The festival of Holi in India is a celebration of good over evil, and everyone celebrates it with much fervour and cheer. The mornings are dedicated to visiting family and revelling in bright colours (or running away from those carrying permanent colours). However, the spirit of the festival is carried on by the special delicacies that are served. This year, let’s celebrate a clean holi with non-toxic colours and no water wastage. The focus on these delicious Holi treats!
When you think of Indian sweets, more often than not the first thing to come to your mind will be laddoos. The variations are endless—besan, motichur, til, boondi, the list is endless. This ball-shaped sweet also holds a significant role during Holi. In fact, in Barsana town of Uttar Pradesh, people even play Laddu Mar Holi, where they sing, dance, and throw laddoos at each other, later consumed as prasad.
Kachori is a dish that was accepted by various communities and made their own. It is said to have originated in the Marwari community, however it took several forms (mogar, raj, pyaaz, nagori, mawa, lilva, heeng, and even Banarasi). The street food consists of a fried snack made of all-purpose or whole wheat flour and a rich filling, mostly savoury. It is often eaten as a breakfast snack.
Another dish with several regional twists, Gujiya is a popular item at Holi celebrations. Made with flour, semolina, and dry fruits mixture, these deep-fried sweet dumplings are made in ghee and dipped in sugar syrup. It is rather popular in the North and West states in India. Many versions of the dish include dry fruit, mawa, baked, classic.
Any Bollywood Holi scene is incomplete without the dramatic pour of a glass of thandai. This milk-based cooling drink is often topped off with nuts and spices, and sometimes even laced with bhaang (a hallucinogenic). Ubiquitous in North India (Benaras is called the hub of thandai), this drink is right at the heart of the festival and even offers medicinal benefits! Most of all, it is a perfect beverage for the March heat in the nation.
This curd-based beverage is one of the most, if not the most popular drinks in India. Blended with water and other ingredients, the concoction can be sweet or savoury, depending on the preparation. You could even opt for different flavours, some with fruits as well. However, the icing on the cake is the scoop of malai on top of the drink. This gives it texture and a rich taste. No Holi is complete without a refreshing glass of lassi.