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Bihari Sweet Khajas

Samina.Tapia's picture
Sweet Khaja is a Bihari sweetmeat or mithai often stuffed with a khoya or dry fruit filling, deep fried in ghee and then dunked into a fragrant saffron-flavored sugar syrup. It simply melts in the mouth. This is the Indian version of “Baklava” made during Diwali and other festivals that are dedicated to Lord Jagannath. In other parts of the country Khaja is known by different names and has many varieties such as Pheni in Orissa, Badusahi or Padusahi or Chandrakala in South India. The sweet Khaja in Kutch is called as Kutchi Khaja.
Ingredients
  Maida 2 Cup (32 tbs) (Flour)
  Ghee 50 Gram (clarified butter)
  Salt 1 Pinch
  Baking powder 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Lemon juice 3 Drop (A few)
  Blanched pistachios/Mawa /khoya /other dry fruits if you like 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs), ground
  Sugar 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Cardamom powder 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Sugar 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Water 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Lemon juice 1 Teaspoon
  Rose water/Kewda/saffron or cardamom 1⁄2 Teaspoon (for flavoring)
  Oil 2 Cup (32 tbs) (for deep-frying)
Directions

GETTING READY
1. Mix flour, salt and baking powder. Rub ghee into flour till it resembles breadcrumbs. Add lemon juice into 1/4 cup iced water and knead with flour into a stiff dough. Stand for a few hours.

MAKING
2. To make the filling, combine the ingredients in a bowl. Keep aside.
3. To make the syrup, in a heavy bottomed saucepan, dissolve the sugar in water adding lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes till the syrup thick (single thread consistency).
4. Add the flavoring and stir well. Take pan off the heat and keep warm.
5. Divide the dough two equal portions and roll out each into a thin sheet on a flour dusted surface.
6. Cut into 32 strips.
7. Cut each strip into 3-inch x 2 ½-inch pieces
Make a flour paste with 2 tablespoons flour and water.
8. On one piece, spoon a little of the filling.
9. Apply the flour paste around the filling, taking care to leave the edges dry.
10. Place another dough piece on top and press gently around the filling in order to stick the two pieces together. Apply a little flour paste in the centre of the stuffed khaja and stick another piece, then turn it around and stick one piece on top.
11. Repeat with remaining strips and filling.
12. Deep fry in hot oil until golden in colour.
13. Drain on absorbent paper.
14. Drop the hot khajas into the warm sugar syrup.
15. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on a metal rack to allow the excess syrup to drain.
16. Cool and store in airtight container.

SERVING
17. Serve the sweet khajas warm.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Easy
Cuisine: 
Bihari
Course: 
Snack
Taste: 
Sweet
Method: 
Deep Fried
Restriction: 
Vegetarian
Preparation Time: 
20 Minutes
Cook Time: 
20 Minutes
Ready In: 
40 Minutes
Story
The first time I tasted sweet khaja was at Mrs. Manju Srivastava’s home. She was my Hindi teacher in school and used to give me and a few other classmates extra classes during the holidays. She was a Bihari lady, the wife of an army man and would serve us snacks when we went over to her home for extra tuitions. It was during the Diwali holidays when she served us a large plate of freshly made, warm sweet khajas, dipped in sweet sugar syrup and sprinkled with dry fruits. They simply melted in the mouth. I also remember her telling us the legend, that Lord Jagannath instructed one of his worshippers how to make Khajas and the man prepared a basket full of Khajas and offered it to Lord, which he happily accepted. These sweets are truly delicious. If they can please a Lord, it would surely be hard for a common man to resist them!

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meenal's picture
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