What’s the festival of colours without some delicious and colourful treats? Try these unique and easy-to-make recipes at home this Holi, and have a memorable celebration
Priyanka G Mehta
It is that time of the year when streets are draped in a plethora of vibrant colours and both children and adults don’t need an excuse to drench their near and dear ones with generous sprays from the water gun. And, as in all Indian festivals, food plays an important part in the festivities.
Think Holi, and you immediately think of gujiyas, pakoras, thandai and kachoris. While we all love these treats, let’s try something unique this Holi festival. We give you some exclusive recipes that pay tribute to traditional preparations, but with a modern take. Try these amazing recipes with a twist and your loved ones will be asking for more.
1. No-Bake Thandai Cheesecake Shots
This Holi serve a thandai-inspired dessert in style, and the kids will love it.
10-12 digestive biscuits
1 tbsp butter
1 cup cream cheese
½ cup sugar
1 cup chilled fresh cream
1 tsp saffron, mixed with 2 tbsp warm milk
2 tbsp thandai powder (available in stores)
Few pistachio and almond slivers for garnishing
Crush the digestive biscuits well either with a rolling pin or in a mixer, mix it with 1 tbsp melted butter and tightly layer this mix at the bottom of shot glasses
Whip the cream cheese and sugar together with an electric beater
Add saffron mixture to this and set aside
In another bowl, whip up the fresh cream till it is very light and forms soft peaks.
Now, blend in the whipped cream in batches with the cream cheese mixture using cut and fold method, so that the lightness of the cream remains
Now put this mixture in a piping bag and pipe in shot glasses and decorate with pistachio and almond slivers
Let it chill for at least 3-4 hours before you serve
2. Chaat Canapés
It is a tradition to serve chaat during Holi. We give you a super-tasty, modern version.
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp semolina
¼ cup carrot puree
¼ tsp baking soda
Salt to taste
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tbsp ghee
1 cup green peas par boiled
½ cup boiled black chana (chick peas)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
Saunth chutney (Dates and Tamarind chutney) to taste
Green chutney to taste
¼ cup Sev
Juice of two lemons
Fresh coriander leaves chopped
Mix together the flour, semolina, baking soda, 1 tsp red chilli powder and salt to taste. To this, add 2 tbsp ghee and rub between your palms, so that the flour gets a breadcrumbs-like texture.
Now, add carrot puree and mix well, then start adding some water to knead the dough. Prepare a soft and smooth dough and let it rest for one hour in the fridge.
Roll the dough into a sheet of 1/4th inch thickness and cut out some roundels large enough to fit in mini tart shell moulds. Put these in the tart moulds and remove the excess from sides. Prick the dough all over and prepare all the canapés in the same way.
Bake these mini tarts in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until they turn crisp and brown from all sides.
Take them out and let cool
Now, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, mix together green peas, chana, onion, tomato, both the chutneys, cumin powder, salt and red chilli powder to taste. Finally drizzle lemon juice and mix everything well
Fill the mixture in prepared canapés just before serving and garnish with sev and chopped coriander leaves
3. Minty Strawberry Mojito
After a day of fun and frolic in the sun, this cooling drink will be a perfect end to Holi celebrations
¼ cup sugar
12-14 fresh mint leaves
Juice of two lemons
Few lemon slices for garnish
A glass of soda
Puree strawberries with sugar in a blender jar, then add mint leaves and lemon juice and blend again; reserve some mint leaves for garnish
Fill half the glass with this mixture; then pour soda and add ice cubes as desired
Garnish with lemon slice and mint leaves
4. Cheesy Spinach Bombs
Holi is incomplete without pakoras, but we have a cheesy version that will pack a punch.
¼ cup spinach puree
½ cup gram flour (besan)
¼ cup semolina
Salt to taste
Red chili powder to taste
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp curd
Few small cubes of mozzarella cheese
Mix together gram flour, semolina, salt, chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Add spinach puree and curd to this and mix well
Keep the mixture aside for 10 minutes, after that if the mixture seems too thick then add some water and mix well, it should be like a pan cake batter
Heat the paniyaram pan and add few drops of oil in each cavity
Then pour a tsp of spinach mixture in each cavity filling only half of the space in each cavity.
Then put one cheese cube in each of them and cover it again with the spinach mixture
Cover the pan and let them cook on medium heat for 2 minutes and then flip over
Again cover and cook. After two minutes cook them open to get the crispy outer layer
Serve these with green and sweet chutneys, topped with sev for awesome chaat experience.
5. Pomegranate Thandai
This is an amazing version to the regular thandai drink served during Holi
2 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
10-12 almonds blanched and peeled
7-8 cashews soaked for 2 hours
8-10 pistachios blanched and peeled
3 glasses full fat milk
2 tbsp melon seeds soaked
2 tbsp poppy seeds soaked
½ tsp saffron strands mixed with 2 tbsp warm milk
½ cup sugar
4-5 green cardamoms
10-12 dried rose petals
4-5 black pepper corns
Take 1 ½ cups of pomegranate juice in a small saucepan and reduce it over medium flame to ¼ of its original volume and keep aside to cool
Grind together almonds, cashews, pistachios, melon seeds and poppy seeds in a mixer, add little milk if required to make a fine paste
In another mixer jar, powder together green cardamom, pepper corns and dried rose petals and keep aside
In a pan, boil the milk and cool it. Then, add remaining one cup of pomegranate juice to the milk. Add the prepared paste and powdered ingredients and mix well
Lastly, add the saffron milk and mix again. Then chill it well in the fridge
For serving, pour the pomegranate reduction in the bottom of the glass and drizzle some of it on the sides of the glass as well. Then pour the prepared thandai.
Garnish with few saffron strands and pistachio slivers.