Holi 2024: 8 Fusion Treats, From Thandai Blondie To Paan Truffle

Holi is the time when you can have a lot of fun with homemade desserts. Traditional Holi flavours like pistachios, thandai, coconut, rose, paan etc have often been modernised by dessert makers who infuse them in contemporary flavours. The trick is to pick desserts which can be flavoured easily and can be made with improvised recipes, so the minor additions of flavours don’t mess up the consistency of the recipe. For instance, brownies, kulfi and truffles are desserts that can be flavoured seamlessly and their ratio of ingredients can be changed if needed.

When it comes to flavouring agents, think simple. Use instant thandai powder, which is easier to use than thandai masala. When it comes to nuts, like cashews, almonds or pistachios, grind them into a powder so they can be mixed in thoroughly. Paan, which is a staple Holi flavour can be used in a number of ways. You can use paan-flavoured masala mix or buy paan-flavoured food essence which is usually soluble. Here are some examples of easy fusion desserts you can make during Holi

Thandai Panna Cotta

Infusing panna cotta with flavours is easier since it has a custard-like consistency, so you can simply add any flavouring agent when it’s being blended with milk. In this case, you can just use instant thandai powder along with a blend of nuts, spices, and saffron – this creamy dessert is a celebration of Holi in every bite. You can make single-serve panna cottas which are easier to make at one go; garnish it with chopped pistachios and rose petals.

Jalebi Tiramisu

This amazing fusion number features layers of crispy, syrup-soaked jalebis alternated with velvety mascarpone cheese and coffee-soaked ladyfingers. It’s designed like a jalebi parfait but with more depth in its flavours. Jalebi pairs perfectly with any dairy-based ingredient, so it will fit right in into this pairing. Finish it with a dusting of cocoa powder and a drizzle of saffron-infused syrup.

Gulab Jamun Cheesecake

A beloved festive classic, this fusion cheesecake never fails to amuse foodies. It has a buttery biscuit base which is topped with a layer of smooth cream cheese infused with cardamom and saffron, topped with soft, syrup-soaked gulab jamuns. You can use store-bought gulab jamuns; however if you have time on your hands, opt for homemade gulab jamun (you can use a box mix) so you can monitor its consistency and taste.

Gulkandh Truffles

This is a creative way to flex your cooking chops to your friends! These bite-sized delights feature a creamy ganache infused with the floral essence of gulkandh, a fragrant blend of rose petals and sugar. Encase the confection in a rich coating of dark chocolate and use a delicate rose petal to top it. You can also go for simple paan-flavoured truffles with gulkandh centres; for added texture, you can use a layer of shredded coconut coating.

Mango Kulfi Popsicles

This can be a refreshing choice of dessert for a sweaty Holi day. You can easily make it with a blend of ripe mangoes, condensed milk, and cardamom is poured into popsicle moulds and frozen until set. For an extra touch of indulgence, dip the kulfi popsicles in melted white chocolate and sprinkle with chopped nuts before serving.

Pistachio Rose Thandai Blondie

There are two ways to go about this recipe. You can use a box mix of blondies and simply add instant thandai powder and pistachio powder to the blend. Or you can go for a more intense profile with a rose-flavoured base made from scratch (using rose powder) infused with thandai spices. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped pistachios and dried rose petals.

Saffron Rose Macarons

Infuse a French classic with the exotic flavours of saffron and rose for a Holi-inspired twist. Opt for this recipe only if you’re adept at making homemade macarons. Use delicate almond meringue shells and fill them with luscious saffron and rose-infused buttercream, which will offer floral and earthy notes. Garnish with edible rose petals or a sprinkle of edible gold dust for a touch of elegance. 

Paan Ice Cream Sandwiches

Elevate the humble ice cream sandwich with a hint of paan. If you have little time on your hands, skip making homemade cookies. Instead opt for soft paan-flavoured cookies and make a sandwich a with a layer of creamy vanilla ice cream. Roll the edges of the sandwiches in desiccated coconut or crushed fennel seeds which will add a subtle grassiness to its flavour.