Festivals of India: Holi

HoliHoli is a popular, Hindu spring festival also called the Festival of Colours. In West Bengal, it is known as Dolyatra (Doljatra) or Boshonto Utsav ("spring festival").
On the first day, bonfires are lit at night to signify burning the demoness Holika, Hiranyakashipu's sister.
On the second day, known as Dhuleti, people spend the day throwing coloured powder and water at each other. The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. Thus, the playful throwing of the coloured powders has a medicinal significance: the colours are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors. Over the years, with the disappearance of trees in urban areas, these natural colours came to be replaced by industrial dyes manufactured through chemical processes.

A special drink called thandai is prepared, sometimes containing bhang (Cannabis sativa). People invite each other to their houses for feasts and celebrations later in the evening.

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Ingredients :

  • Milk 1 litre

  • Condensed Milk 1 tin (400 gms)

  • Poppy seeds 4 tsp

  • Pepper Corns 1 tsp

  • Saffron a few threads

  • Aniseeds 4 tsp

  • Cinnamom 2 sticks

  • Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp

  • Almonds 15

  • Pistachio 15

Method :

  • ThandaiDry grind all the dry ingredients very finely and keep aside.

  • Boil the milk and let it cool.

  • Then add the condensed milk and mix thoroughly preferably with a hand beater.

  • Now mix all the ground ingredients to it and then chill the thandai and serve.

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Spinach Fritters

Ingredients :

  • Spinach 2 bundles

  • Sesame seeds 2 tbsp

  • Green Chilies, chopped 3 tsp

  • Salt to taste

  • Oil to deep fry


Method :

  • Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly under running water. Pat dry them with tissue papers or kitchen towels. Let them air dry completely. Take care that the leaves are absolutely dried.

  • Chop them evenly and finely.

  • Heat oil in a wok.

  • Take a few handful of leaves and fry them on high flame for about only a minute or two not allowing the color to change. Sprinkle salt immediately over the fritters.

  • Repeat the process with the other leaves.

  • In the meantime in a small wok heat only a tsp of oil and add the sesame seeds and let them splutter.

  • Add these seeds and the chopped green chilies to the spinach fritters and mix evenly.

  • Serve while hot.

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Fruit Bhel

Ingredients :

  • Puffed Rice 2 cups

  • Apple, peeled, cored and finely
     chopped - 1

  • Banana, peeled and finely chopped

  • Green grapes, halved 10-12


  • Black Grapes, halved 10-12

  • Pomegranate seeds cup

  • Date-Tamarind Chutney 2 tbsp

  • Salt to taste

  • Coriander Leaves, chopped to garnish

Method :

  • Mix all the ingredients just before serving.

  • Serve in a bowl garnished with coriander leaves.

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Suji Toast

Ingredients :

  • Bread 12 slices

  • Semolina 1 cup

  • Carrot, cubed 2 tbsp

  • Beans, finely chopped 2 tbsp

  • Onion, finely chopped 1 tbsp

  • Capsicum, finely chopped tbsp

  • Potato 2 tbsp

  • Curd cup

  • Water 4 tbsp

  • Salt to taste

  • Ginger-chili paste 2 tsp

  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped 1 tbsp

Method :

  • Mix all the ingredients except the bread in a bowl and let it stand for around at least an hour.

  • Toast one side of the bread on a griddle on low flame till light brown in colour.

  • Spread the semolina mixture on the other side of the bread evenly with the help of a spoon (about 2 spoonfuls).

  • Now flip the bread and let it cook on low flame for about 3-4 minutes or until light brown in color.

  • Drizzle a bit of butter if desired while still cooking the bread.

  • Serve hot with any chutney, ketchup or as it is.

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Rajasthani Cutlet

Ingredients :

  • FPotatoes, boiled -500 gms

  • Beans - 200 gms

  • Lentil - 100 gms

  • Coriander leaves - 50 gms

  • Lemon - 3

  • Ginger -chili paste - 2 tsp

  • Bread - 225 gms

  • Aniseeds - 1 tsp

  • Oil to deep fry

  • Salt to taste

  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp

  • Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp

Method :

  • Wash and soak the lentil for 4-5 hours then drain it.

  • In a pan, heat 1 tsp of oil, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. add asafoetida. Add soaked lentils into it and cook on medium flame till done.

  • Add little water if required.

  • Let it cool and keep aside.

  • Finely chop the beans and boil it.

  • Now peel the potatoes and mash them.

  • Crumble the bread finely.

  • Finely chop the coriander leaves.

  • Once the lentil coos down, add all the ingredients into it and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture into equal parts and roll them inot your desired shape.

  • Deep fry till light brown in colour.

  • Serve hot with the relish of your choice.

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Vegetable Dahivada

Ingredients :

  • Curd - 1kg

  • Boiled potatoes - 250 gms

  • Peas - 250 gms

  • Beans -200 gms

  • Bottle Gourd - 100 gms

  • Raw Papaya - 100 gms (optional)

  • Carrot - 100 gms

  • Coriander leaves - 50 gms

  • Refined flour or corn flour - 1 cup

  • Ginger-chili paste - 1 tsp

  • Date-tamarind chutney, to taste

  • Cumin powder to garnish

  • Chili powder to garnish

  • Oil to deep fry

  • Plain bhujiya to garnish

  • Salt to taste

Method :

  • Peel the potatoes and mash them.DahiVada

  • Finely chop all other vegetables and boil them except the coriander leaves.

