Last Updated on December 14, 2020 by Chef Mireille
Blogging Marathon #29
Theme: One State (Kerala), One Course (Lunch)
Prior to my meeting a Jewish person from Cochin here in New York several years ago, I was unaware that India had any Jewish communities. I was so intrigued to learn about this rich history. India actually has three Jewish communities.
The Baghdadi Jews, also known as Iraqi Jews, settled in Calcutta, Bombay and Surat (in Gujarat). Most of them came as traders and have since left, since the formation of Israel. The Bene (Bnai)-Israel Jewish community in Bombay are said to be descended from 7 families. Reportedly, 7 men and women from Palestine got shipwrecked and then formed their own community near Bombay, on the Konkan coast. This Marathi speaking group are said to be descendants from King Solomon.
The Cochin Jews, also known as Black Jews or Malabar Jews (from the Malabar coast of Kerala), are of Sephardic Spanish origin and is the oldest Jewish community in India, since B.C. Like the Baghdadi Jews, most of them have emigrated to Israel, however, a small community still exists in Kochi.
The Malayalam speaking Kerala Jews have adapted many Indian recipes to accommodate Jewish Kosher laws. For example, mixing meat and dairy is not allowed if you keep Kosher. By using coconut milk (instead of dairy milk) in Kadathala, these dosas can be stuffed with meat, as is how they consume them.
The following recipe are commonly eaten by the Jewish community of Kerala with meat based curries as part of their weekly Shabbat (Friday sunset religious observance of their weekly holy day) meal.
Yield: 12 gharis
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1 1/2 cups semolina
3/4 cup jaggery, powdered
1 3/4 cups water
oil, for frying (vegetable or coconut oil)
Bring water to a boil. Add jaggery and cook until it melts. Turn off heat
Add rice flour and semolina. Mix well. The mixture will be quite dry and crumbly, however don’t add any more liquid. As soon as the dough is cool enough to handle, you will be able to knead it into a stiff dough.
Heat oil for deep frying.
Using plastic wrap or parchment paper, take a lemon sized ball of dough and press into a circle around 3 inches in diameter.
Place in the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides.
After I removed the first one from the oil, it felt quite heavy, so I tried frying them like puri, pressing down on the ghari, so that they will puff up and be light and airy. However when I tasted the puffy puri-like ghari and the flat ghari, I preferred the texture of the flat ones. The puffy ones, surprisingly had a denser texture. I then fried the rest, without puffing them up.
Remove to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
I am not a purist, so I have no qualms about mixing foods from different Indian cuisines, so I enjoyed these gharis with spicy Daalcha Gosht, a Hyderabad specialty. The sweet gharis complemented the spicy curry well.
…and even with these three recipes this week, I still didn’t include all of the diversity of Kerala as I left out the Malabar Coast Muslim community which have lots of delicious recipes which are on the agenda to try soon.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#29
LIKE THIS RECIPE? LEAVE A COMMENT..I LIVE FOR THEM!
so much of history!!! this is so new to me… thank you for sharing… 🙂
as always, enjoyed the history and the recipe also. very interesting
I am sure we will get a kerala theme in some other event too.. waiting for those muslim dishes too.. Those pooris look perfect. Rice, Semolina and jaggery.. such different combinations! need to try this once
super post with so much info..The SURATI'S too make ghari..but since it is dipped and loaded with ghee have never bothered to learn.
Sweet gharis looks incredible, thanks to you for explaining that even India have Jewish community. Enjoyed reading the history.
Truly delicious…Such tempting clicks 🙂
Super delicious !! looks so inviting !!
Mireille roc–you ROCK!! I had no idea about the jewish communities in India. So much information — hats off to your research.
Gharis sound delicious.. fried & sweet — what's not to like about them 🙂
Mer you are an inspiration always. You never fail to impress. 🙂 Excellent read for me this morning. Superb food for thought.
Despite being from Kerala, this is a dish that I am not familiar with. Great job, as always, with identifying and cooking three wonderful dishes for the BM.
You enjoyed gharis with Hyderabadi Daalcha wonderful and you made them so perfectly Superb!!!…
Good to read about the rich history of jews Mir!!! Ghari's look pretty easy to make and great on taste!!! 🙂
Mir, this is the first time I reading about this dish..I am impressed!..and the dish has come out so well!
This sounds more like 'appalu' which we make but slightly different. It is interesting to know the history..Hats off to you to pack so much of history in there!!
Mir, over and over again, I am amazed at all the research you do 🙂 I am not only enjoying the different dishes you post, but also the history! I was not aware of Jews in India…
Wow is the word!!! with so much research and so much talent, I am sure the recipes will only get better and best… keep it up!!!
Event – Authentic Indian Sweets w giveaway
Event – Kid's delight – Sweet Treats
Ver informative post about history and sweet gharis….
Mireille, I knew only about the Bombay Jewish community. And also the gharis are new even though Kerala is our neighboring state. 🙂