Hi again, foodie buddies! Hope you are having a ball today playing with colors and enjoying special food on the occasion of Holi! We have been making preparations since yesterday, making sweets and beverages that are enjoyed at our place with great fervor. Yesterday, I shared the recipe of Thandai, which you can find here. Today I am sharing the recipe of Gheeyar or Ghear. It is basically a Sindhi specialty.
Gheeyars are somewhat similar to jalebi. The core ingredients are similar and so is the method of preparation. You will need somewhat different equipment to make the thin strings out of the batter to create a net-like appearance of Ghears. The key to make good ghears is to let the batter ferment for about 12 hours. Sometimes it is suggested to ferment the batter for 24 hours or so. But there is a risk of the batter getting spoiled. Besides, 12 hours of fermentation yields very nice ghears. However, if you are experiencing a cold weather, then we can make an exception and allow the batter to ferment for 24 hours.
Make your Own Batter Dispenser
When making jalebi, I use the red, plastic ketchup bottle with the nozzle to dispense the batter into the pan of hot oil. You can use the same ketchup bottle to make ghears but the results won’t necessarily be as desired. Since the batter gets dispensed in a single stream, you will need to act fast to create the thin delicate net of the batter. Hence, I made my own dispenser. I took a nice small bottle of a soft-drink and poked holes in its cap. I made six medium sized openings in the cap using a hot needle. I scraped off the residual plastic particles with a brush and detergent. So there is no danger in using this technique.
Please go through the notes so that you do not miss out on any of the important tips.
After making the final adjustments in the consistency of the batter post fermentation, the batter should be thick yet flowy. When you dip your fingers into the batter and lift out your hand, the batter should flow down in a single unbroken stream.
When the weather is cold, I place the container containing the batter into the dabba that contains the wheat flour. The container gets surrounded by the flour and stays warm. This helps fasten the fermentation process.
Make sure the food color you use does not have any kind of taste and smell.
Use an electric hand blender to make the batter, if possible.
The oil should be the right temperature. It should be heated between medium to high flame. If you add gheeyar batter in the cold oil, it will become flat. If the oil is too hot, the strings of batter will break. You will get a hang of it with some practice.
Make sugar syrup a day before to save time.
Handle the gheeyars with care. They are very delicate.
Now let’s get started with the recipe. This recipe yields 25 to 30 gheeyars depending upon the size. For the purpose of measurement, 1 cup = 250 ml.
IngredientsFor Making the Sugar Syrup
Sugar – 1.5 cups
Water – 1 cup
Saffron – a few strands, soaked in warm water
Cardamom – 3/4 tsp
Rose essence – 3/4 tsp
Lime juice – 1 tsp
Milk – 1 tbsp
For Making the Gheeyar Batter
Maida / All purpose flour – 400 grams + 50 grams
Curd – 1 cup
Water – 1.5 to 2 cups
Besan – 5 tbsp
Baking soda – A pinch
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
Food color – 3/4 tsp. I used Kesar Yellow color
Oil – For deep frying
Saffron – A few strands
Silver vark / Edible silver leaf
A few Rose petal
How to Make Gheeyar
Making the Sugar Syrup
Let’s start with making the sugar syrup. Take 2 tbsp of warm water in a bowl and soak the saffron in it. Set it aside.
Heat water in a saucepan and add sugar to it. Stir it so that the sugar dissolves. Bring the syrup to boil.
Add in the cardamom powder.
You will need to boil the syrup for about 12 to 15 minutes to get the desired consistency. The syrup should be of two-string consistency. To check, carefully take a drop of the warm sugar syrup and press it between your thumb and index finger. Pull apart your thumb and index finger and you will see the strings of sugar syrup. If there are two strings, the syrup is ready.
Add in milk and boil the syrup for another minute till the impurities from the sugar float to the top. Turn off the flame. Scoop out the impurities with a spoon. Add lemon juice. It will help prevent crystallization of sugar.
Allow the syrup to cool down a bit and strain it using a clean muslin cloth or a cotton handkerchief. Add in the rose essence and saffron infused water. Store the syrup at room temperature or in the fridge. I kept it at room temperature overnight, covered in a saucepan.
Making the Gheeyar Batter
Whisk curd in a bowl using the electric hand-held beater. Alternatively, you may use a spoon. Add in the 400 grams of maida little by little and keep beating the mixture.
When it begins to thicken, add in the water little by little. Keep beating. Keep going till all the all purpose flour / maida gets into the batter.
At this point, there should be no lumps in the batter and it should be pretty thick. Pack the batter well in an airtight container and allow it to ferment for 12 hours.
When the batter has fermented, give it a good stir for a couple of minutes. You will see the batter is stretchy and doesn’t flow into a single uninterrupted stream.
Add in the gram flour, the remaining 50 grams of all purpose flour/maida and some water to adjust the consistency.
Add in the baking soda and baking powder and mix well. Add in some ‘kesar yellow’ food color.
Heat sufficient oil in a wide pan. Fill the batter into the dispenser bottle.
To check if the oil is at the right temperature, add in some batter using the bottle. The batter should float up immediately and you should be able to feel on your hand the water evaporating from the batter as it touches the oil. The oil should be heated between medium to high flame.
Make gheeyar by quickly dispensing batter in a circular motion to make a thin net-like design. Fry the gheeyar till it sets enough and can be flipped comfortably using a pair of tongs. The gheeyar should be crispy and golden on both sides.
Drain the gheeyar of excess oil and dip it in the warm sugar syrup for about 10 seconds. Gheeyar are thinner than jalebi and don’t need to be dipped in the sugar syrup for a very long time. Allow the excess syrup to drip off the gheeyar and transfer it onto another plate.
Apply silver vark and garnish with saffron strands, rose petals and slivered pistachios. Since I didn’t have silver vark and rose petals at hand, I gave them a pass. Gheeyar is ready to be enjoyed.