Popular Holi Recipes to Celebrate ‘Festival of Colours’
Played and celebrated with pomp and high zest, Holi is one of India’s most popular festivals. Apart from ensuring that all your close friends are doused in colours, this festival is also about brotherhood and opening your hearts to people. The highlight, of course, is the delectable sweets and savouries that one gets to gorge on. If you are not a person who likes to get dirty and soaked playing Holi, you cannot deny the bliss of devouring delicious sweets like gujiya, gulab jamun and the intoxicating thandai.
If you are salivating and drooling already, we have curated a list of the best holi dishes that you can prepare for the fam this year. Of course, there are short and concise holi recipes to help you navigate your way through all or some of them.
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The most ubiquitous holi sweet of them all has to be this crunchy and delicious, sweet with a crust-like layer with wholesome fillings made of khoya and mawa, made of pure milk. Your spread of holi unique sweets is incomplete without this deliciousness.
- You will need 4-5 cups of All-purpose flour (maida) and 1 tbsp of melted ghee for making the dough.
- For the filling, 1 cup khoya, finely grated coconut, dry fruits like almond, raisins, and cashew nuts (all grated or chopped) and castor sugar.
- First, to make the dough, mix the all-purpose flour with ghee and water. Rub it between your palms, and eventually knead it out in a soft dough. Keep it aside till you make your filling.
- For the filling, fry the khoya on low flame after breaking it into fine pieces. Once it has cooled down, add the rest of ingredients you have kept for your filling and the castor sugar. Mix it well and keep it aside.
- Take out your gujiya mold and grease it with a little oil. Now, knead the dough once again until it is soft and roll out small circular pieces from it. Keep one single piece on the mold, add one spoon of the khoya filling and apply a little oil or water on the edges. Now seal the mold shut and press the edges with your fingers. Repeat this process for each gujiya.
- Once you have them ready, heat ghee or refined oil in a deep fry pan or wok. Fry all the gujiyas until golden brown and keep it aside. Have it hot or cold!
2. Dahi Bhalle/Vada
Once you have something sweet ready, focus on the holi snacks which are supposed to savoury and complement your tastebuds. For this, the most famous recipe all over the country, especially in North India is the lip-smacking and sour Dahi Bhalle.
- For making the vada/Bhalla, you will need urad/moong daal, green chillies, ginger, salt.
- For the dahi part, you will need yoghurt, salt, red pepper powder, coriander powder.
- In this recipe, the main effort goes towards making those vadas. For that, you will need to soak the urad or moong daal overnight. You can even mix them both in equal proportions.
- Once they are soaked, wash them thoroughly and make a fine paste (nor too thick, neither too thin) in the mixer grinder.
- Once you have the paste, add chopped chillies, ginger powder, and salt as per your taste. Mix it well.
- Now, in a deep fryer or wok, heat ghee or refined oil. Make round or doughnut-shaped vada with the dal paste and fry them until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
- Soak the vadas in water and keep it aside for some time. For the curd, whisk it well in a large vessel and add a little bit of water, salt and all the other spices as per your taste.
- Now, dip the cooked and soaked vadas in the whisked dahi and serve it with tamarind or green chilli chutney.
A refreshing summer drink, thandai is not only famous as a Holi recipe but balances out your palate pretty well. It is easier to drink, light on the stomach and even easier to make. Of course, in some places, thandai is also laced with a small amount of bhaang (crushed leaves and flower heads of cannabis). If you are feeling adventurous, suit yourself, but this recipe is sans the bhaang.
- The spices you will be using are almond, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns, cardamom and watermelon seeds.
- For the concoction, you will need milk, rose water, saffron and sugar.
- Roast all the spices and nuts we have mentioned above. Once roasted, break them down in a pestle and mortar. Don’t make a fine paste, just gently withered.
- Now, add the roasted spice and nut mixture to milk. Add sugar, saffron and rose water to it. And let this concoction steep for an hour or two.
- Once all the spices and nuts have dissolved in the milk, strain it out. Serve it chilled with ice and all the other sweets and savouries you are making for Holi.
For the uninitiated, malpua happens to the delectable and desi version of pancakes. It is fried and dipped in sugary syrup that makes it sinfully sweet and irresistible. More so, on festivals like Holi and Diwali.
- For the malpua, you will need milk (lukewarm), all-purpose flour, khoya, sugar, baking powder and ghee for frying.
- For the syrup, you will need sugar, water, saffron strands, and ground cardamom.
- First, you should prepare the sugar syrup and keep it aside to dip the malpuas as and when they are perfectly fried.
- To make the syrup, pour the water in a pan on the stove, add sugar, saffron strands and the cardamom as per your taste.
- Whisk it gently and let it dissolve to a thick and single consistency. Take it off the stove once done.
- Now, for the malpua, take half of the milk and khoya in a bowl. Mix it well. Up next, add the all-purpose flour gradually to this mixture and mix it well.
- When you have a smooth paste, add sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Mix it well and add the remaining milk until you get a semi-thick consistency (like when you make pancakes).
- Scoop the mixture in a ladle and fry it evenly in ghee. Once they are golden brown on all sides, take it out. Repeat till you get the desired number of malpuas.
- Dip it in the sugar syrup and serve with thandai or your choice of drink.
5. Namak Para
A favourite Holi snack, namak para are crispy and crunchy that go with everything else you are planning to prepare for the festival of colours. You can even make them in a large batch and store it in your home and have it as a tea-time snack.
- For making this delicious snack, you will need all-purpose flour, semolina, salt as per taste, carom seeds and ghee for frying.
- A basic recipe where the main effort lies in kneading the dough properly. For this, take the all-purpose flour, semolina, salt, carom seeds in a large plate or bowl.
- Mix it well and gradually add water to knead out a tight dough. Cover it with a paper towel and keep it aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Now, heat oil or ghee in a deep pan or wok. Take the dough, cut it into small balls, roll it out on a flat surface with a rolling pin and cut it in rectangles or diamond.
- Fry them in the ghee until golden brown. Take it out on a tissue paper to drain out the excess oil/ghee. Store it in an airtight container for a couple of weeks and serve with hot tea or another delicacy.
While these are some popular holi dishes, it is not an exhaustive list given our country’s rich cultural diversity. You can make these or any other dish that you love and celebrate this beautiful festival with all the pomp it deserves.