Bihar is a small state located in northern India, bordered by Uttar Pradesh, Jharkand, Nepal and West Bengal. It is India’s most densely populated state, with most of the population under the age of 25. It is mostly rural, with farming being the majority occupation.
Bihar was also very important in India’s struggle for independence. Many of the freedom fighters, including Gandhi, staged many of their marches from Bihar.
Biharis are largely represented in the International Indian diaspora as this was a state where many left India as indentured servants to Mauritius & the Caribbean. Just this evening, I went to a talk and reading by Guyanese author Gaiutra Bahadur who traced the roots of her great grandmother from Guyana back to Bihar.
After the abolition of slavery, many Indians were lured to the Caribbean and other British empire countries to work the sugarcane and cocoa plantations. Being of Caribbean decent, it was interesting to learn about the region where many Caribbean Indians are descended from.
Indian indentured labour importing colonies
|Name of Colony
|Number of Labourers Transported
For some of the smaller Indian states, searching for recipes was a genuine challenge, despite the convenience of the world wide web. One of the sources I used was Srivalli’s Indian Cooking Challenge. I have been participating in this group off and on for the past year, but there were many previous challenges I did not complete. It is a great resource for many traditional Indian recipes and that is how I found this Bihari specialty.
Ever heard of a fried cookie? Well leave it to India to come up with this unique treat!
Yield: 12 3″ cookies
- 1 cup chappati flour (whole wheat flour)
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons dessicated grated coconut
- 2 tablespoons semolina
- 3 teaspoons ghee
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- oil, for frying
Using a coffee/spice grinder, grind the powdered sugar until very fine.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, coconut, semolina, ghee and cardamom. Mix to combine.
Add milk a little at a time, until you have a soft dough.
On a lightly wooden board, roll out dough to 1/4″ thick. Using cookie/biscuit cutters, cut out shapes. (although I doubt too many people are celebrating Easter in Bihar, I used Easter themed cookie cutters since we are in the month of April)
Heat a pan with enough oil for deep frying. (I added 2 heaping tablespoons of ghee into the oil for more flavor.)
Fry cookies until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
Serve with coffee/tea or milk.
These are very unusual. They are crispy on the outside, but soft and chewy like chappati/roti on the inside.
Mildly sweet, they are a delicious treat!
Thekua ( Indian Fried Cookies )
- Using a coffee/spice grinder, grind the powdered sugar until very fine.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, coconut, semolina, ghee and cardamom. Mix to combine.
- Add milk a little at a time, until you have a soft dough.
- On a lightly wooden board, roll out dough to 1/4″ thick.
- Using cookie/biscuit cutters, cut out shapes.
- Heat a pan with enough oil for deep frying. (I added 2 heaping tablespoons of ghee into the oil for more flavor.)
- Fry cookies until browned and crispy.
- Drain on paper towels.