Holi recipes: something classic, something modern

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Gulal, tick. Guest list, tick. Clean up backyard so you can mess it up big time, tick. Any Holi recipes for your menu? Almost!

You might think the food is not as important as the coloured powder on Holi. But with all the mucking up, the running around, the dancing, you’ll need to keep a well-stocked table. Festive favourites at this time are gujiya and thandai, but here’s something else you could be adding to your usual spread. One of these Holi recipes is traditional, and the other is, um, not so traditional, but perfectly suited to the spirit of the occasion. Holi hai!



This recipe comes from Smita Nashikkar of Honest Indian Restaurant, Sydney. As a proud Maharashtrian, this is a favourite at Holi and at Ganesh festival. Smita likes to serve it with Amti, a dal to dip it in, but it is also eaten by itself.

Puran Poli for Holi
Try Puran Poli this Holi! (Source: Supplied)

For the Puran (filling)


1 cup chana dal (or toor dal)

3 tbsp ghee

1 ¼ cup powdered jaggery

½ tsp saffron strands soaked in warm milk

½ tsp cardamom powder

For the Poli (flatbread)

1 ¼ cup atta (wholemeal flour)

¾ cup maida (plain flour)

½ tsp salt


To make Puran (filling), wash dal well and soak briefly. Cook or pressure cook till soft, drain liquid.

Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan and cook dal, stirring, till it breaks down and begins to come together as one mass. Use a masher or back of spoon if you have to.

Introduce jaggery, soaked saffron and cardamom powder. Mix well, and continue to cook till it all thickens. Remove any lumps with spoon or masher. Set aside to cool.

To make Poli, mix the flours and salt in a deep bowl and knead with water to make a pliable dough. Cover and set aside for about half an hour.

To make Puran Poli, break off fistful of dough and roll out into disc. Place enough puran in centre to scrunch up into a smooth sphere. Dust with flour and roll out carefully.

Cook it on a heated tava like a regular roti. Use ghee (or oil) to make it golden brown on both sides.

Repeat until dough and puran are exhausted.

READ ALSO: Thandai anyone? The perfect drink to try this Holi



Cannabis-induced food and drink have been (sort of) acceptable at Holi for eons – think bhang. While we’re not advocating that extreme here, Gunjit Singh Chawla of Mumbai’s Independence Brewing Co suggests a much safer, but adults only, option: beer icecream. He calls this preparation IxCacao, after the Mayan Goddess of Chocolate.

Ixcacao Ice Cream
A sweet treat with a twist (Source: Supplied)


150 gm sugar

250 ml full cream milk

150 ml fresh cream

4 egg yolk

150 ml stout beer (preferably with notes of chocolate)


Cook the egg yolk in a double boiler, whisking continuously till it rises in ribbon consistency.

Mix with all other ingredients; blend till well mixed, say two minutes.

Strain the mixture twice to remove lumps.

Pour into your ice cream maker and process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

READ MORE: How to make your own coloured powders this Holi!

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