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Holi Indulgence!

Friday, February 23, 2018

The festival of colours is here, and it’s much more than just water and colour. Food and drinks play a major role in the festivities and so, the 48hrs Team brings you delicious recipes to go along with the Holi celebrations

You’ve gathered tips and tricks to prep our skin and hair for the festivities, and your shelves are lined with organic colours and water balloons that are waiting to come into action. But, no Indian celebration is complete without hearty treats! Holi brings along with it several traditional dishes, and although we’re familiar with some of them, this year we thought we’d give them a slight twist. So, check out these simple recipes and revel in the season of colour whole-heartedly.


Papri chaat
It’s the festival of colours and there couldn’t be a better dish to add to your repertoire — the quintessential and ever popular street snack of papri chaat.

20 flat puris, ½ cup boiled chickpeas, 2 cups boiled and chopped potatoes, ½ cup chopped onions, 2 cups yoghurt, ½ cup tamarind chutney, ½ cup (plus 2 tablespoons) coriander or mint chutney, sprigs of coriander and lime juice for garnishing, ½ cup sev, red chilli powder and salt to taste


  • Crush the puris into small pieces.
  • Mix 2 tbsp of the coriander/ mint chutney with the boiled chickpeas.
  • Add a pinch of salt and red chilli powder to the chopped potatoes.
  • Arrange the crushed puris in a large bowl and top it with the potatoes, chickpeas and onions.
  • Beat the yoghurt with a hand whisk until smooth.
  • Pour 1½ cups of the yoghurt over the prepared mixture. Top it off with ¼ cup of the tamarind and green chutney. Mix well.
  • Dress with the remaining yoghurt and chutney. Use the sev, coriander and lime juice for garnishing.

Namak pare
This traditional dish makes for a nice salty and crunchy combination. Prepare it in bulk because your guests or family members will finish it sooner than you realise!

2 cups all purpose flour, 2 cups wheat flour, 2 tsp carom seeds, 2 tsp black pepper (crushed), a pinch of cumin powder, salt, ½ tsp baking soda, 1½ cups of water, 4-6 tbsp oil/ghee and oil for frying


  • Sieve the wheat and all purpose flour into a large bowl and mix it well.
  • Add the remaining dry ingredients and combine. Add the oil/ghee and mix well.
  • Slowly add water and mix it to form a dough. Make sure that the dough is firm. Let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Heat some oil in a deep pot or a deep fryer.
  • Divide the dough into small portions and roll them into smaller balls.
  • Using a rolling pin, shape the balls into disks. Dust flour over them to keep them from sticking to your counter.
  • Using a knife, cut diamond shaped pieces out of the rolled dough. Drop these into hot oil.
  • Fry for about 2 minutes or until they turn golden brown and crispy.
  • Strain the fried snacks and place on paper towels to get rid of the excess oil.
  • Serve once cool or store in air-tight containers for later use.


Soft Indian pancakes, or malpuas as they are fondly called, make for an excellent Holi treat and are best served with rabri.

For the Malpua
: 1 cup maida, ½ cup rava, ¼ cup sugar, ½ tsp fennel powder, ¼ tsp cardamom powder, ½ cup milk or rabri, water as required, oil for deep frying, rabri for serving and dry fruits for garnishing the dish

For sugar syrup: 1 cup sugar, ½ cup water, ¼ tsp cardamom powder and a few threads of saffron


  • For the sugar syrup, dissolve 1 cup sugar in ½ cup water and bring to a boil. Add the cardamom powder and saffron and simmer for 10 minutes until the syrup thickens. Cover the pan and set it aside.
  • For the malpua, mix the maida, rava, sugar, fennel powder and cardamom powder.
  • Add milk or rabri and mix well. There batter should be lump free. Add water if required to make the batter of a pouring consistency.
  • Whisk the batter for at least 5 minutes. Cover and rest for about 30 minutes.
  • In a large pan, heat some oil and spoon in a small portion of the batter.
  • Once the malpua starts to float, splash oil over it and gently press it down with a perforated spoon.
  • When the malpuas puff up, turn them over and fry on the other side until golden brown.
  • Drain to remove the excess oil and soak in the hot sugar syrup for about 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rabri and garnish with chopped nuts (pistachios or almonds).

