Holi is the much loved colorful festival that embraces the spirit of spring and the sun of summer. Characterised by pink tints and yellow hues, red ravishes and green glows, Holi is truly the festival of colors. And enhancing the fervor of Holi a whole lot more is the many foods and drinks that are as essential to the festivities as are the gulaals. Here’s listing the must have food items that should definitely feature on your Holi menu so that you can go color splash all out-
Nothing brings to our minds an image of Holi as vivid as the one Gujiya does. A crisp, flaky sweet from North India, one that has all the desi vibes to it, gujiyas might be a commonplace love affair for many but nowhere does it match the enamoring it commands during Holis.
Simply deep fried crescent shaped doughs stuffed with sweetened khoya and dried fruits, gujiyas are a delight to bite into.The sugary juiciness that these humbly divine pockets of maida or suji unleashes inside your mouth is a true bliss for the taste buds. Closely resembling the Jun pithas of Assam, gujiyas transcend the geographical barrier to be a true Holi delicacy all over the country.
With temperatures beginning to soar around this time of the year, Holis are as incomplete without servings of thandai. Bhang laced glasses of thandai, that is. A rich, divine concoction of milk with dry fruits and fragrant spices like fennel seeds and rose petals, gulping thandaais never feel the same the year round sans that generous dose of bhang. A chilled glass of bhang thandai is all the energy you need to go about the Holi day in all colors!
Why just sip on bhang when you can eat it too? So go ahead and munch on these intoxicating pakores this Holi to make the most of all ‘freedom’ you are granted on this festive day. Pakoras are anyway an all time Indian favorite and pairing it with some bhang on the colorful occasion of Holi is indeed the true encompassment of Indianness.
One of the most unique foods on the menu, Kaanji vada is a Holi specialty that is refreshing and lip smacking in equal measure. Kaanji refers to fermented mustard seeds powder which lend kaanji vades a distinctive tangy taste- perfect to devour on a bright sunny Holi day. Like typical lentil vadas, kaanji vadas are urad or moong dal preparation that uses the kanji water for the ‘curry’. Given that kanji drink also makes for a delightful chilled beverage, you can well wash down your kaanji vades with yet another glass of thandai to the excuse!
For those not enticed with the moderate sweetness of gujiyas, Holi has another specialty in store for you. That distinction goes to malpuas, an equally simple but delectable sweet treat that makes for just the perfect Holi. In essence a type of pancake, malpuas also are made by deep frying a batter of flour and/ or rawa flavored with fennel seeds, cardamom powder and milk. But what makes these malpuas a sinful affair to bite into is their immersion in a sugary syrup. The pores of the fried malpua soaks up the sugary juice impeccably, making for a hard to resist treat for all times and specially during Holi!
Aloo ke gutke
A lesser heard of but no less traditional a reason to rejoice during Holis is the fare called aloo ke gutke from the state of Uttarakhand. Boiled potatoes fried with some masalas make up this dish that you otherwise would be devouring with some parathas but make for a snacky treat by itself during Holi. And who doesn’t like potatoes (and Holi) anyway?
Holi might be the festival of colors and of spring but its significance also lies in it being a harvest festival. And what better than the new harvest to celebrate the festival with? A sweet, stuffed flatbread made from the newly reaped bounty, puran polis therefore are another traditional food associated indispensably with Holi. A food specialty from the Indian state of Maharashtra, puran polis are fried wheat flour based soft breads that incorporate a sweetened chana dal filling. A filling snack or a munching delight- have it your way this Holi
Chana dal once again makes for a traditional Holi delight with the savoury Dhuska in tow this time. Deep fried batters of ground rice and chana dal peppered with some spices, dhuskas are served with potato curry or peas curry (ghoogni) making them quite a meal in themselves.
Kachoris are another all time favorite Indian snacking option which make it also to the traditional Holi palate. Crusty and masalafied, kachoris are quite diversive a snack to bite into. Understandably then, they bring the required variety into your assortment of must have Holi snacks!
You might known them as dahi balle but that does not take anything away from how an absolute Holi favorite this chat like snack happens to be. Fried lentil dumplings are bored a hole into and topped with dahi (curd), some tangy- sweet- spicy chutney and then put into the mouth, one whole ball at a time. The crunchy texture of the vada perfectly cracks to lend your taste buds that orgasmic sweet- tangy and of course spicy dahi delight that is addictive, indulgent and kinda healthy, all at once!