Khaja (Odia: ଖଜା) also Pheni (Odia: ଫେଣି) is Odia sweet made from Refined wheat flour, sugar and edible oils. It is made and eaten all throughout Indian subcontinent, though it is known by different names. It is prepared in the states of Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
Khaja is one of the Chapana bhoga of Lord Jagannath of Puri, Odisha. Legends say Lord personally came in dream of a Man from Puri and instructed him how to prepare it. Next day the person prepared a basket full of Khajas and offered it to Lord which the Lord happily accepted.
It is believed that, even 2000 years before, Khajas were prepared in the fertile land on the southern side of the Gangetic Plains of Odisha and UP-Bihar. These areas which are home to Khaja, once comprised the central part of Maurya and Gupta empires.
Presently, Khajas are prepared and sold in the city of Unnao, Patna, Gaya, Baharampur and several other places across the states of Bihar and West Bengal, yet Khajas of Silao and Rajgir areas have a distinct superiority over Khajas of all other places. Silao and Rajgir are the places where one can get puffy Khaja, which melts in the mouth.
A thick paste is made out of wheat flour, mawa, and oil. Then it is deep fried until crisp. Then a sugar syrup is made which is known as Sira/Raseni or Pak. The crisp croissants are then soaked in the sugar syrup until they absorb the sugar syrup.
In South India similar variety of sweet is prepared, it is known as Badusahi or Padusahi. The same kind of Sweet when stuffed with stuffing made of dry fruits, it is known as Chandrakala (half round) or Suryakala (Full round).
In Kutch, special type of Namkeen Khaja, which are salty in taste are prepared. The sweet variety of Khaja in Kutch is called as as Kutchi Khaja.
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Khaja Recipe, www.indobase.com
Indian sweets, en.wikipedia.org