Holi ushers in Spring with all its glorious colours and rejuvenating splendour. Water balloons, bright colours (hopefully made from haldi, kumkum, neem and bilva  😊 ), yummy gujias, piping hot puran polis, refreshing thandai, delicious phirni, scrumptious dahi vadas and melodious songs are all the ingredients of a perfect Holi wish that comes your way today 😊

Traditional Holi delicacies vary from state to state, from region to region and from family to family. Today, as you celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of colour, we bring you a few traditional snacks and drinks for you to make and enjoy with your family and friends.

Gujias – these sweet dumplings are made of maida or wholewheat flour and are filled with a mixture of khoya or freshly grated coconut, sesame seeds and dry fruits. They are popular in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The dumplings are either deep fried in pure ghee or baked in the oven. Once golden brown, they are dipped in a sugar or jaggery syrup which has been infused with rose petals. Gujias taste best when served warm. For a modern twist to this traditional dish, add some dark chocolate of carob chips to the filling, bake the gujias and serve with a smattering of strawberry butter instead of dipping them in syrup.

Puran poli – this popular  Maharasthrian delicacy is a kind of sweet, buttery roti or poli. The soft delicious inner stuffing or puran is made from pressure-cooked channa dal which is sweetened with jaggery and flavoured with cardamom, saffron and grated nutmeg. The piping-hot puran polis are served with a dollop of pure ghee and a glass of warm milk.

Thandai – this Holi staple is a creamy milk drink generally sweetened with sugar or honey, enriched with khuskhus paste and finely grated, blanched almonds and flavoured with cardamom, kesar, saunf and rose petals. On Holi, thandai is traditionally served with bhaang (a derivative of marijuana). Thandai can be used to make thandai phirni, thandai rasmalai, thandai pannacotta ….etc etc etc

Phirni – this popular and deliciously aromatic North Indian dessert is made with ground rice and milk during festivals like Diwali and Holi. Unlike kheer in which whole rice is used, in phirni, broken or semi ground rice is cooked in sweetened milk. Nuts and cardamom are added later. Phirni tastes delicious when served cold but there are many who love it when it is served warm. Add some thandai masala to give the dish a “Holi” twist and sweeten it with pureed dates instead of sugar 😊

Dahi vada – this famous Indian chaat is prepared by soaking vadas or fritters made from chickpea flour in a thick dahi base. The hot, deep-fried vadas are first soaked in water. The water is then squeezed off. They are then transferred to a thick dahi base. For best results, the vadas are soaked for at least a couple of hours before serving. To add more flavor, they can be topped with chopped coriander or mint leaves, green chutney, red chili powder, crushed black pepper, chaat masala, cumin, shredded coconut, green chilis, or boondi.

Stay safe…SAVE WATER…have a joyous holi and a spring full of beautiful warm colours 😊

Stay blessed with good health ….always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza


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