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|Place of origin||India|
|Region or state||Andhra pradesh|
|Main ingredients||Wheat flour, sugar|
|Cookbook: Kakinada khaja Media: Kakinada khaja|
Khaja originated in the Samarkand area of Uzbekistan. The word "khaja" originated from Arabic, probably meaning "pure" or "sacred". Like Gulab jamuns, khajas and jhangris were introduced to Andhras by Muslim Vikings. In the northern part of India, khajas come in hundreds of varieties. Kakinada khaja is just a replica of Ranchi khaja. Khajas were brought into Andhra by Muslims, probably at the time of the Nizams. Indian variety of kaja Khajas are sold in the city of Patna, Gaya and several other places across the state of Bihar, yet khajas of Silao Nalanda and Rajgir areas are distinct over khajas of all other places. Silao and Rajgir are the places where one can get puffy khaja, which melts in the mouth.
Refined wheat flour, sugar and edible oils are the chief ingredients of khaja.
It is believed that, even 2000 years before, Khajas were prepared in the fertile land on the southern side of the Ganges Plains of Bihar. These areas which are home to khaja, once comprised the central part of Maurya and Gupta Empire.
First,a 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 "Pak". The crisp pastries are then soaked in the sugar syrup until they absorb the sugar syrup.
The two well-known types of khajas are madatha khajas and gottam khajas. Madatha khajas are made of rolled-up ribbons of pastry, whereas gottam khajas are made of cylinders of pastry. Gottam khajas are dry from the outside and juicy and full of sugar syrup on the inside. They melts as soon as they are put in the mouth. Madatha khajas, on the other hand, have the same texture throughout, and become mostly dry if kept for longer than a few hours.