Guror Handesh

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Guror Handesh are traditional sweet Bengali deep fried snacks, made from a batter of flour and date molasses (morsa gur) or sugar. There are many variations of this recipe and how you make yours will depend on what kind of taste and texture you prefer; many people use just rice flour to make the batter for this recipe, whilst others will add plain/self raising flour, semolina or even ground rice. You can also opt to add fresh or desiccated coconut and even fennel seeds to add more taste and texture.

As a child this was the one snack I used to request my mum to make and make often. I still remember how my mum would cleverly substitute the date molasses for dark brown sugar on the days we were out of date molasses (the ingredient traditionally used to sweeten the batter) and I wasn’t taking no for an answer, lol! She prepared all the food she made for us with so much love and you should know, food made with love always tastes better.

A perfect Guror Handesh is one that puffs up beautifully, has a ruffled edge and is cooked through to the centre. I like my handesh to be crispy on the outside and soft and springy on the inside. I use a combination of rice flour and plain flour to achieve this, adding date molasses for colour and taste with the addition of white sugar, as I find date molasses alone don’t give the handesh the sweetness that we enjoy.

Many of you will know that handesh can be finicky to make and lots of you have been in touch to ask for a recipe that is fool proof, I’m hoping that this is it. Lots of you have shared horror stories of how your handesh don’t puff up properly, split when the batter is added to the oil or that they are raw and uncooked in the middle, so below I have provided some trouble shooting tips to help you overcome any issues you encounter.

These are some of the most common problems you may experience and my solutions for these problems.

  1. Handesh don’t puff up – The oil is not hot enough. Solve this by raising the temperature of the oil and making sure it reaches smoking point and then cools a little before adding the batter for the first handesh. They should then be fried over a medium low flame.
  2. Handesh split when put into the oil – This is usually the result of too much sugar in the batter and the batter being too thin OR the oil is too hot. Remedy this by adding more flour and thickening the batter OR lowering the temperature of the oil.
  3. Handesh aren’t cooked in the middle – This is caused by frying the handesh at a very high temperature OR making the handesh too big. Solve this by lowering the temperature slightly and cooking over a medium flame OR add smaller amounts of batter to the oil.
  4. Handesh don’t have frilly edges – this is usually a result of not letting the batter rest for long enough. The best handesh batter has had time to rest and allows the flours (especially the rice flour) to absorb the moisture from the liquid added. Solve this by making your batter in advance and allowing it to rest properly for at least 4 – 5 hours, or overnight if you prefer. I sometimes find resting overnight causes the batter to become too loose and I then have to add more flour to thicken the batter, so I like to make the batter a few hours in advance and fry later on in the same day.

So now that those problems have been discussed, I also want to share a few pointers that I think are quite obvious but may be things that some of us may overlook.

  1. Make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature. This means that the date molasses should not be used straight from the fridge (where some people store their unused gur), leave it to come to room temperature before using.
  2. The water added to the batter should be tepid, not chilled or cold.
  3. The oil used for frying should be clean. It’s fine to use oil that has been used for frying before but remove any bits of fried food from it (the oil you see in the video was previously used, I just added extra oil to it after sieving out all the crumbs).
  4. I have used actual measuring cups to measure the ingredients, these are available from good household stores. Please don’t use a random cup and expect to get the same results.
  5. If you don’t have cups for measuring, I have also provided measurements in grams for added accuracy.

If you’ve made it this far down and are still reading this, you deserve a round of applause, well done! The main thing to remember is that there is no magic ingredient that will give you a perfect handesh, it’s having a reliable recipe and most importantly the METHOD used to make the handesh that will give you perfect results.

Now that I’ve covered almost everything I can think of, I’m hoping that you’re excited and equipped with the confidence and knowledge to make the perfect Guror Handesh. Let’s do it!

Makes 25 – 30 Guror Handesh (depending on size)

You will need: for Guror Handesh

2 level cups of rice flour (approx. 320g)
1 level cup of plain flour (approx. 145g)
1 level cup of morsa gur/date molasses (approx. 320g)
1/4 cup white granulated sugar (approx. 50g)
tepid water as needed (as a rough guide I used 250ml, which is equivalent to 1/2 a pint but this will depend if your morsa gur is hard or soft to begin with, my gur was soft and runny so adjust this amount as necessary)

Method:

Guror Handesh

In a large mixing bowl start by adding 2 level cups of rice flour (approx. 320g), 1 level cup of plain flour (approx. 145g)….

Guror Handesh

….1 level cup of gur/date molasses (approx. 320g) and ¼ cup of white granulated sugar (approx. 50g).

