“It’s the shape of this pastry, so the name jibe goja,” That’s what my thamma had once told me making them while I was hovering around with her in her kitchen during one of those festival days .Festival time mean loads of high calorie sugary things for most of us and these jibe gojas were just a part of big and elaborate menu. I don’t know if she really meant it that way or was in a jovial mood then, playing a sort of mischievous prank with me, you know how grand mom and grand dad can be when it comes inter-acting with their grandchildren. Leave aside the logic of shape, these are very addictive and if you can eat one, then you can’t stop eating it even more.
Many north Indians may recognize this with a similar pastry which they say “khaja” in Bihar and UP I guess. My Granddad once told me that it is also part of the prosad menu that is being served to Lord Jagannath in Puri, Orissa. I really intend to visit Puri someday, a magnificent place for spiritual awareness and growth.
Once my mother-in-law told me that jibe goja was part of Durga Puja goodies that were made in her “mamabari”,and also for bijoya that her jethima would make for the entire family. Now I don’t know if S remembers anything concerning his mamabari, but every child has soft corner for her or his “mamabari”.She told me that maida and chal goron are mixed together, kneaded into a dough and then they are rolled, cut and again rolled, deep fried, then lastly coated with sugar syrup.Once made they can lasts for 4-5 days, those 5 days were special in her mamabari also where these were part of elaborate Pujo cooking.
And my mamabari was in Bihar, so once when we were coming back, although it was very rare that we would visit our mamabari, first for the long distance and then it was Bihar! But these days Bihar has witnessed some real changes, all said and done, but it’s a long journey ahead.
Our Dadubhai had sent along with us a wooden basket full of “khajas”, which we relished while traveling back to home by train. Well trains were the only means to cover long distance then and who doesn’t like train journeys.It’s one of those faboulous experiences which makes every childhood memories strong and memorable.
Last time I heard anything related to my “mamabari” from my Ma was not so overwhelming thing for me.My didima is no more with us and she was the only connection that we had with our mamabari, with her sad demise, now it seems irrelevant to go back again there. Hopefully she is now resting in peace somewhere. She left us, leaving behind her legacy of irresistible –lip-smacking ranna/cooking skills. I really wish I can grab those recipe secrets, but it seems nearly impossible now.
But these days as I am far away from Kolkata, sitting here in UK, all I can do is make” jibe goja” in home, something which can help me connect to all those memories, people and places. Now if you know those layers of “khaja” or “jibe goja”, requires whole lot of ghee and dried fruits.I would never have obliged myself of those extra calories but since its festival time, just thought of making and writing it here.
Jibe Goja is obviously is small as compared to khaja, but still it requires generous amount of ghee –coating. I do feel if you can really use ghee or butter it adds up to the flavor. Many add rice flour to make it even crispier. I don’t know if it really makes any difference as the jibe gojas that I made didn’t have rice flour. I purposefully made them roll into thin rounds, so the layers can come along well like a normal pastry that tends to be flaky. Many will prick the jibe gojas before frying them so that they don’t puff up while they are frying, but I didn’t think so and didn’t prick them with fork as well. So many no, and still I was wondering if it really going to be edible or not. But when the end product was served, it was much relished.
There are other recipes in net – here and here, but this IBN live cooking show , caught my attention. My ma told me to make a little thick sugar syrup so that later on sugar crystallizes well which really made it even more crispy and crunchy and oh! Sugary also.
Recipe requirements (measurements are approx)
- 250 Gms or 2 and half cups of maida/all purpose flour
- Quarter tsp of baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp of kalo jeerey/kalunji/Nigella seeds
- For the sugar syrup
- 2 cups of sugar
- ½ cup of water
- 1 and half cup of cooking oil for frying jibe goja and for moyen
- 2 tbs of ghee or butter
- Sift the flour; add in baking soda, salt. Mix well.
- Now add in 2-3 cooking oil this will be our “moyen”.Add in kalo jeerey/kalunji.Many add jowan/Ajwain, but I have skipped adding it.
- Now knead it well with about little bit of water. Add in 1 tbs of oil in the mixing bowl, and place the dough over it. Leave it aside for half an hour. Note- often rice powder is added to make it even more crisp, now since I have added baking soda already, it was not necessary.
- After half an hour come back again and knead the dough very well. This way it’s easier to knead the maida dough. Place it covered and let it sit for 1 hr.
- Prepare the sugar syrup
- Heat up a saucepan, add in sugar and water and little bit of cardamom powder for a nice flavor.
- Make sugar syrup, just like you would be making it for gulab jamuns or pantua but the syrup will be little thick.Add in quarter tsp of lemon juice when the syrup is done.
- Now make approx 3-4 big balls out of this mixture.
- Take one and roll into large disc. Spread evenly about a ½ tsp of butter over it. Start rolling from one end working towards the outer end. Now cut into small portions in equal size.
- Roll each portion well to form long something similar like our tongue shape.
- Deep fry them at medium flame each side till they change little Color and do not hurry this process, we want nice golden color and also the pastry should cook in the middle as well.
- Now take it out and drain the excess oil over a kitchen towel or better use old news paper as it absorbs more oil.
- Now dunk these in the sugar syrup, let it sit there for 7-10 mints, coat well the sugar syrup over these jibe goja.The sugar syrup will tend to go solid after some time, those sugar crystals add more crunch to the jibe goja.
Take out and store in air-tight containers, remains fresh for 1 week if stored this way .You can even keep them over kitchen counters or at breakfast table. No need to refrigerate.
These are excellent accompaniment when sudden sweet cravings happens or pack some while you are traveling by trains.
Happy Cooking Friends