Khaja is a delicious layered fried sweet, popular in the Odisha. It is often served as prasad at the Jagannath Temple of Puri. Khaja is also known as Pheni. Rathyatra is incomplete without khaja, jilipi (jalebi) and papad and not to forget lotka(langsat). No, I am not talking about Odisha. While in Odisha Rathyatra is celebrated with galore, it is a grand celebration also in West Bengal.
During our childhood, going to rather mela(rathyatra fair) and buying clay rannabatir set (kitchen set) was mandatory. My thakuma(grandmother) would buy us the kitchen sets. We used to bring them home, start playing with them and sometimes use real vegetables to make our khela(play) look real. In couple of days, all the vegetables in the rannabati would go bad. My mother would angrily throw the rannabatis away. My grandmother would buy us again another rannabatir set on “ulto rath” (reverse rathyatra).
- 1 cup of flour
- Salt to taste
- 1½+2 tablespoons of ghee
- 3 tablespoons of corn flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- ½ cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of lemon Juice
- 4 green cardamom
- oil for frying
- Take the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and 1½ tablespoons of ghee.
- Mix very well. The flour should be of the consistency of wet soil and should come together when fisted.
- Add about ⅓ cup of water to make a smooth yet tight dough.
- Divide the dough into 5 equal balls.
- Roll each ball into a thin roti/chapati and keep it aside. Repeat the process for all the balls.
- Now take one roti on your working surface. Apply some ghee on the roti.
- Sprinkle some corn flour on it and spread it on the roti.
- Now, place another roti on that roti. Again apply some ghee followed by cornflour. Repeat the process for all the rotis
- Now carefully start rolling the rotis and roll them tightly. Secure the edges with water.
- With a sharp knife cut the roti-roll into 1” thick roundels. Take one roundel and press lightly with your palm. It should be of elongated shape. Now with your rolling pin, spread the khaja a little more. Keep aside and repeat for the remaining roundels.
- In a pot take sugar, ½ cup of water adding 4 cardamoms.
- Bring the sugar syrup to a boil and reduce it till you achieve one string consistency.
- Heat oil in a pan. Carefully slide the khajas in hot oil and fry them on medium flame. In some time, the khajas will puff up and the layers will be clearly visible.
- Fry them till golden brown on all sides. Remove them on a plate and keep them aside. Let them cool down a bit.
- Dip the fried khajas in sugar syrup, leave them in sugar syrup for 1 minute and remove them from the syrup. The khajas are ready. (See Notes)
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