You then want to add water to the ingredients in the bowl.

Guror Handesh

Make sure your hands are clean and using tepid water (water should not be too cold) gradually add enough water to make a very thick batter (at this stage add no more than 150ml, you can add more as you progress). As you mix the batter crumble any large lumps of flour, gur or sugar. It is best to use your hands for this process as it not only helps you to feel where the lumps are, I believe it makes the batter fluffier, much like how a good dosa batter requires you to mix the batter using your hands. Trust me on this one!

In total I used about 250ml water (1/2 a pint) but this may vary depending on how solid or soft your gur/date molasses is to begin with. Keep adding water a little at a time until you have a batter that pours in a constant stream without breaking, watch the accompanying video to see the consistency you are looking for.

Rather than fixate on how much water I have used in this recipe, use the water measurement as a rough guide but look for the correct consistency, as this will ensure better and more accurate results. Put simply, the batter shouldn’t be too thick or too thin. However if the batter seems too thick after adding the recommended amount of water, add more water a little at a time till you get the right consistency. If however you add too much water by accident, add more flour to correct this. Once you have the desired consistency allow the batter to rest for 4 – 5 hours, I believe when the flours are given time to rest and fully absorb the liquid in the batter, it produces a better handesh.

Cover the bowl with clingfilm (saran wrap), and leave to rest for at least 4 – 5 hours at room temperature, do not chill or refrigerate the batter. You may leave the batter overnight if you prefer, however I prefer making the batter during the day and frying later in the evening, I don’t like leaving the batter to sit for too long if I can help it (I did leave it overnight on the day I filmed the video though, ooops, lol!).

Guror Handesh

In a large wok, heat a generous amount of oil, the oil should be heated to SMOKING POINT and then TURNED DOWN before adding the first batch of batter. This will ensure the oil is hot in order for the handesh to puff up immediately when added to the pan and rise to the surface. Fry the handesh over a medium flame after initially heating the oil.

I use a cup to pour my batter, you may use a jug or ladle depending on what you prefer. Pour the batter directly in the CENTRE of the wok and wait a few seconds for the handesh to rise to the top without any assistance.

Guror Handesh

You will see the handesh puff up slowly and rise to the surface, don’t turn the handesh over yet, just use a spoon and move it away from the centre of the pan and let it cook around the inside edge of the pan till the underside looks a brown colour.

Once the underside looks brown, turn over and cook the other side, you should find the handesh turn over easily when the underside is cooked properly. It should take between 25 – 30 seconds to cook on each side.

Guror Handesh

Once both sides look brown and evenly cooked, use a slotted spoon and remove the handesh, place on kitchen paper to absorb all the excess oil. Make sure the outside of each handesh isn’t browning too fast and the centre of the handesh is also cooking through fully, by tearing one apart and checking the inside is cooked.

Guror Handesh

The handesh should have beautiful ruffles on the edges provided you have followed all the steps properly. Enjoy eating your handesh hot with a cup of tea or warm a bowl of milk up and tear the handesh into small pieces and enjoy like you would cereal, delicious either way!

 

