The Hush Post: When you think of August, of ‘saavan’, of monsoon, whatever name you associate with the rainy season, one can’t skip giving a treat to the taste buds in this otherwise humid time of the year. And if you haven’t tried ‘ghevar’ yet, you haven’t eaten the most delectable sweet of the season. For those who have, you might have eaten it many times, but wouldn’t know much about it.
It’s an old-time sweet which elders swear by and a must-have for them and even insist the entire family to have it in the rainy season. Ghevar is a native to Rajasthan, but the entire north India, from Punjab to Haryana to Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, plain areas of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, is influenced by its taste and richness. Ghevar is traditionally associated with ‘Teej’ and ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festivals when brides and bridegrooms send it to their respective in-laws or brothers and sisters send it to each other.
Also called honeycomb dessert, because of how it looks like, this disc-shaped sweet cake is made with ‘maida’, milk and ghee with water added slowly into it. The batter is poured into a mould very slowly so that holes or pores are made and then mildly fried along with the moulds. Then, it is soaked in a sugar syrup and dressed with ‘rabri’ or dry fruits. It needs to be prepared with a lot of care and precision for the right thickness and its honeycomb-like form. The trick is to pour the batter in very hot ghee or oil at the right temperature. The height from which you pour (6-7 inches) is important to get that typical web like pattern and dropping the batter into the centre of the pan at the same spot is as crucial to get the right and same size. This way batter will distribute evenly each time. Since it’s a tricky process, it needs a lot of practise.
Ghevar is made only during the rains because of the necessity of moisture which is necessary for its making. It needs to be a little soft and spongy, though crispy ones are also made.
According to Ayurveda, the sweet and ghee laden ghevar provides relief from the acidic and moist environment. So, they have a calming effect on mind as well as the body. The foods eaten in the rainy season are special and peculiar, because its not that time of the year to eat whatever comes your way. Fried food is better to keep away infections as germs breed faster and food gets spoilt easier. More of boiled, less of raw food like green veggies or non-veg food is suggested. Even if you have to, boil or prepare it sufficiently on heat to stay away from digestive troubles. Eat light, eat right!