A taste of Holi: Family favourites

Get hyped for Holi with these recipes that’ll totally up your celebration game!

Reading Time: 5 minutes


Get hyped for Holi with these recipes that’ll totally up your celebration game! Grab your squad, rock those aprons and whip up some dishes you can flex on Insta.


With their golden crusts and the scent of coconut filled centres, fresh out of the kadhai, each bite of gujiya is a delicious embrace of tradition and festivity. A favourite among Holi recipes, you’ll agree!

Holir ecipes Gujiya
Wholewheat Gujiya

Ingredients for filling

½ cup mawa (khoya)

1 tsp ghee

½ tbsp khuskhus or poppy seeds

½ tbsp semolina

½ tbsp desiccated coconut or coconut flour

3 tbsp chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, and raisins, 1 tbs each)

3 tbsp powdered sugar

1 tsp cardamom powder

Ingredients for Gujiya pastry

1 cup wholemeal flour (atta), or plain flour

1 tbsp semolina

Pinch of salt

1 tbs ghee or oil

½ cup water for kneading

Oil for frying


For filling:

Heat ghee in a pan and add mawa.

Once it softens, add semolina and poppy seeds.

Add coconut powder/flour, then turn off the heat.

Add powdered sugar, nuts, and mix well. Keep the mixture aside.

For Gujiya:

Mix flour, ghee, semolina, and salt. Knead into a semi-soft dough.

Roll a piece of dough into a round shape.

Place the filling on one half of the rolled dough and close it in a semicircle.

Press the edges to seal, ensuring no open gaps.

Bind the edges securely.

Fry in oil on low heat, 2-3 at a time, until golden brown.

Place them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

(Serves 6)


With its aromatic blend of spices, a glass of thandai refreshes the soul, offering a break from the day’s playful chaos with its cool and creamy texture. The most quintessential of Holi recipes, now you can make your own mix at home.

Holi recipes Thandai powder
Thandai made with homemade thandai powder


1/2 tbsp fennel seeds

1/2 tbsp poppy seeds (khuskhus)

1/2 inch piece cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg powder

4-5 white peppercorns (optional)

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

¼ cup almonds

¼ cup cashews

2 tbsp pistachios

2 tbsp rose petals


Toast the spices in a pan and let them cool. Then grind to a powder.

Separately, grind the nuts with rose petals.

Mix both the nut and spice powder, and grind again. Store in an airtight container.

Ingredients for Thandai

1 litre milk (full cream or skim milk)

4-5 strands of saffron

Sugar, to taste

Thandai powder


Mix saffron and sugar into milk and bring to a boil. Cool, then chill in refrigerator.

When ready to serve, add the thandai powder to the chilled milk. Use 3-4 tbs of thandai powder per litre of milk.

Serve immediately.

(Serves 4)


The Dahi Vada (or Dahi Bhalla) is an instant mood-lifter. There’s something about the cooling-yet-spicy character of it that makes it perfect for a Holi lunch.

Dahi Vada

Ingredients for Vada

½ cup urad dal (split black lentils), soaked for 4 hours

4-5 black peppers, crushed coarsely

1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera

Salt to taste

Oil for frying.

Ingredients for garnish

1 cup full-fat yogurt, whisked with 1 cup water.

2 tbsp green chutney

2 tbsp tamarind chutney

1 tsp roast cumin powder

¼ tsp red chili powder or as per taste

2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Salt to taste


Grind the urad dal in a blender with minimal water to form a smooth batter.

Add cumin, pepper, and salt; mix well.

Heat oil in a kadhai/wok or saucepan.

Take a small portion of the batter and lower it slowly into the hot oil.

Fry on medium flame until golden brown.

Allow to cool and dip them in a bowl of water.

Squeeze gently one at a time, to remove excess water.

Season yoghurt with salt, roast cumin powder and red chilli powder.

To serve, place each vada into bowl, and pour yoghurt over, liberally. Drizzle the chutneys over, alternating tamarind chutney with green. Sprinkle some more cumin powder and red chilli powder on top, and finish off with pomegranate seeds.

(Serves 4)



Move over, chips! Here’s a flavourful treat to bring a spicy crunch to your festive table.

Namak Para


1 cup plain flour (or use a half-and-half plain flour and wholemeal combo)

2 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp salt (adjust to taste)

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Water for kneading

Oil for frying.


In a large mixing bowl, combine oil with plain flour and salt. Mix until the dough comes together.

Knead the mixture into a medium-stiff dough.

Divide the dough into equal parts and roll each portion flat, like a roti, on a sheet of baking paper. (Avoid rolling it too thin; thicker pieces cook better.)

Use a knife or pizza cutter to create your desired shapes.

Prick the pieces with a fork to prevent them from puffing up during frying.

Heat oil and fry until crisp.

Maintain medium-hot oil; overly hot oil may result in softer crackers.

Remove on to a tissue to absorb any excess oil.

(Serves 4)


Here’s how you can paint the town in vibrant hues, all while championing sustainability. Homemade Holi colours are organic and non-toxic, and really, the way to go to keep your family safe. Eco-friendly joy!

Holi colour powder: Make your own


¼ cup corn flour/rice flour/tapioca starch

½-1 tsp food colouring of your choice


Combine food colouring with flour.

Stir with spoon, adding more colour until you achieve desired intensity.

Transfer to a baking tray and place in a preheated oven (not running) for 15-20 minutes.

Pass through a sieve.

READ MORE: For more Holi recipes, try this one:Two new ways with Thandai


Gaurav Masand
Gaurav Masand
IT professional by mind, photographer by heart. Loves travel and food photography. Blogs at secondrecipe.com

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