5.0 from 13 reviews
Guror Handesh
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 35 - 30
Ingredients
  • 2 level cups of rice flour (approx. 320g)
  • 1 level cup of plain flour (approx. 145g)
  • 1 level cup of morsa gur/date molasses (approx. 320g)
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar (approx. 50g)
  • tepid water as needed (as a rough guide I used 250ml, which is equivalent to ½ a pint but this will depend if your morsa gur is hard or soft to begin with, my gur was soft and runny so adjust this amount as necessary)
Method
  1. In a large mixing bowl start by adding 2 level cups of rice flour (approx. 320g), 1 level cup of plain flour (approx. 145g)….
  2. ….1 level cup of gur/date molasses (approx. 320g) and ¼ cup of white granulated sugar (approx. 50g).
  3. You then want to add water to the ingredients in the bowl.
  4. Make sure your hands are clean and using tepid water (water should not be too cold) gradually add enough water to make a very thick batter (at this stage add no more than 150ml, you can add more as you progress). As you mix the batter crumble any large lumps of flour, gur or sugar. It is best to use your hands for this process as it not only helps you to feel where the lumps are, I believe it makes the batter fluffier, much like how a good dosa batter requires you to mix the batter using your hands. Trust me on this one!
  5. In total I used about 250ml water (1/2 a pint) but this may vary depending on how solid or soft your gur/date molasses is to begin with. Keep adding water a little at a time until you have a batter that pours in a constant stream without breaking, watch the accompanying video to see the consistency you are looking for.
  6. Rather than fixate on how much water I have used in this recipe, use the water measurement as a rough guide but look for the correct consistency, as this will ensure better and more accurate results. Put simply, the batter shouldn’t be too thick or too thin. However if the batter seems too thick after adding the recommended amount of water, add more water a little at a time till you get the right consistency. If however you add too much water by accident, add more flour to correct this. Once you have the desired consistency allow the batter to rest for 4 – 5 hours, I believe when the flours are given time to rest and fully absorb the liquid in the batter, it produces a better handesh.
  7. Cover the bowl with clingfilm (saran wrap), and leave to rest for at least 4 – 5 hours at room temperature, do not chill or refrigerate the batter. You may leave the batter overnight if you prefer, however I prefer making the batter during the day and frying later in the evening, I don’t like leaving the batter to sit for too long if I can help it (I did leave it overnight on the day I filmed the video though, ooops, lol!).
  8. In a large wok, heat a generous amount of oil, the oil should be heated to SMOKING POINT and then TURNED DOWN before adding the first batch of batter. This will ensure the oil is hot in order for the handesh to puff up immediately when added to the pan and rise to the surface. Fry the handesh over a medium flame after initially heating the oil.
  9. I use a cup to pour my batter, you may use a jug or ladle depending on what you prefer. Pour the batter directly in the CENTRE of the wok and wait a few seconds for the handesh to rise to the top without any assistance.
  10. You will see the handesh puff up slowly and rise to the surface, don’t turn the handesh over yet, just use a spoon and move it away from the centre of the pan and let it cook around the inside edge of the pan till the underside looks a brown colour.
  11. Once the underside looks brown, turn over and cook the other side, you should find the handesh turn over easily when the underside is cooked properly. It should take between 25 - 30 seconds to cook on each side.
  12. Once both sides look brown and evenly cooked, use a slotted spoon and remove the handesh, place on kitchen paper to absorb all the excess oil. Make sure the outside of each handesh isn’t browning too fast and the centre of the handesh is also cooking through fully, by tearing one apart and checking the inside is cooked.
  13. The handesh should have beautiful ruffles on the edges provided you have followed all the steps properly. Enjoy eating your handesh hot with a cup of tea or warm a bowl of milk up and tear the handesh into small pieces and enjoy like you would cereal, delicious either way!

If you like the recipe please share with friends and family, also follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Questions? Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook.

 

 

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Comments 29

  1. Anji
    Reply

    Hi
    Thankyou for this fab recipe. I love semolina and was wondering would it be ok to replace the rice flour with it and would I have to add plain flour to it too?

    21 September, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      No idea how that would affect the recipe but you can always give it a try and see how it works. x

      22 September, 2017
  2. Rana Begum
    Reply

    Salaam sister Afelia. I am a single Muslimah in my mid 20s and have never ever attempted making Handesh before and therefore have no knowledge of how to go about making them. I am usually extremely skeptical following recipes online as I always find myself completely adapting the given recipe however I am pleased to say I followed your recipe and your step-by step-tips. I halved the recipe as I wanted to make a small batch in case it didn’t turn out well but by my surprise the handesh came out better than I expected!!! I can’t thank you enough as my family members were all very please with my first attempt and as a result I ended up making a second batch for Eid-Al-Adha. Alhamdulillah.

    Overall it was a huge success so thank you for your time and effort. May Allah bless you!

    10 September, 2017
  3. Shu
    Reply

    guror handesh recipe – a big BLESSING lol!!! allhamdulilah
    Jzk sister for finally coming up with a recipe that works perfectly.
    I have never attempted to make this as I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it right, first attempt making it and the better half enjoyed it so much, he said it was perfect 🙂 better than my mums (and that’s saying something lol)

    9 September, 2017
  4. Tazmin
    Reply

    Salaam Afelia! Thank you so much for posting this fool-proof recipe. We struggled making this handesh and actually gave up making it for a number of years…! But alhamdulillah, thanks to you, this was the first Eid in YEARS that we made it! Can’t thank you enough. May Allah SWT give you lots of barakah in this blog, your family and your cooking!

