With the festival of Raksha Bandhan just around the corner, what better recipe than that of Ghewar ?? Before moving on to the recipe, let me shed some light on Raksha Bandhan. It is a festival that celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters, where in the sisters tie a Rakhi around their brothers’ wrist. This symbolizes the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her. Now those of you who are wondering what a Ghewar is, not to worry, I will explain that as well. Ghewar is a Rajasthani sweet served best with Rabdi. The trick of making this sweet lies in the process of frying it.
The first time I tasted Ghewar was last year when a Rajasthani friend of mine shared it with me. What intrigued me the most was it’s texture. Though I had zeroed in a recipe, it was only now that I tried it. I got the recipe from NishaMadhulika’s blog. I did tweak the recipe a bit. Unfortunately, I couldn’t click pictures of the process. I shall try and explain the process the best way possible.
Source: Nisha Madhulika
For the sugar syrup
Sugar- 2 cups
Water- 1 cup
For the batter
Flour (Maida)- 2 cups
Clarified butter (Ghee)- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon
Milk- 1/4 cup (I used chilled milk)
Water- 4 cups (I used chilled water)
Yellow colour (Optional)- a pinch
Oil/Ghee for deep frying
Sliced Pistachios, Almonds etc for garnish
Mix the sugar, cardamoms and water in a pan and boil till you get a 2 string consistency. To check the consistency, take a bit of the syrup in a spoon. Dip your forefinger in cold water and then in the syrup. Bring your forefinger to your thumb so that the syrup touches your thumb. Now slowly pull away your forefinger. If you see 2 threads formed, it is the right consistency. Keep the syrup aside.
Put the clarified butter in a bowl. Add the chilled milk and beat well till light and creamy. Slowly add chilled water, a tablespoon at a time. Start adding flour alternately, while beating, till all the flour and water are used up. Add the colour, if using, and mix well. You should get a smooth and runny lump free batter.
Take a deep pan. (I used a 6″ wide saucepan) Fill it halfway with oil or ghee. Heat on high flame. The flame should always be on high, especially while pouring the batter into it. To check if the oil is hot enough, drop a bit of the batter. If the batter spreads on the surface and the oil bubbles up, the oil is hot.
Keep a skewer nearby to make the hole in the centre.
Take a ladleful of the batter. Hold the ladle at least 1 foot above the pan. Keep a safe distance from the pan, lest it splutters. Slowly drizzle the batter to the centre of the hot oil, in a slow and steady thin stream. You will see that the oil will be bubbling away. Once you finish pouring the ladleful of batter, wait till the bubbles die down. Make a hole (at least 1″ diameter) in the centre of frying batter using the skewer. Take another ladleful of batter and continue the process. You need to do this 4-6 times, depending on the thickness you desire. I did 4 times to get a 1″ thick Ghewar. Once the final layer starts to brown, insert a handle or long fork through the hole and drain the oil . Transfer to a plate. Once all the ghewars are prepared, dip each Ghewar in the sugar syrup for 10-15 seconds and take out. Transfer to another plate. Serve with Chilled Rabdi. Yields 6 ” sized 5 Ghewars.
Here’s my shortcut to prepare rabdi.
Boil 2 cups of milk. Reduce the heat and simmer till the milk reduces to half the quantity. Add a cup of milkmaid and stir well. Add a few drops of rose essence and take off heat. Cool and chill before serving. Pour this on top of the Ghewar while serving.