‘Khaja’ or ‘pheni’ is a crisp and flaky sweet that is a favorite of Lord Jagaanath. It makes it’s presence felt right from the moment one enters Jagaanath Dham. Stacked in circular mounds or even heaped into baskets, there is so much of it in plain sight that one might just be mistaken into thinking that the copious quantities are meant to appease an army.
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Yield / Serves
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp ghee
a pinch of salt
cold water to make a tight dough
For the syrup - 3 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 pinch edible camphor
2 tsp all purpose flour for applying between layers
1 1/2 tsp ghee for applying between layers
sufficient oil for deep frying
Take the flour, salt and ghee in a mixing bowl. Rub together for 5 mins.
Add cold water little by little and knead into a pliable ball. Smear a little ghee on the dough. And keep it aside for 30 mins.
Make a paste out of the 2 tsp flour and 1 1/2 tsp ghee.
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.
Roll out each portion into a rectangular shape.
Rub some of the flour-ghee paste on one such sheet. Place another sheet on it. Rub more of the paste over the second sheet. Roll into a tight cylinder.
Cut into 1 1/2 inch wide pieces. Roll out each into 5 inch long pieces. DO NOT make it too thin else it wont puff and turn flaky.
Heat the oil in a wok.
Once it gets heated to a sufficient temperature, put in 2-3 pieces at a time. Fry on both sides till a golden brown and crisp.
Remove and keep aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Repeat the process with all the pieces.
Keep them aside till completely cool.
For making a syrup, heat the sugar and water in a deep saucepan. Once the sugar melts and gets to a two string consistency, remove from the flame.
Dip the fried khaja in the warm syrup and remove immediately. Sprinkle the powdered camphor all over the sweetened khajas. Allow to cool down.
Store the rest in airtight containers and store up to 2 weeks .
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