Puran poli
A sweet filling, called the puran, is stuffed between two layers of poli, so it’s easy to see why this is a crowd favourite.

For the filling:
1 cup jaggery, 1 cup split chickpeas, 2tbsp ghee, 4 cardamom (finely crushed), 3 cups water and saffron strands (optional)

For the poli: 2 cups whole wheat flour, 4 tbsp oil/ghee, salt, turmeric, water and oil for frying


  • For the filling, wash and soak the split chickpeas for about an hour.
  • Strain and cook in a pressure cooker for about 4 to 5 whistles. Remove and drain the water.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. Add the crushed cardamom and sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add the split chickpeas and jaggery and cook on a low flame till dry.
  • Let the mixture cool and then mash it with a potato masher and set it aside.
  • For the poli, mix the wheat flour with ghee and water, and knead it to form a smooth and soft dough. Cover the dough and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into portions and roll them into medium-sized balls. Flatten these to form disks of about 2 to 3 inches across.
  • Put some filling in the centre of a circular poli, pull the edges to the centre and pinch them together. Roll to form a medium-sized circle.
  • Heat a pan and add some oil. Place the rolled poli on the pan and let it cook for a couple of minutes or till it turns brownish.
  • Flip it over and let the other side cook as well.
  • Drizzle a little ghee on top and serve it hot and fresh.

Matar ki kheer
An unusual dish, Matar Ki Kheer is prepared by cooking mashed peas with condensed milk, sugar and cardamom. This winter delicacy is very popular in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

1 cup shelled green peas, ½ cup ghee, 4-5 litres of milk, 1 cup sugar, 1 tbsp cardamom powder, 25 sliced raisins and pistachios, almonds and cashew nuts for garnish


  • Peel and wash the green peas. Run them through a mixer-grinder to make a smooth paste.
  • Heat ghee in a pan, add the green pea paste to it and sauté for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a deep pan, boil the milk and add the green pea paste to it and mix well.
  • Boil the mixture and reduce to half, stirring continuously.
  • Add sugar, cardamom powder and raisins into the mixture and mix well.
  • Cook for 8 to 10 minutes on a low flame.
  • Serve hot or chilled with pistachios, almonds and cashew nuts for garnish.


It isn’t Holi unless you’ve had a glass of cooling thandai, so here’s an easy recipe that you can use.

For the thandai:
4½ cups full fat milk, ¼ cup powdered sugar, a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, and a few saffron strands

For the thandai mix: ¼ cup almonds, 2 tbsp poppy seeds, 2 tbsp fennel seeds, ½ tsp cardamom powder and 20 white peppercorns (whole)


  • Blend the ingredients of the thandai mix into a fine powder.
  • Boil the milk in a deep pan. Allow it to cool completely.
  • Combine the powder and milk in a deep bowl, mix well using a whisk and refrigerate it for about 2 hours.
  • Strain the mixture through a sieve, add the sugar, pepper powder and saffron and mix well.
  • Serve chilled.

Rose sharbat
A sweet and heady mix, rose sharbat should work as a quick and easy refreshment for any Holi get-together.

Fresh rose petals (about 30 roses), ½ cup rose water, ½ tsp rose colour and 1½ cup water


  • Pluck out the fresh rose petals and lightly grind them to make a paste.
  • In a pan, add the water, sugar and rose water and mix well.
  • Add the rose petal paste and bring to a boil, till the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens.
  • Cool the mixture and strain into a jar with a tight lid. This syrup can be stored for up to one month. 
  • This is the rose syrup to which you can add water or milk to make a refreshing drink.


  • Papri chaat: Add more garlic chutney to make it spicier, and use yoghurt and chutney that’s chilled.
  • Namak paare: This crunchy savoury snack is generally eaten with hot tea, but you can also serve it with chopped onions, coriander and chutney.
  • Malpua: Serve hot and relish it with rabri or milk.
  • Puran poli: This special dish is eaten with basundi or amti with a generous topping of ghee.
  • Matar ki kheer: Serve hot or chilled, sprinkled with pistachios or almonds for added crunch.
  • Thandai: Garnish with rose petals or chopped mango to give it a refreshing twist. It must be served chilled!
  • Rose sharbat: The perfect summer drink, it is easy to whip up and serve to guests.
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