Published on Tuesday, July 30 by Kalpana Jha
Make Thekua, A Quintessentially Namkeen from Mithila with this Traditional Recipe
Last week, I received a call. Manjari ji from Delhi had saw our ad on Facebook and decided to give us a call.She told me she belongs to Sitamarhi, which is a neighboring town, about 75 kms north-west from here.
Manjari Ji was very excited to discover these pickles which reminded her of all the taste from her childhood.Among them all, she mentioned ठेकुआ! She urged me to soon make and sell ठेकुआ to complement the pickles at JhaJi Store.Believe it or not, we're seriously considering them. In fact, several people have reached out to us now with requests for Namkeen.
On that point, by the way, I'll love a quick help from you.
Can you tell me which of these Namkeen will you like me to make and add to the products we sell on JhaJi Store?
2. निमकी (या नमक पारा ),
3. पीरिकीया (गुजिया),
8. Anything else?
Reply with 1-8 to this email to let me know. You can write more than one numbers too :)
All of these conversations last week about Thekua only meant one thing. We all had to have it.So we decided to make Thekuas and talk to you about them in this week's letter.
If you come from or know friends from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal, you probably know what I'm talking about. You may know this wonderful sweet as ठेकुआ, Khajur, or 'Thikari'. Thekua is traditionally made during Chhathh Pooja.
Till this day, family members get together on the occasion of Chhathh Pooja and make them together.
People in Mithila believe that the sweet taste of Khajur or ठेकुआ brings togetherness and happiness in the family. That is one of the reason why Biharis can sometimes often describe ठेकुआ as an emotion, not just a dessert :)
Among my family and friends, ठेकुआ is one of the top loved Snack. We have them with pickles in the evenings.If you're looking for recommendations, ठेकुआ tastes really well with spicy and lustrous pickles - Oal or Suran ka Achaar and Mithila Special Mango Pickle. We decided to make two kinds of ठेकुआ with slightly different sets of ingredients.
Ingredients include मैदा (Refined Flour), घी , नारियल (Coconut), Meetha Soda (Baking Soda) and चीनी (Sugar)
Ingredients include गुड़ (Jaggery), आटा (Wheat Flour), घी , नारियल (Coconut) and इलाइची (Cardamom)
We begin making ठेकुआ by mixing all ingredients in a pan large enough you can knead the dough comfortably.You typically boil Jaggery or Sugar with water in a deep bottomed pan. Keep the syrup so formed after cooling it down. Pour this over all the ingredients in the pan while you knead the dough (मिक्स को गूंथ लें).Make sure that the dough sticks well to itself and is hard.Once checked, take out small portions of the dough and press it into shape.We then fry these pressed Thekuas in pure desi cow Ghee. Heat the Ghee first for 5-10 minutes on low flame, and then place as many Thekuas as fit in the pan. Fry them in here for 3-5 minutes, until they are deep brown.
Keep flipping them over to see they're fried. Keep the flame low.Once you see them getting fried, take them out. We used some old newspapers for the purpose.
When you take it out of Ghee, the Thekua is soft. Give it some time to cool and it will become harder.In homes in Mithila, mothers and grandmothers have packed this filling snack for travel or when someone undertakes a long journey.The snack doesn't need any preservatives and it stays good for ~2 weeks.And just like that we had a treat at our hand to enjoy and wrap up this week at JhaJi Store.All thanks to Manjari Ji!
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