Khapse ~ Deep Fried Traditional Biscuits from Arunachal Pradesh

>>  Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Next in the list of states is Arunachal Pradesh, which is the largest among the North-east Indian states commonly known as the Seven Sister States. The name translates to "land of the dawn-lit mountains" and the cuisine vary within the region, depending on the tribal influences.

Beer made from fermented rice or millet is a popular beverage in this state. I decided to refer the Monpa cuisine, which is one of the famous and popular cuisine of the Monpa Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. 

The traditional Monpa cuisine is known for its tastes and generous use of chilly and fermented cheese. Some of the famous dishes from this cuisine are Zan, Khura, Thukpa, Gyapa-Khazi, Momos. Other Monpa delicacies are Khatzi, Pua, Kyola, Kharang.Bak-Tza Margu.

With just a little backdrop on this cuisine, I will proceed on how I went about selecting the dish I finally did. Infact this state was one of the last ones to be made. The seven NE states have given all of us such scare, with the scarcity of vegetarian options for us to make. And what little we found on net, wasn't really reliable.

I was looking hard to select something that might fall under my chosen category. Well this cuisine, did seem to have a pancake and a special rice dish- Khura or Gyapa - Khazi. However reading on how these are prepared, made it very clear that I can't even attempt those at home. 

And yes I didn't want to end up making a thukpa or Momos.
Although I didn't find much that I could actually cook from this cuisine, I enjoyed reading the culture and history of this beautiful state. Though end of it, I was left wondering if I would ever be able to survive if I travel to these places. I came across this travelogue by Aditya, who writes in detail on his experience travelling through this place. Though this again hardly gave me anything to try, it got me visualizing the place. 

Finally when I was reading on Tawang Cuisine, did I find a dish that I could right away make. I read about the Losar Festival. I researched further and read more on this festival.

Losar is the Tibetan word for "new year" and is celebrated by Buddhists Worldwide. The Buddhist population in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal and Ladakh in Kashmir celebrates this festival in India. 
So from this I checked out Khapse, the fried biscuit that finds an important place during the Losar festival. I referred this site for more details on making this fried biscuits and the importance is in making it in different shapes. There are couple of other interesting videos. I just struck to this and made it for snacks. 

The recipe calls for four cups of flour, I made with just two and later realized I should have used four. The biscuits disappeared before I could even though through the process. I saved some for Hubby dear and he asked what difference were these, except for those cute shapes. Yes these tasted almost like the Maida Biscuits I make. 

Similarities to other Indian States: Almost on same lines to the Maida Rolls and Maida Biscuits

Some of the other sites I had read are thisthis and this. If you want more details on the shape, check this out

I finally found this recipe which also had a video and found it easy to do the different shapes.
Making of the dough
Kneading the dough and resting
Rolling as you do regular rolling
The different shapes that are made during this festival
Khapse | Fried Biscuits

Ingredients Needed

All Purpose flour - 2 cups
Oil  - 2 -3 tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 - 3/4 cup (as per your taste)
Milk - 1/2 cup or as required
1 quart of sunflower oil for deep frying

How to make Khapse

Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of warm water

In a wide bowl, take the flour, add oil, slowly add the milk.

Mix everything together and knead to a soft dough. 

Pinch out big balls, dust and roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure you don't use lot of flour as it will dunk more oil

Cut the dough in strips (maybe about an inch or a little less), then cut those strips into diagonal pieces. Try to make the pieces roughly the same size, so that they can cook at the same rate. Slice a slot in the middle of each piece of dough.

Pull one corner of the piece of dough through the slot in the middle, creating a twist. Pull the two ends of your nyapsha a little to even out the shape a bit. Once you have a batch ready, heat the oil. 

Make sure the oil is hot enough. The slowly slide the Khapse making sure you don't splash the oil. Fry in batches and do not crowd the oil

Cook the khapse on medium, making sure it is cooked all through. Then remove with a slotted spoon on to kitchen towel. 

If you have not added much sugar in the dough, you can sprinkle some powdered sugar if you like. But these are normally as such with sweet tea or Tibetan tea.

Store the khapse in an air-tight container and you can keep them quite a while, though they do of course get hard over time. But everything got over the moment it was served.

The khapse is usually made as the nyapsha (split fish), which is made of dough rolled out like a length of rope, coiled flat and then stretched out. The bulug is a flat circular khapsay made up of crisp.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 39


Rajani S April 2, 2014 at 12:06 AM  

I saw the recipe foe khapse in one of the BM discussions, but somehow wasnt very keen. ended up making thukpa, though not quite happy about it. this one is nice and different.