  • Now add the boiled vegetables into mashed potatoes. Add coriander leaves, salt, chili paste and mix properly.

  • Divide into equal parts and shape them into vadas.

  • In another bowl, make a semi-thick batter by mixing flour, water and salt.

  • Beat curd and and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly.

  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the vadas till light brown in colour.

  • Just before serving, dip the vada into the curd and place them in the serving dish.

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Macroni Cheese Kebab

Ingredients :

  • Macroni 150 gms

  • Beans 200 gms

  • Potatoes, boiled 250 gms

  • Peas 250 gms

  • Coriander leaves 50 gms

  • Cheese 3 cubes

  • Butter 2 tbsp

  • Bread crumbs 4 tbsp

  • Refined flour 2 tbsp

  • Milk 2 cups

  • Green Chili Paste 1 tsp

  • Pepper powder tsp

  • Mustard powder tsp

  • Salt to taste

  • Oil to deep fry

Method :

  • Boil the macroni and hop into small pieces.

  • Finely chop the beans and boil the beans and peas together.

  • In the meantime peel and mash the potatoes.

  • Grate the cheese.

  • In a thick pan melt butter and roast the flour till light brown in color and add the milk, let it thicken to prepare white sauce. Try to avoid forming lumps while adding the milk.

  • Now add all the ingredients to it and mix thoroughly.

  • Form them into kebab shaped balls.

  • Coat them evenly with bread crumbs and deep fry them on medium flame till light brown in color.

  • Serve hot with ketchup or tamarind date chutney or any relish of your choice.

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Corn Samosa

Ingredients :

  • Corn 3 cobs

  • Refined flour 200 gms

  • Potatoes, boiled 150 gms

  • Coriander leaves- 25 gms

  • Bread 3 slices

  • Lemon 2

  • Ginger chili paste 2 tsp

  • Garam Masala 1 tsp

  • Grated coconut 1 cup

  • Turmeric powder tsp

  • Salt to taste

  • Oil to deep fry

Method :

  • Sieve the refined flour and then add lemon juice of lemon and cup oil and knead into a pliable dough by adding little water.

  • Peel and mash the boiled potatoes.Corn Samosa

  • Crumble the bread into fine crumbs.

  • Add salt and bread crumbs to the potatoes and divide into 25 equal parts.

  • Boil properly the corn cobs and separate the seeds. (grating the corn cobs makes it easy to separate the seeds from the cob)

  • In a pan heat 2 tsp oil and add the corn and other ingredients except the potatoes and the flour and mix properly on low flame.

  • Let it cool. Divide into 25 equal parts and shape them into oval shaped balls.

  • Now divide the dough into 25 equal parts. Roll them into small puris of 2 inch diameter and inch thick.

  • Now make a cut from the centre to one edge and roll into a cone shape.

  • Fill it with the corn filling and seal with the potato mixture.

  • Repeat the same method with the other samosa.

  • Now deep fry and serve hot with relish of your choice or ketchup.

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Kaju Katli

Ingredients :

  • Cashew nut, soaked 2 hours in water - 500gms

  • Sugar - 300 gms

  • Ghee - 1 tbsp

  • Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp

  • Silver foil - optional

Method :

  • Kaju KatliDrain and grind cashew nuts to a fine paste.

  • Use as little water as possible.

  • In a heavy saucepan put sugar and paste.

  • Cook on slow to medium heat.

  • Cook stirring continuously till a soft lump is formed.

  • Add ghee and cardamom powder and mix well.

  • Spread on a clean greased work surface.

  • Roll lightly with a rolling pin, to 1/8" thickness.

  • Apply silver foil. Cool, cut into diamond shaped katlis.

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Motichur Ladoo

Ingredients :

  • For Boondi batter :-

  • Bengal gram flour - 1 1/2 cup

  • Semolina - 1 1/2 tbsp

  • For Sugar syrup :-

  • Sugar - 1 1/4 cup

  • Milk - 1 tbsp

  • Saffron color, few drops

  • Saffron strands

  • Almonds, chopped - 2 tbsp

  • Pistachios, chopped - 2 tbsp

  • Cardamom powder - 1 tsp

  • Rose water - 2 tsp

  • Ghee/butter for deep frying

  • Edible silver sheets, for garnishing (optional)

Method :

  • For Sugar syrup :-

  • Combine the sugar and milk with 1 1/2 cups of water in a bowl and heat while stirring continuously till the sugar dissolves.

  • Add the saffron food colour to the syrup and make a syrup of one string consistency and keep warm.

  • For boondi :-Motichur Ladoo

  • Combine the gram flour, semolina and 3/4 cup of water and mix well to make a smooth batter.

  • Heat ghee or butter in a kadhai.

  • When hot, hold a perforated spoon (boondi jhara) over the hot ghee and pour a little boondi batter at a time using a ladle over the perforated spoon.

  • Spread the batter with the back of a spoon so that the boondi falls into the ghee.

  • Fry the boondis over a high flame to a light golden color, taking care to ensure that they are not very crisp.

  • Add the boondis to the warm sugar syrup and mix well so that the boondis soak in the syrup well.

  • Wash and dry the perforated spoon (boondi jhara) every time you pour the boondi batter through it.

  • Proceed making the boondis with the remaining batter and immerse them in the sugar syrup immediately after frying.

  • Allow the mixture to cool completely.

  • Add 2 tbsps of hot water, the saffron, chopped almonds, chopped pistachios, powdered cardamom, rose water and mix well.

  • Shape the mixture to make laddoos and garnish with silver sheets (optional).

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