Monsoons are upon us and for some reason all that people seem to talk about is chai and pakodas. An occasional mention of bhutta or roasted corn cob helps diversify the conversation, but is that enough to encapsulate the great culinary fare of the country around this time. Not by a long shot. The monsoon in India typically arrived mid-June and stays around till August-end. The rain-soaked mud and the pleasant sound of pitter-patter more than makes up for the challenges that come with the season (Read: Traffic jams, waterlogging, seepage). What also makes monsoon truly special for us is the wait for Ghewar.

 A unique sweet meat, that hails from Rajasthan. It is round in shape, deep-fried and has a honey-comb like look with tiny holes and spores, through which sugar syrup travels and gives the whole sweet its structural integrity. Made with semolina, it is dipped in sugar syrup and is often topped with a creamy malai or rabri and finished off with nuts. The silky malai offers a nice contrast to the crispy, spongy texture of the ghewar. It is because of this peculiar texture of the sweet that Ghewar is prepared only on Monsoons and no other time during the year.

Ghewar: A Monsoon-Special Sweet

The dessert requires moisture and thus this damp weather is ideal for it to be on the racks of Halwai shops. In absence of moisture, not only will it come out right, it will also dry out soon, and no one likes a bit of a tough ghewar right? It needs to be slightly soft and spongy for the dessert to work overall.

Ghewar and Teej  

Not just the Halwai shops, Ghewar is also commonplace in Monsoon festivals like Teej, Janmashtami and Rakhi. In Teej especially, copious amounts of ghewar are made in advance, married women feast on this dessert after they break their fast, and also offer it to the Gods. Since it is made with so much ghee, it helps supply energy to the body and keeps one warm.  

Ghewar, though Rajasthani in origin, can be easily found across North India. Nowadays there are many interesting varieties of Ghewar too that you pick and choose from, like the chocolate ghewar and tutti-fruity Ghewar. Have you brought home your season's first Ghewar? Do let us know. You can also try making it at home with this recipe.