Holi, also known as the ‘festival of colors’ is as Indian festival that marks the end of winter and rejoices the arrival of spring. This year Choti Holi or Holika Dahan will be celebrated on March 7, 2023 and rangwali Holi (color celebration) on March 8, 2023. Here’s my exclusive list of special Holi Food which includes 100 Holi Recipes (snacks, sweets, drinks etc) that you can make and relish with your near and dear ones on this special day.
Significance of Holi
Holi is the ‘festival of colors’ and spring that we celebrate in different ways but with plenty of joyfulness, togetherness and love. This festival also marks the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and positivity over negativity.
One of the most revered festivals of India, Holi is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm through the length and breadth of the country.
This is also the day when people get together forgetting all their past resentments, begin their relationship in a new way or mend broken relationships. Thus, Holi is sometimes referred to as the ‘festival of love’ as well.
This Hindu festival is celebrated over a day and night, starting in the evening of Full Moon Day or Purnima which is known as Choti Holi or Holika Dahan. The next day is Holi, which includes playing with color as a part of the festivities.
Here, I am sharing 100 Holi Recipes that are made during this spring festival. From the most classic and traditional to the modern ones, these recipes can be easily scaled to feed a large group of people.
Holi Pan India
Holi is known by different names in different regions of India. For instance,
- Lathmaar Holi in Vrindavan, Mathura, Barsana, Nandgaon, which are also places associated with Bhagwan Krishna and Holi Milan in other parts of Uttar Pradesh
- Rang Panchami or Shigma in Maharashtra
- Dulandi Holi in Haryana
- Hola Mohalla in Punjab
- Dol Yatra or Basant Utsav in Bengal
- Shigmo in Goa
- Kumaoni Holi in Uttarakhand
- Manjal Kuli in Kerala
- Yaosang or Yaoshang in Manipur
You will be surprised to know that despite of the ones mentioned above, there are many more ways of celebrating Holi within different communities in cities and villages. Though, each has their unique way of playing Holi, the spirit remains the same.
The traditional food and drinks of Holi is what enhances the celebrations. As I list down my 100 Holi Recipes here, I’m sure you’ll be all set to plan your special menus of this vibrant day.
Go For An Eco-Friendly Holi
While playing Holi, it is always better to avoid chemical-based colors and play with plant-based or eco-friendly colors. Chemically processed colors are not only toxic, but also harm the skin and are difficult to wash and clean.
You can also make your own natural colors at home from flowers, leaves, fruit peels or skin and other food ingredients. For example, marigold, turmeric powder, gram flour, pomegranate peels, beetroot, henna leaves, etc. are popularly used to make organic colors.
A common trick which most of the people use to minimize the effect of the colors is to spread some mustard oil on their skin before going out to play Holi. This thin layer of oil on the skin later helps in getting rid of the color off the skin easily, without much rubbing.
Holi And Food
There are many quintessential snacks and sweets that are synonymous with this ‘festival of colors.’ Like no one can actually imagine Holi without delicious gujiyas and the lovely thandai. These are an absolute must on Holi, especially in North India.
Some pre-planning is good to make things easy and time-saving, so that you can enjoy the day fully. Like for a samosa or kachori, you can prepare the filling or dough a day prior and refrigerate. Same for the thandai paste, which can be prepared a few days before the festival and refrigerated or frozen.
You will find this essential list of Holi Recipes really helpful in planning your Holi menu. Some of these may not be authentic recipes, but still are great for your Holi party. You can do according to what works best for you by adapting the recipes with ingredients that are available in your city or town.
The list features a variety of snacks, sweets and beverages that can be made at home. With this, here’s wishing everyone a Happy Holi. Celebrate this spirit of love, joy, warmth and deliciousness with your family and friends, but be safe.
Popular & Special Holi Food
This is the list of those traditional food dishes, without which Holi is definitely incomplete. Make one, make two or make all, the choice is yours.
Malpua is a traditional and popular Indian sweet of pan fried or shallow fried flour pancakes dipped in sugar syrup and served with rabdi or sweetened thickened milk. These crispy and fluffy pancakes are made with all-purpose flour, curd (yogurt), spices, khoya (dried milk solids) and topped with nuts.
Snacks are a significant part of Holi get togethers. There are many varieties of Indian snacks that are usually made during this festival. Here, I am also including some modern options that can bring a new twist to your menu of Holi snacks.
This list is categorized into
- Fried Snacks
- Chaat and Street Food
- Sandwiches and Pizzas
For healthier options, make sandwiches with whole grain breads and pizzas with whole wheat crust and assorted vegetable toppings.
Aloo Tikki is a popular North Indian street food snack of savory, spiced and crispy potato patties. A basic Aloo Tikki Recipe is made with potatoes, spices, herbs, breadcrumbs or a binding flour and can be stuffed with a filling of mashed cooked green peas or cooked chana dal or paneer.
These delicious golden brown wedges are perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Prepare them in two ways and add rice flour to make them extra crispy and gluten-free. Make in just 30 minutes and serve this tasty vegan dish as a snack or side with your preferred dipping sauce.
Chaat And Street Food
Pav Bhaji is a hearty, delightsome, flavorful meal of mashed vegetable gravy with fluffy soft buttery dinner rolls served with a side of crunchy piquant onions, tangy lemon and herby coriander. You will love this pav bhaji recipe for its Mumbai style flavors. I share the traditional method of making street style Pav Bhaji and a quick Instant Pot recipe.
Sev puri recipe is a canapé like snack -where crispy fried flour discs are topped with flavorful condiments, veggies, herbs, ground spices and more. Spicy, sweet, tangy, savory, crunchy, crispy flavors – all bursting in your mouth in each bite. Learn to make this mouthwatering snack with my authentic Mumbai style recipe.
Sandwiches And Pizzas
Sweets are a must for any Indian festival, let alone be Holi. This is the list of some popular Indian sweets and desserts which will only level-up your Holi revelries.
Suji ka halwa or Sheera is a classic Indian semolina pudding made with sugar, ghee and dry fruits. The recipe I have shared is a family heirloom recipe. We have been making this suji halwa recipe for decades during family get togethers, special occasions & festivals. The sooji halwa recipe can be easily halved, doubled or tripled.
Here you have a collection of both Indian and global non-alcoholic drinks that are perfect to beat the heat on Holi. These will also help you to rehydrate and instantly get energized after playing with colors.
Beverages like Jaljeera and Nimbu Pani can be made a few days prior to the festival and refrigerated. For the Aam Panna, you can make the mango concentrate a couple of days earlier and refrigerate.
Aam ka panna is a cooling Indian summer drink made with unripe green tart mangoes. It is slightly sour and sweet to taste and is flavored with cardamom, cumin and black salt. This recipe post shows the method of making both aam panna syrup concentrate and the drink using the method of boiling as well as roasting mangoes.
This collection of Holi Food recipes from the blog archives first published in March 2020 has been updated and republished on March 2023.