Nivedhanams Sowmya April 2, 2014 at 12:28 AM  

that is a new one!!! very well researched!! The link list on this post is showing Andhra, guess you need to change it to Arunachal Pradesh..

Manjula Bharath April 2, 2014 at 12:30 AM  

Oh My such an yummy khapse and so perfected braided looks awesome dear :) Am so excited to see all the dishes for Arunachal pradesh as it was a bit hard to hunt recipes for this state :) Khapse looks fantastis valli :)

Priya Srinivasan April 2, 2014 at 12:41 AM  

Same pinch valli!! I too made khapse, but different flour though! ! Loved it totally! I made them yday and it ia gone today!

Harini-Jaya R April 2, 2014 at 12:48 AM  

Arunachal was the first to be made from my end. I didn't look too hard once I settled for Khapse :) (though a different version than yours)

Priya Suresh April 2, 2014 at 1:59 AM  

Wow, am in love with that braided ones, khapse looks damn attractive, i cant stop munching just with one.

vaishali sabnani April 2, 2014 at 5:48 AM  

Even though have read so much on Arunachal Pradesh ..yet I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post..Valli you write so well..the words just flow.
The different shapes are very interesting and your usual step by step pics make things so easy. Good job with this state.

Suma Gandlur April 2, 2014 at 7:12 AM  

NE states had indeed given me a scare and even I thought of skipping the BM. Love how beautiful your khapse look.

Vidhya Iyer April 2, 2014 at 7:49 AM  

Looks really nice. Very much new to me..

Kalyani April 2, 2014 at 8:32 AM  

lovely article with links too - and the khapse looks good !

The Pumpkin Farm April 2, 2014 at 8:46 AM  

New one for me, and glad you found something different and unusual. This is similar to shankarpali i feel, in some ways, loved the pictures and the shapes of khapse

Resna Nishad April 2, 2014 at 10:34 AM  

It looks too good...lovely...

Kalpana Sareesh April 2, 2014 at 12:32 PM  

tats a very good one

Jayanthi Padmanabhan April 2, 2014 at 1:08 PM  

You've done such thorough research. admire your dedication. The Khapse look perfect for tea time..

Sapana Behl April 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM  

I like the beautiful shapes of khapse...looks wonderful.

Nalini's Kitchen April 2, 2014 at 5:25 PM  

Lots of research you have done Valli..Perfectly braided khapse,it sounds inviting and interesting...

Pavani N April 2, 2014 at 5:44 PM  

That is such a tempting snack. Love those braids, first time seeing anything like this. Great job on ur research Valli.

Varadas Kitchen April 2, 2014 at 9:17 PM  

Enjoyed reading through the post. The khapse look cute with their unique shapes.

Chef Mireille April 2, 2014 at 11:58 PM  

eventhough I had researched a lot, learned more info from your post I hadn't read about and khapse looks so yummy

Sandhya Ramakrishnan April 3, 2014 at 12:20 AM  

What a beautiful post Valli! Love the braided pattern of the khapse...The basic dough seems simple and doable. Will try after I am done with the remaining states for this month.

Sreevalli E April 3, 2014 at 6:44 AM  

Wow.. Those braided ones are looking real cute.. Very tempting dish.

Gayathri Kumar April 3, 2014 at 11:01 AM  

Beautiful biscuits. And you research is thorough. Happy to see a recipe other than thupka nad momos..

Padmajha PJ April 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM  

Enjoyed reading your post Srivalli. So nice to see something different from this state and the braids look so good!

Padma Rekha April 3, 2014 at 12:10 PM  

Recipe sounds like maida biscuts but looks so crisp nice choice..

Archana Potdar April 3, 2014 at 7:26 PM  

These all the time reminded me of shankarpali that we make for Diwali. Anyway they look good and crisp and crunchy. Love them Valli.

Usha May 4, 2014 at 4:08 AM  

Those are well braided Khapse . Nice to read about the losar festival

Anonymous July 5, 2015 at 12:14 AM  

When I was a kid, our neighbours and freinds used to give one full big bag of khapse during their festival. I used to love them. After so long I saw khapse. We used to call it khabhabze.thank u for the post.

Srivalli July 5, 2015 at 8:27 AM  

Anon Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. Glad you liked the post

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