Shakarpara and Thekua
Thekua or also spelt Thokwa or Thekariis is a dry sweet from the Indian subcontinent. It is very popular in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, eastern Uttar Pradesh (Purvanchal) and Terai region of Nepal.
Thekua is a revered Prasada, offering to god in the Chhath puja. It has been used as a sweet snack for centuries in these places.
The main ingredients of Thekua are wheat flour, chasni (melted sugar) and ghee. Jaggery can sometimes be used as an alternative to sugar. Dough is prepared using these four main ingredients and cardamom can be added to enhance the taste. Dough is deep fried in ghee or vegetable oil till it becomes reddish brown. It is soft when hot but hardens after it cools. It needs no preservatives and it can be preserved for several days for eating.
- 1 teaspoon powdered green cardamom
1. To prepare this Bihari recipe, put a deep-bottomed pan on medium flame and boil 2 cups of water in it. After a boil, add sugar in the boiling water and stir till it melts. Once the sugar is melted, switch off the burner and put down the pan.
2. Add ghee in the sugar syrup and stir to mix. Allow the syrup to cool at room temperature
3. Now, take a dough kneading plate and add wheat flour in it along with grated coconut, fennel and cardamom powder. (You must take whole wheat flour. It gives an amazing taste to the Thekua and is healthier too.) Mix well and then add the sugar syrup in batches to knead the dough. Make sure the dough is not too soft. It has to be hard or your Thekua will make like pooris!
4. When the dough is ready, make small balls with your hands. Press them flat, you can use a cookie cutter to give them shape. You can also emboss a design on them if you wish to make them look attractive.
5. Now, put a kadhai on high flame and heat oil in it. When the oil is hot enough, add a flattened piece of dough and deep fry them till golden brown in colour. You must keep the flame low so that the Thekua is cooked from inside. Repeat the procedure and deep fry the remaining dough balls.
6. Thekua is ready, cool them at room temperature and store in air-tight containers. They can be stored for up to three weeks.