Sweet dishes of Odisha are quite popular across India(and outside).Khasta Gaja is a crispy Odia sweet, served as a snack or dessert.Which is also offered to Lord Jagannath in the holy Temple of Puri located in Odisha, India in his madhyanna dhup(Midday meal served to the lord).It is a combination of flour,ghee and fennel seeds dough,which deep fried in ghee and then dipped in sugar syrup.It is very delicious to taste and best for festivals and occasions.
All purpose flour(maida)-1 cup
Wheat flour(Atta)-1 cup
Fennel seeds-1 tsp
Oil for frying
FOR SUGAR SYRUP-
Sugar-1 & 1/2 cups
Water-1 & 1/2 cups
Cardamom powder-1 tsp(optional)
1-In a big bowl take flours,salt and fennel seeds.Then pour the warm ghee/butter/oil in it slowly and with your fingertips rub the ghee in the flour to get a breadcrumb like consistency about 8-10 mins.The whole mixture should lump together gathered.
2-Add little water,begin to knead adding water as required.Knead to a smoothed dough,cover the dough with a moistened napkin and keep aside for a hour.
3-In the meantime make the syrup by boiling sugar,water and cardamom powder together.Mix well and cook on a high flame for few minutes or till the sugar syrup is of 1 thread consistency.
4-After 1 hour knead the dough lightly again about 4-5 min.Then divided the dough into two balls.
5-Take one dough ball and roll to a half inch thick rectangle.Cut about 3/4" to 1" square pieces to make gaja.
6-Now heat enough oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan.Then fry gaja in oil till golden brown on low heat.(The temperature of the oil is very essential,more heat make the gaja raw from inside,so keep on low heat)
7-Place the fried gajas into the warm sugar syrup.Leave for 2-3 minutes or till they soak the sugar syrup well and then remove from the syrup.
8-Now your khasta gaja is ready to serve.You can also store in an airtight container and enjoy !!!