10 Holi special delicacies you should try

Bura na maano, Holi hai!” The festival of Holi is a celebration of good over evil, and everyone celebrates it with much fervor and cheer. While the mornings are dedicated to drenching family, friends and all in bright colors, afternoons and evenings are meant for gorging on some mouthwatering delicacies. This Holi stay safe and relish these traditional Indian dishes.  


The word ‘barf’ means ‘ice’ or ‘snow’ in Persian. Barfi is a solid dessert made of condensed milk. There are many flavors to choose from—pista (pistachio), rose, saffron, chocolate, and almond. Some believe that the dish was made by Harbans Vig, a wrestler from Punjab, Pakistan in 1912; others say it is a medieval dish originating from Uttar Pradesh.     

Dahi Vada

As the name suggests, the dish contains two primary elements—dahi (curd) and vada (fried dough balls made of urad dal). Both these items are combined and topped off with spices and sweet and sour chutneys to create a comforting dish. It is also called dahi bhalla in North India, and is a popular food during the Holi holidays. 


For a hearty breakfast, people often rely on dhuska. The dish is extremely popular in the states of Jharkhand and Bihar. It is a fried dish made with rice, dal, chillies and garlic, and is a staple for Holi. Ghugni is an accompaniment of choice. A simple curry made of black chickpeas (chana), the latter is a rather widely-prepared dish during the festival.   


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—besanmotichurtilboondi, 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, PyaazNagori, Mawa, Lilva, Heeng, Banarasi). The street food consists of a fried snack made of all-purpose or whole wheat flour and a rich filling, mostly savory. 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.   


This Punjab-originated beverage is one of the most, if not the most popular drink in North India. Lassi is a yoghurt-based drink blended with water and other varying ingredients. The concoction can be sweet or savory, depending on the preparation. You could even opt for different flavors, some with fruits as well. However, the icing on the cake is the scoop of malai dropped on top of the drink. This gives it texture and a rich taste. No holi is complete without a refreshing glass of lassi.


Malpuas are a pancake-style dessert made with all-purpose flour, semolina, khoya and cardamom. These sweets are then fried in ghee and dipped in sugar syrup. One word to describe the dish is certainly ‘indulgent’. A mix of crispy and soft, malpuas are ideal to end your Holi meal. They are mostly prepared in North and East India, but also popular in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The mention of malpuas can be found in ancient texts like the Rig Veda. 


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! 

Namak Para/ Shakar Para

Two sides of a coin, namak para and shakar para are the savory and sweet versions of the same dish. The latter is a popular dish in West India, especially in Gujarat. Namak and shakar para are fried dough dishes that are crunchy and often serve as a midday snack. Tea is the ideal partner for a serving for them. These are a delight after a long morning of playing Holi. (Source: outlook.com)

Images courtesy of (Image courtesy: indiamart.com) , (Image courtesy: archanaskitchen.com), (Image courtesy: cookpad.com) , (Image courtesy: thebetterindia.com) , (Image courtesy: swatirecipe.com), (Image courtesy: foodviva.com) , (Image courtesy: wikipedia.org), (Image courtesy: frombowltosoul.com) , (Image courtesy: gopaljeefresco.com) and Tejram Sharma | Welcome to The South Asian Times

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