Come monsoon, every Surti household will enjoy Khaja with mango pulp. There are special delicacies for each season in Surat. If ponk and undhiya rule in winter, it is mangoes in summer. Sweets like ghebar and ghari are a must in the menu during the festive season of Diwali. And, lochho remains an all-time hit.
Khaja, which means just eat it, surfaced in late 1880s. Hasmukh Ghariwala, 82, said, “During those days, the city used to have a horse race on four weekends of Aashad month of the Hindu calendar year. The race was held at Ghod Dod Road of today. The race used to start from Athwa police chowky and ended at Langar in Dumas. Some Krishnabhaktas are believed to have made this khaja. They used to distribute it before and after the race to people. It tasted wonderful with bowls of mango pulp.”
- 2 cups self rising flour better for biscuits (or take plain all purpose flour and add 2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp baking soda and salt to taste)
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper (Kala mari)- can be added more or less as per your taste
- 1/4 tsp white chilli powder (If you don't have leave it out)
- 1/2 cup warm water + 1/4 for later use
- 6 tbsp butter- can be reduced , if desired but for flaky Khajas, 6tbsp butter is recommended.
- If you wish , you can add pinch of turmeric powder if you like yellow color Khaja.
- Oil to fry- Mustard oil is used but if you don't have use vegetable or oil you use for everyday cooking!
- In a bowl mix flour, black pepper, white chilli powder, Turmeric powder(Haldi) and knead dough with 1/2 cup warm water. Water can be added more if needed to get right consistancy of dough. Prepare not too hard, not too soft kind of dough.
- Divide prepared dough into three equal parts.
- Now, boil 1/4 water and 6 tbsp butter with one part of dough making sure to break lumps. I usually pinch one part of dough in small chunks and add in water/butter.
- Cook on medium heat till it looks like Sheera(Halwa).
- Take off of the stove when done. Allow it to cool down.
- Now, come back to those two parts. Pinch off these two parts in small pieces and mix with cooked dough mixture very well.
- Now, make equal size of about 20 balls or depend on size you want.
- Roll like puris about 4 inch diameter, 1/4 inch or less thick and make some cut or holes on puris to avoid them to puff. You can make some designs as well if you wish such as make some holes and you will get kinf of checks when you fry them.
- Now, heat up oil on medium heat and fry till nice and crispy.
- If your Khaja doesn't get desired crispyness even after frying them, bake them in the oven at lowest temperature for about an hour or till get crispy enough.