ghee. Make sure to fry them on low flame’ otherwise the outside will get crunchier but the inner side won’t be cooked properly.

Deep fry the balls in oil and Thekua is ready step by step image

Pro Tips for Making Thekua

Here are some pro tips to help you make delicious thekua:

Use good quality ingredients: Choose fresh and high-quality ingredients, especially when it comes to jaggery and dry fruits. This will ensure a better taste and texture in the final product.

Adjust jaggery sweetness: The sweetness of jaggery can vary, so taste a small piece before adding it to the dough. If the jaggery is less sweet, you can add a little more to achieve the desired level of sweetness.

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Rest the dough: Allowing the dough to rest for around 10 to 30 minutes helps the flavors to develop and makes it easier to handle. It also results in a better texture of thekua.

Maintain oil temperature: While frying thekua, maintain a medium heat level to ensure they cook evenly and become crispy. If the oil is too hot, they may brown quickly on the outside but remain uncooked inside.

Fry in small batches: Avoid overcrowding the pan while frying. Fry thekua in small batches, allowing them enough space to cook evenly and maintain their shape.

Drain excess oil: After frying, place thekua on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. This will help keep them crispy and prevent them from becoming greasy.

Cool completely before storing: Ensure that thekua have cooled down completely before storing them in an airtight container. This will help retain their crispness and freshness.

Experiment with flavors: Feel free to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to personalize your thekua recipe. You can try adding spices, nuts, or even a hint of your favorite essence to enhance the taste.

Enjoy with tea or milk: Thekua pairs well with a cup of tea or a glass of milk. Serve them as a snack or as a sweet treat during festivals and celebrations.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first batch of thekua doesn’t turn out exactly as expected.

Enjoy the process of making this traditional sweet and adjust the recipe according to your taste preferences along the way.

What to Serve with Thekua?

Thekua is often enjoyed on its own as a standalone sweet snack or paired with certain accompaniments. Here are some suggestions for what to serve with Thekua:

Tea or Chai: Thekua pairs well with a hot cup of tea or chai. The combination of the sweet and slightly spiced flavors of Thekua with the warmth and aroma of tea creates a delightful snack time experience.

Milk: Thekua can be enjoyed with a glass of milk. The crunchy texture of Thekua complements the smoothness of milk, and the sweetness of the snack balances the natural flavor of the milk.

Yogurt: Thekua can be served with plain yogurt or even sweetened yogurt. The creamy and tangy yogurt provides a refreshing contrast to the crispy and sweet Thekua. You can even sprinkle some crushed Thekua on top of the yogurt for added texture.

Rabri or Sweetened Condensed Milk: For a more indulgent treat, you can serve Thekua with a side of rabri (thickened sweet milk) or sweetened condensed milk. These creamy and rich accompaniments enhance the sweetness and richness of Thekua.

Fresh Fruits: Thekua can be enjoyed with fresh fruits like bananas, apples, or grapes. The combination of the sweet and crunchy Thekua with the juicy and refreshing fruits provides a balance of flavors and textures.

Remember, Thekua is a versatile snack that can be enjoyed on its own or with a variety of accompaniments based on personal preference.

How Does Thekua Taste Like?

Here’s a description of how Thekua tastes:

Sweet: Thekua is known for its sweet taste. It is made with jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), which imparts a rich and natural sweetness to the snack. The sweetness is not overly sugary but has a pleasant and satisfying sweetness that is balanced by other flavors.

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Crunchy: The texture of Thekua is crispy and crunchy. It is achieved by deep-frying the dough made with wheat flour and jaggery. The fried exterior gives it a satisfying crunch, making it enjoyable to bite into.

Aromatic: Thekua is often flavored with spices such as cardamom, nutmeg, and fennel seeds. These spices add an aromatic touch to the snack, enhancing its overall flavor profile. The fragrant spices lend a subtle warmth and depth to the sweet taste of Thekua.

Nutty: Some variations of Thekua include the addition of chopped nuts like almonds, cashews, or pistachios. These nuts contribute a nutty flavor and add a delightful crunch to the texture of Thekua.

Overall, Thekua offers a combination of sweetness, crunchiness, and aromatic flavors.

Its unique taste, along with its crispy texture, makes it a beloved snack in Bihar and other regions of India. It is often enjoyed during festive occasions or as a special treat with a cup of tea or coffee.

Thekua Recipe Alternatives

If you’re looking for alternatives to the traditional thekua recipe, here are a few variations you can try:

Coconut Thekua: Follow the same steps as the basic thekua recipe but increase the amount of grated coconut to enhance the coconut flavor. You can use 1 cup or more, depending on your preference.

Nutty Thekua: Add a generous amount of chopped nuts like cashews, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts to the dough mixture. This will give the thekua a crunchy texture and a nutty taste.

Spiced Thekua: Incorporate spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves into the dough mixture to add a warm and aromatic flavor. You can experiment with different spice combinations to suit your taste.

Sesame Thekua: Toast some white sesame seeds and add them to the dough mixture along with other ingredients. This will give the thekua a nutty and slightly crunchy texture.

Cardamom Thekua: If you enjoy the aroma and taste of cardamom, increase the amount of cardamom powder in the recipe or add freshly crushed cardamom seeds to enhance the flavor.

Chocolate Thekua: For a unique twist, you can add a touch of cocoa powder or melted chocolate to the dough mixture. This will give the thekua a chocolaty taste and make it more indulgent.

Remember, these are just a few alternatives, and you can get creative by experimenting with different flavors and ingredients to make your own unique version of thekua.

Enjoy the process of exploring new flavors and textures while keeping the essence of this traditional sweet intact.

Recipe Card

Thekua

Thekua Recipe | Indian Fried Cookies

By Mita Mondal
Thekua is a traditional Indian sweet treat that is popularly made in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand. It is especially prepared during festive occasions like Chhath Puja.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine Indian
Servings 10
Calories 210 kcal

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, combine whole grain flour, chopped jaggery, coconut, dry fruits, fennel seeds, and a pinch of salt. Mix the ingredients well to ensure they are evenly distributed.
  • Add ghee to the mixture and give it a thorough mix. The ghee will add richness and flavor to the dough.
  • Gradually pour in milk while continuously mixing the ingredients. Add enough milk to achieve a semi-soft texture that holds together when pressed. Avoid overworking the dough to maintain its desired consistency.
  • Set the dough aside for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the dough to rest.
  • Take small portions of the dough and shape them into balls. Flatten each ball using your palms or a rolling pin. You can also use various utensils like a fork, toothpick, or bamboo skewer to create decorative patterns on the flattened dough.
  • Heat oil or ghee in a deep frying pan over low heat. It is important to maintain a low flame to ensure the Thekua cooks evenly from the inside out. If the flame is too high, the outer layer will become excessively crispy while the inner part remains undercooked.
  • Carefully place the shaped dough into the hot oil or ghee, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the Thekua until they turn golden brown and achieve a crisp texture. Fry them in batches if necessary.

Video

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Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Thekua Recipe | Indian Fried Cookies
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
210
Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
10
g
15
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Trans Fat
 
0.02
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
11
mg
4
%
Sodium
 
11
mg
0
%
Potassium
 
104
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
27
g
9
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
6
g
7
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
Vitamin A
 
40
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
0.3
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
44
mg
4
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Conclusion

Though thekua is a traditional recipe made during Chaath Puja, you can prepare them at other times of the year too.

Winter is the best season to relish these cookies with hot tea. The combination is a delightful treat to your guests in a family or friendly adda.

If you want something flavourful that you can dip in your favourite tea, these delightful Indian cookies are the best bet to go with.

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