Holi, also known as the “Festival of Colors” is a Hindu festival that marks the arrival of spring. For two or three days, there is a celebration of color, music, fertility, love, and the victory of good over evil.
Holi is an ancient holiday celebrated all over the world but mostly in parts of India and Nepal. There are two parts to Holi: Holika Dahan occurs the night before when wood-and-dung cakes are burned to signify good defeating evil. The next morning is Rangwali Holi which is when people gather in public, chase each other, and throw colored powders at each other while getting drenched in water.
Holi celebrates the belief that Lord Krishna wore many colors as he played with his friends all across the village, getting the whole community involved. There are other stories and mythologies behind it but mostly Holi is a festival of fun and revelry. It’s a time when all people, regardless of caste or ethnicity, get together and welcome springtime and the bounty of the new harvest.
Holi is also a time to eat delicious foods that awaken the senses and make people happy. Here are 10 recipes that will help make your Holi celebration fun and delicious.
1. Sabudana Vada: Indian Fried Dumplings
Sabudana Vada is a traditional deep-fried snack from Maharashtra, India. These dumplings are made with tapioca pearls, rice flour, and potatoes, with green chilis for spiciness. They are crispy, spicy, savory, and best when served fresh. This snack can be served alone or with spicy green chutney or tomato ketchup. This vada is also a perfect accompaniment for a party or any type of celebration.
2. Beet Thinai Paniyaram: Indian Sweet Dumplings
Thinai Paniyaram is a South Indian dumpling that can be made sweet or savory, depending on ingredients. This recipe for Thinai Paniyaram introduces beets for a slightly sweet, earthy flavor, and a gorgeous dark pink color. They’re spongy when served hot, with a slightly crispy outer layer. With their bright color, these dumplings are the perfect side to serve for Holi.
3. Sweet Potato Ras Malai
Creamy desserts made from milk are a Holi tradition. This version of Sweet Potato Ras Malai doesn’t use any dairy. The homemade cream sauce uses cashews, pistachios, and almond milk instead.
4. Bollywood Medhu Vada — Savory Indian Lentil Doughnuts
Lentils can be used in sweet as well savory dishes. These Savory Indian Lentil Doughnuts will certainly amp up the festivities. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Serve them with a delicious chutney on the side for dipping.
5. Palak Pakoras (Spinach Fritters)
A pakora is a fried vegetable snack originating from India and these Palak Pakoras use spinach, so you can indulge guilt-free. Chickpea flour is used to create the crispy coating so they’re gluten-free, too! This delicious savory snack belongs on your Holi dinner table.
6. Phulkopir Shingara: Bengali Samosa
These Bengali Samosa are a reason to celebrate in themselves. The crisp and flaky crust, the mild cauliflower and potato filling, and the bits of crunchy crushed peanuts make these an absolutely sublime and sensational creation. They’re fantastic on their own, but even better when paired with a colorful chutney.
7. Potato Fritter Sliders With Chipotle Aioli
These Potato Fritter Sliders With Chipotle Aioli are a fun version of Pav Vada, a traditional Indian street food. The sliders have a spicy potato filling that’s fried in a chickpea flour batter and sandwiched between bread with a bold chipotle aioli. These sliders will be the hit of your Holi festival.
8. Cauliflower Rice Paper Samosas With Tangy Mint Chutney
Move over deep-fried, potato-laden samosas — these Cauliflower Rice Paper Samosas With Tangy Mint Chutney are the new way to indulge! The rice paper wrappers bake up like a dream — they’re crisp, thin, light and definitely samosa-worthy. The traditional starchy potato filling is replaced by spiced cauliflower, which is a unique alternative. Dipping them in the accompanying tangy mint chutney really seals the deal!
This delicious recipe for Besan Barfi, Indian-style fudge made with dates and chickpea flour is the perfect simple dessert for Holi. The chickpea flour gives the barfi a nutty flavor and a melt-in-your-mouth texture, and the dates are a unique addition. You can also throw in a handful of nuts such as pistachios, almonds, or cashews for an added burst of crunchy texture.
10. Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun
These Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun are a rustic dessert from the Bengali kitchen. They’re sweet potato doughnuts or stuffed with coconut, fried, and then soaked in cardamom scented syrup. These sweet treats are delicious and their vibrant orange hue is perfect for Holi, the Festival of Colors.
Holi, the Festival of Colors, celebrates spring, its bounty of food and the triumph of good over evil. These recipes will help you have a happy and festive holiday filled with food that makes you feel alive.
Lead image source: Beet Thinai Paniyaram: Indian Sweet Dumplings