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1 October, 2013

Munni’s Thekua (Indian Shortbread Cookies)

Posted in : Drinks & Desserts on by : Ratna

Indian shortbread cookie

Acchha  laga  Bhabiji ? ” Did   you  like  it  Bhabiji “?  Her  anxious  eyes  looking  at  me  for  approval.  “Munni”  is  the  household  help  at  my SIL”s  place.  She  spoils  us  everytime  I visit  my  SIL.

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As  I  took  a  bite  of  the  Thekua  I was  transported  to  my  University  days.  Staying  away  from  home  the  first  time,  Ma  always  worried about  food. Not  entirely  convinced  I  got  my favourite  snacks,  she  used  to  send  homemade  treats  for  me, treats  that  had  a  longer  shelf  life.  “Thekua”  made  frequent  visits  to  my  dormroom.  My  forever-hungry  roommates  cut  Thekua’s  life  short.DSC_0261

Tackling  the  rogue  aniseed  from  between  my  teeth,  I nod  my  head.  I  was  relishing  the  liquorice  taste  that  filled  my  mouth.  Satisfied  that  I  like  her  creation,  Munni  moves  on  to  her  next  chore,  washing  clothes,  tending  the  garden,  getting  groceries.  The  helping  hand  in  my  Prairie  kitchen  does  very  well  in  doing  dishes  and  clothes,  Miss  Whirlpool  hasn’t  tried  her  nuts-and-bolts  in  making  Thekua  though!

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..The  days  have  started  getting  shorter. There  is  a  chill  in  the  air.  The  blankets  are  left  out  on  the  sun,  so  they  are  more  comfortable  at  night. This  transition  of  seasons  reminds  me  of ‘Chhath’ – a  festival  celebrated  by  some  in  India, traditionally  in  November.  Our  neighbour  Renu,  would  always  bring  some  treats  for  us,  her  long  platts   neatly  tied  with  matching  ribbons.  We  were  half  expecting   her  to  do  the  same  this  year,  as  she   always  used  to.  Chhath  is   a  festival  where  the  devotees  worship  the  sun,  the  god  of  energy  and  of   life  force.  The  rituals  are  rigorous.  Devotees  abstain  from  drinking  water,  offer  prayers  to  the  rising  and  setting  sun,  standing   knee  deep  in  water. Thekua  is  a  revered  offering  during  this  festival.

Last 12 Months - 0541-2

 

DSC_0490DSC_0492.DSC_0301Recipe

Ingredients:

All  purpose  flour  (Maida)  2  Cups

Sugar  1  cup

Semolina  2  Tbsps

Baking  soda  a  small  pinch,

Aniseed  1  Tbsp,

Ghee  2  Tbsps

Method.

Mix   the   dry  ingredients  first  ,mix  in  the  ghee  next,   then   add  lukewarm  water  little  by  little,  to  make  a  dough. If  the dough  ends  up  being  a  bit  sticky,  sprinkle  a  bit  flour  to  make  it  right.    Divide  the  dough  into  16  pieces.  shape  them  in  any  way  you  like.  Traditionally  moulds  are  available,  like  the  one  I  used  here. I  sat  the  dough  ball  in  between  two  moulds  ,to  get  two  designs  on  either  sides.  Shallow fry  them  in  oil.

Let  it  cool  down  completely.  It  hardens  a  bit.  You  can  box  it  up  for  a  cookie exchange  or  surprise  your  family.

Inside  Scoop

1. For  a  healthier  version,  wholewheat  can  be  used. Grated  coconut,  raisins  can  be  added  in  the  mix.  Semolina  can  be  found  in  Indian  grocery  stores.

2. Bhabiji  is  how  an  elder  brother’s  wife  is  addressed  to.

3 .SIL:  Sister  in  law.

4.Ghee  is  clarified  butter,  available  in  the  world  food  section  in  most  grocery  stores.

By Ratna

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