Do you call these handoo gulha or handulu gulha? Anyway, when made crispy and just right, handoo gulha is one of the best among Maldivian savoury hedhikaas.
For the dough
1 cup rice flour (fine)
2 tbsp. grated coconut
½ tsp. salt
½ cup & 2 tbsp. water
For the filing
½ cup thinly sliced smoked tuna
1 onion (1/2 cup when thinly sliced)
1/3 scotch bonnet pepper
4 curry leaves
½ tsp. grated ginger
1 tbsp. lime juice
¼ tsp. turmeric powder
¼ cup grated coconut
¼ tsp. salt
3 cups vegetable oil
Add rice flour, grated coconut and salt to a bowl.
Add in water and mix using your fingers until it forms a paste. Set it aside. The dough is now done.
Thinly slice the smoked tuna, onion, scotch bonnet pepper and curry leaves, and grate the ginger.
Into a bowl add onion, curry leaves, scotch bonnet, salt, grated ginger, and lime juice. Using your fingers, squash and squeeze the mixture until the onions release the juices.
Add turmeric powder, grated coconut and smoked tuna. Mix again while squashing and squeezing the mixture.
Make 1/2-inch size balls from the mixture by rolling it between your palms and set aside. We were able to make 32.
From the rice dough that you set aside, take a 1 inch piece (double the size of filling) and place it on your palm. Using your fingers, spread it to make a small disk. Place a filling ball in the middle of the rice disk and close it gently, making sure there are no gaps.
Roll it between your palms and fingers to close it tightly. Place it on a plate. Repeat until you run out of dough and filling.
Heat the oil in a pot. The oil has to be very hot when you put the handoo gulha in for frying. Otherwise, they’d break open. Drop a small piece of dough into the oil to check if bubble starts forming around it rapidly. When this happens, you are ready to start frying.
Put the first batch of handoo gulha into the hot oil and fry on medium high heat until the outside is golden and very crisp. For us this took about 16 minutes. Then, remove from oil, drain and set aside on some tissue paper. Repeat with the second batch and that’s it.