Chhath Puja 2020: How thekua is a boon to your health
Chhath Puja 2020: Chhath Puja is one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals dedicated to the Sun God, who is believed to be the source of all powers and Chhathi Maiya. Chhath puja is celebrated six days after Diwali on the sukhla paksha sasthi of the month of Kartik.
It is a four-day festival that begins with a ritual called Nahay Khay in Chaturthi, two days before the date of Shashthi. It is followed by Kharna on the second day and Sandhya Arghya on the third day; the festivities end with Usha Arghya on the fourth day. This year the festival started on November 18 and will end on November 21, 2020.
Chhath puja is also called Chhathi, Chhath Parv, Dala, Chhath Dala Puja and Surya Shashthi.
However, there are several special Chhath specialties that are prepared during the festival like Rasiao-kheer (rice delicacy), puris, malpua, etc. But one of the most important Chhath Puja recipes prepared especially during the celebrations is thekua.
Thekua is the traditional recipe for Chhath Puja. It is the most important prasad of the festival, which is made from whole wheat flour, jaggery / sugar, dried fruit, dried coconut and ghee or refined oil. The cult of Chhath is considered incomplete without him.
Thekua is also known as Khajuria or Thikari.
Thekua is done either on the evening of Kharna (second day of Chhath) or the next morning or Sandhya Ghat (evening Arghya or offering).
Thekua is the traditional food of Bihar, one of the most popular recipes of Bihari. It is a cookie-like dish popular in the regions of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh, since ancient times.
How to prepare kua
- To prepare this delicacy, you first need a sugar / jaggery solution, which is made with water
- Then you need to carefully add the solution to the wheat flour to form a paste
Note: While preparing the dough, you can add a variety of dried fruits (crushed almonds, cashews, coconut, etc.)
- Once the dough is ready, make small balls of dough
- You can squeeze them with your hand
- You can even press it against the wooden mold (saancha), don’t forget to grease it with ghee beforehand. This is to prevent the dough from sticking to the saancha
- Then heat some oil in a large kadhai and put the flat pieces of dough in it.
- Just make sure the oil is hot enough and the flame is low
- Once the pasta is golden brown in color, take it out
That’s it! Your thekua is ready. Traditionally, the sweet delicacy was prepared on earthen chulhas using mango wood as fuel. But, nowadays, people prefer to prepare it using bronze cooking utensils.
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Chhath Puja 2020: Benefits of thekua
Thekua is one of the best items to have when you’re hungry. This dish is usually prepared during festivals, but it can be prepared anytime without much effort. Thekua does not require sophisticated ingredients. You can prepare it with a minimum of kitchen items. All the ingredients for making this cookie are easily found in the kitchen.
Wheat flour: The best part is that these are made from whole wheat flour which is a much healthier alternative to maida (all purpose flour). Wheat is probably the most common cereal in the world. Nowadays, it is even more in demand due to its many health benefits.
Whole wheat flour contains vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, folic acid, copper, zinc, iron and fiber.
Jaggery: When making thekua, you can substitute the sugar for Jaggery, it is a healthier option. It acts as a natural sweetener and provides energy over a long period of time.
Jaggery prevents constipation, acts as a detoxifying agent as it helps cleanse the liver. It is loaded with antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium which help prevent free radicals.
Dried fruits: Dried fruits like almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc. are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Health experts recommend eating dried fruit. They are healthy, very nutritious and boost immunity.
Dry coconut: Dried coconut is often underestimated compared to other dried fruits. Dried coconut lowers your blood cholesterol levels, prevents anemia, improves and promotes healthy brain function.
Ghi: Ghee is an integral part of Indian winters. It is a source of good fats, ingesting ghee helps you stay warm inside; that is why it is widely used in many winter preparations.
However, if you still want to remove the oil, instead of frying, you can also cook the kuas.
Thekuas are also popular because they have a longer shelf life and due to their non-perishable characteristics, they can be packaged for the roads.
However, the ingredients used to make thekua also have various health benefits. Scientifically, all three – flour, jaggery and ghee – are good for your health, and during the changes of the seasons, these three elements increase immunity and protect the body from the cold.
Happy Chhath Puja 2020!
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