Beyond Gujiyas: Sindhi Holi Celebrations Are Incomplete Without Gheeyar
Image Credit: Hari Om Farsan and dry fruits/Facebook, The gheeyar is a combination of jalebi and ghewar.

Aren’t you excited that Holi is just here? The water canons, the colours and balloons, all add to the spirit and fun of the day. It isn’t possible that an Indian festival doesn’t have a meaning and essence behind it. The day of Holi marks the end of evil with the Holika Dahan where the evil spirits are burnt in the bonfire. This year, Holi falls on 18th March, 2022 and we are super excited. While the last two years had lulled our spirits due to the pandemic, this year, we are in hopes of a better celebration. And well, celebration amounts to food. 

Don’t you remember the saying, Kuch meetha ho jaye? This words signify the importance of food, particularly sweets, on a special occasion. The most commonly associated dessert with Holi is gujiya. A crispy, deep-fried dumpling dipped in sugar syrup. Then there are several others linked to different regions of the country like thandai in Uttar Pradesh and malpuas in Bihar. Malpuas are another sweet bite which are nothing but deep-fried pancakes. However, the Sindhi community in India prepares their own set of delicacies for the festival which are quite different from the rest. 

From meethe samose called praghree to dal nakul (a fried lentil sweet) and Karachi halwa, the Sindhi Holi spread is laden with all things sweet and tasty. For the unversed, Sindhis are people who belong to the present-day Pakistan’s Sindh region. These people migrated to India post-Partition and settled here. They have their own specific cultures, tastes, language and style. The Sindhi Holi celebrations are quite important for the community as are their sweets. 

Source: NagpurChakartik/Instagram 

One such sweet that we came across recently is Gheeyar. Sounds familiar? Oh yes, it does! The gheeyar is often considered to be a close cousin of the Rajasthani ghevar. Now you’ll ask what is ghevar? Made from flour and ghee, the densely-sweet ghevar comes in the shape of a disc and is deep-fried. Following a similar pattern, gheeyar too is circular in shape with tangled loops in the centre. This links it to the jalebi too. So gheeyar can be understood as a cross between a jalebi and ghevar. 

For making the gheeyar, the maida flour batter is fermented for some time after which the same batter is filled in a cloth and wrapped in a conical shape. The pipe-like cloth is used to pour in the batter in hot ghee through a small hole. Just like jalebis, the zig-zag patterns are formed in ghee and the crispy, orange gheeyar is fried to perfection. Later, it is dipped in sugar syrup and served hot. 

Now that you’ve been tempted with so much sweet talk, it is time to eat some too. Here is a ghevar recipe that you can try at home.