Thepla attempt and a cookbook review

Welcome to this stop on the TLC Book Tour.   I received a free copy of JD in the Kitchen by Jasmine Daya for an honest review.

About JD in the Kitchen: Indian Sweet Snacks

• Paperback: 70 pages
• Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services (January 22, 2020)

Jasmine Daya is a seasoned home cook who loves creating sweet treats while collaborating in the kitchen with her mother, Shan. In her third cookbook, Daya shares recipes for delicious Indian sweet snacks with East African influences that include almond halva (a special occasion dish), coconut ladwa (an Indian macaroon), crushed bundhi ladwa (a soft, delightful treat often given at weddings), jalebi (a festive sticky treat known for its bright color and immense sweetness), pera (a saffron flavored snack), thepla (an Indian cookie that pairs perfectly with an afternoon cup of tea), and many more recipes for satisfying concoctions that tantalize the taste buds while comforting the soul. JD in the Kitchen: Indian Sweet Snacks is a collection of easy-to-follow recipes that will guide home cooks of all ages to create tasty treats that will leave their guests content and wanting more.


Social Media

Please use the hashtags #jdinthekitchen and #indiansweets, and tag @tlcbooktours and @jdinthekitchen.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

About Jasmine Daya

Jasmine Daya is the mother of three children and a practicing lawyer. She is passionate about her work, life and children but doing it all means that her day starts early and ends late. Jasmine decided to start a blog to share how she balances spending quality time with her children every day while accomplishing her career goals, enjoying time with friends and having a little time to herself in the hopes that aspiring young women can realize that they too can have it all.

Find out more about her at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.



What I thought….

Anytime TLC needs a review of cookbooks or foodie inspired novels, I am there!   I was so looking forward to getting a copy of JD in the Kitchen.  When it arrived, I was a bit disappointed.   It’s a very slim, spiral bound volume.   Undaunted, I dived in.   The photos are nice, but I wanted history.  I wanted to know the background to the recipes, what they meant to Daya’s family and friends, what region were they from…

I also thought it would have been helpful to have a note section to explain some of the ingredients.  I found myself googling a lot.   For instance, Jaggery is a traditional non-centrifugal cane sugar.   Could one substitute raw sugar?

Thepla is what I tried to make.   According to the very brief recipe hednote it is “An Indian cookie that pairs perfectly with an afternoon cup of tea.”

I halved the recipe.


From JD In the Kitchen

I halved the recipe and added changes in italics.


  • 4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. brown sugar *
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 2 t. ground cardamom
  • 2 t. fennel seeds (I crushed them a bit using a mortar and pestle.)
  • 4 t. sweetened shredded coconut (I used desiccated unsweetened coconut.)
  • poppy seeds
  • More canola oil for frying


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the poppy seeds and canola oil.  But, obviously add the 1/2 c. of canola oil.  Save the rest for frying.
  2. Divide the dough into four quarters.
  3. I had to chill the dough for thirty minutes or I would have had a huge sticky mess trying to roll it.
  4. Take the first quarter and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle the dough with poppy seeds and roll the to press in the poppy seeds.
  5. Use a cookie cutter (traditionally thepla is circular) to cut out the dough.
  6. In a frying pan, heat oil for deep-frying over medium heat.
  7. Place the dough rounds into the hot oil to cook and then flip to cook the other side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel-lined tray to remove the excess oil.
  8. Once the cookies have cooled, place on a serving dish.

Not like the picture. 🙁

Mine were still a huge sticky mess.   I attempted to make a few beautiful cookies, then I just started throwing in bits and scraps in the fryer.   I finally took a small cookie scoop, placed dough on a silpat lined sheet, and baked like traditional cookies.  I do enjoy cardamom so I thought the flavors were great!

Totally misfit cookies from the fryer.

One of my dreams is to write and publish a cookbook so I hate to be snarky and leave a less than stellar review here.   If you enjoy international cuisine and want to experiment with the sweeter side, this cookbook might be for you.   If you want a story and more than just photographs and recipes, look elsewhere.

I’m linking up with Foodies Read for June.

*Correction:  I recently received this from her publicist.

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of Jasmine’s cookbook, JD in the Kitchen: Indian Sweet Snacks!  We are thrilled that you tried one of her recipes, the Thepla cookie! I understand that they did not turn out the way you expected them and I am sorry this happened. I took a closer look at your ingredient list and noticed that you wrote one cup of brown sugar. The recipe calls for two cups of brown sugar, perhaps that is why they didn’t turn out. In any event, here is a link to a video of Jasmine making them,

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