    3 September, 2017
  5. hana3bee
    Reply

    Just wanted to say a big thank you for sharing your recipe, I needed to just add some extra water as you mentioned might be needed and wow the results were really good!
    I make handesh every Eid but always eyeballed measurements so sometimes would end up being a little hit and miss. Your measurements and tips made me feel a lot more confident in making them this time round so thank you so much xxx

    3 September, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      You’re most welcome. I think it’s easy to try and eyeball recipes and mess them up, sometimes having fixed quantities is so much easier! xx

      12 September, 2017
  6. Rehana
    Reply

    My handesh came out beautifully! Nothing left in the middle!! Like others who have tried this recipe, did not waste any of the batter!!! Just perfect

    2 September, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      Splendid, well done! 😀 x

      12 September, 2017
  7. Julaka Misbah
    Reply

    Jzk for sharing this recipe and allowing me to bug you up to the point where you probably wanted to get rid of me. This recipe was so easy and super quick. Thank you so much for sharing and look forward to making some more rather than eye balling the amounts I have a quick way to get the correct consistency x

    31 August, 2017
    • Shipa Chowdhury
      Reply

      I tried your handesh recipe and my handesh came out really good. Taste was spot on! As my gur was a bit thick I added a little more water than the 250ml. Thank you so so much affa! Before I use to avoid making handesh. Now I feel confident I can make them again.

      1 September, 2017
      • afelia’s kitchen
        Reply

        That’s excellent, I’m so glad so many of you have finally plucked up the courage to give this recipe a go, it’s easy when you know how! 🙂 xx

        12 September, 2017
  8. F
    Reply

    Amazing, loved the troubleshooting tips, I did half the batter and needed those tips from you to fix my batter and it worked a treat! The flavour and texture etc was perfect, just the way I like it. Thank you!

    31 August, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      Whoop Whoop! 😉 x

      12 September, 2017
  9. Shabna
    Reply

    Salam sister, your recipe is absolutely perfect. All the troubleshooting tips you gave was so helpful. After so many trial and errors using all sorts of recipes and ‘secret’ ingredients and methods from others, this is the one where you have taken time to explain everything thoroughly. Thank you very much and may Allah reward you for your efforts and making a difference. Jazak Allah Khair x x

    30 August, 2017
    • Reshma
      Reply

      Used this recipe to make it for the first time and it came out beautifully! Thank you so much sis for sharing! Xx

      1 September, 2017
      • afelia’s kitchen
        Reply

        Yay, well done! 🙂 x

        12 September, 2017
  10. Sabia
    Reply

    Omg can not thank you enough for this recipe. My first attempt and it came out just perfect.my mum makes them all the time but i could never understand her measurments. When i showed her mine she was soooo happy and proud of me n thats all thanks to you.

    30 August, 2017
  11. Ally
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing! Love it x

    29 August, 2017
  12. Umayya
    Reply

    This recipe works!!! After years of miserably failing every time I have finally nailed it with this amazing recipe and especially with afelia posting pics and videos u cannot go wrong! For years no one has been alble to specify hw much of ingredient u need whereas afeila states d exact measurement u need in grams my mother eyeballs everything! ! Afelia I really appreciate the time n effort u have put on all ur recipes sis may allah grant u more barakah ameen x

    29 August, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      Ameen, thank you so much for taking time out to leave an amazing review! It really makes my heart smile when people like yourself have tried for years to nail a recipe and just haven’t managed to master it but then try my recipe and find it works! I’m chuffed to pieces for you. 🙂 x

      29 August, 2017
  13. Yahida Sahabi
    Reply

    Mashallah the guror handesh came out fab with the recipe/measurements you provided. The handesh even had the frilly edges! They were so good that I’ve got a batter sitting, waiting to be made later on; this time I’ve added
    desiccated coconut which you also suggested. Your such an inspiration sis. I’ve followed many of you recipes; including food that I hadn’t the courage to try out and they have come out banging good!

    29 August, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      Awww I’m so happy this recipe and others have been a huge success with you! 🙂 xx

      29 August, 2017
  14. Shahana Begum
    Reply

    A big thank you for your perfect handesh recipe!

    29 August, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      You’re welcome! 🙂 x

      29 August, 2017
  15. Moriom
    Reply

    The Handesh came out so nice. My family and I really enjoyed it. Thank you for the recipe. Bless you and yours!

    28 August, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      That’s super, you’re welcome. Thank you for trying the recipe. x

      29 August, 2017
  16. Jaz4Jay
    Reply

    OMGGG couldn’t wait to try your guror handesh recipe! It is the BEST?? My mother in law even approved it?☺️ Just perfect no batter left in the centre either!
    Mash’Allah I have been able to make guror handesh after trying and trying for 16 years?????

    A massive massive thank you for sharing your recipes with us??

    22 August, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      You’re most welcome, I’m super happy the recipe got approval from your mother in law, now that’s saying something! 😉 xx

      29 August, 2017

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