Six days after Diwali, one of the biggest festivals of north India, Chhath is welcomed and celebrated by the people of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal, and other adjacent regions. Sun god is worshiped with great devotion since they are considered the provider of energy and life force. Thekua happens to be an inseparable part of the Chhath Puja. Thekua is made either in the evening of the second day of Chhath or in the next morning. It is a traditional food of Bihar & one of the most loved Buhari delicacies. It is a biscuit like dish made from deep frying dough made of the whole wheat flour, sweetened with jaggery or sugar, mixed with pieces of kaju, badam & other dry fruits, and kneeded with ghee or refined oil. This delicacy is offered as a prasad (offering to the god) and later distributed among the loved ones & family.
The word Thekua comes from the verb ‘Thokna’ the literally means ‘to hammer’. These healthy & tasty Indian cookies are made by moulding it over a mould called ‘Sancha’ in hindi which has beautiful carvings of leaves and patterns. Also known as Thokwa, Thekaris, Khajuria, Khajur, Khabauni, or Thikari. A slightly harder version of Thekua is a Khajuria, which is usually preferred more by certain communities in Bihar & Nepal for its longer shelf life, but people from Eastern Nepal and UP still prefer softer Thekuas. Like every Chhath Puja offering, Thekua is also traditionally made on a mud stove, using mango wood as the fuel.
It is one of the best authentic traditional sweet Indian snack desserts taken in the morning with tea or at any time someone desires. Bihari Kids take Thekua in their lunch box to school, and that is how I got to taste my first Thekua. This healthy snack is crispy yet soft and sweet yet not so sweet, hence it goes perfect during snack time. Thekua has been a snack in the eastern region of India for decades. The traditional recipe and the deliciously sweet dish are going nowhere in centuries to come.