Monday, December 13, 2010

Khaja And Its Many Avatars



When I was a kid the only hotels rather eateries in Thal were Vilas's and that opposite the Marathi primary school. Nathuram, my grand aunt's brother doted over me and Neelam, we called him "Natya Baba". While our parents hated that he took us there to give us a treat, we actually enjoyed it. I had never tasted Khaja in Mumbai, so for me it had a special reference as a village sweet and vacations there.

This sweet was never ever tried at our home and I thought it must be a big deal to make it. Thanks to the blogging world we are preserving our heritage and rediscovering our sweet making skills as a society. Thank you generous Rak's for the Badusha tutorial. You inspired me to make it. Just the statement that "My mom makes very often,if some relatives visit us or if we were visiting them,then she will make this in a jiffy" got me going.

What is interesting is how this same recipe is used to make a sweet with different name in different states in India is interesting and each one shapes them uniquely. 

The Khaja is round doughnut like slightly smaller than a medu vada. It has a hole in the center and the sugar syrup coating is crystalline white. Here I have used the same sugar syrup for all the types though. Khaja is popular in the northern and central region of India.

The Tosha is oblong in shape and I learnt about it when we started frequenting Jhama's the Shindhi sweet specialists in Chembur.

Badusha was on the menu of most Thali meals in Blr at work and I'd wonder what it was. One fine day I did try it and exclaimed that it is Khaja of course from my childhood. Badusha is a little more pretty than the Khaja or Tosha when it is made with the frill like we do for the Karanji. The simpler or hurried Badusha is just a ball pressed like a peda with a small crater in the center.

By any name it is a sweet with mild sugar notes, laced with ghee layers. The crunchiness enscones the flaky yet soft insides. The clove tucked in it imparts a nice spice fragrance.

Ingredients

1.5 cups Maida/All purpose flour
1/4 cup Ghee
1/8 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1.5 teaspoon Curd
1/2 teaspoon Eno /fruit salt
(OR any leavening agent like 2 pinches soda bicarb or 1/4 teaspoon baking powder.)
1/4 cup Water
Oil for deep frying
For Syrup:
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 Water
1/4 teaspoon Cardamom powder
a squeeze of Lemon Juice

In a big bowl measure out the all purpose flour. Add the sugar and leavening agent, ghee and oil. Rub in the fat into the flour to get a crumble. Add the curd. Mix. Lastly add the water and knead the dough into a smooth ball. Keep aside till you get the syrup ready.

In a saucepan add sugar and water and boil till you get one string consistency syrup. Squeeze some lime to prevent crystallization of sugar. Finally put off the heat and mix in the ground cardamom powder.

Divide the dough into about a dozen balls. Flatten the ball into a disc and pinch the edges thiner between your thumb and first finger. Give it a nice frill like you do for a Karanji. Dress it up by inserting a clove in the center. Keep aside.

For the Tosha roll the ball into an oblong between your palms. Flatten the end by tapping on the counter.


The Khaja is the simplest flatten the dough ball and with you thumb make a hole in the middle.


If you just flatten into disc and create a slight depression in the center like a little crater it is a design for a simple Badusha.


Now take enough oil and heat on medium. Fry all the shapes on medium till golden and flaky. You will know its flaky as it will pop a crease on the surface.


Lastly dip it in the sugar syrup to glaze it. Remove one by one on a serving plate. Let it cool into a crunchy sweet and flaky delight inside.

I loved making this recipe and it lives up to the promise of cooking it up in a jiffy give it a try, you must!

Badusha goes to Blog Bites 9: The Holiday Buffet hosted by Nupur

11 comments:

  1. is it something like the balushahi?

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  2. Bhagyashree you got it, Balushahi, yet another name! A Rose by any name yada yada... :)

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  3. OMG, these look so gorgeous. I love these. We called them balushahi. Do these have a stuffing too ?

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  4. Sandeepa, these are just dough balls but at work a team mate mentioned that in the north something similar stuffed with khoya is called laung lattika. May be next time it will be great to try it. Oh yes and they are also called Balushahi.

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  5. Even I made after seeing raks post..but dit come out well as yours and hers :(..
    I see perfect looking badushas here! :)

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  6. we call it balushahi but ours is stuffed with coconut and khoya. you made it so well. just like the resturants.

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  7. I had the privilege of tasting this simple and yummy sweet.. thanka a lot anjali

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  8. Wow!!!!!!!!!pics look awesome. YUmmmmmm

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