Independence Day 2023: 8 Flag-Coloured Dishes To Feast On
Image Credit: Maayeka

Independence Day in India brings with it celebrations across regions and borders and with powerful evocations of the struggle that led to the formation of a nation built on the pillars of sovereignty and democracy. Across the country, as we mark this monumental day on 15 August, so too we engage in a spirit of nostalgia and a history that is told and retold countless times as a reminder of a freedom hard fought for against colonial powers. Families and friends come together on this day to commemorate the important historical event. The flag is hoisted and national anthem sung invoking powerful feelings of national pride and patriotism.

This is also a day to share the joys of liberty and freedom, of peace and unity, that are synonymous with the colours of the national flag. As the tri-colour stands tall and proud, so too we embrace the virtues of diversity and togetherness. Almost a reflection of this symbolism is the food culture in India, which is just as diverse, just as bountiful.

It is no wonder then that within Indian cuisine lie treasures that celebrate this spirit of the nation. Foods prepared on this day are all about sharing the euphoria of independence that simultaneously embraces a plethora of regional flavours and cooking techniques making for a very vibrant lunch plate. As you sit down for an Independence Day meal to mark our 76th year of freedom with your family, neighbours, friends and loved ones, it is then an exciting treat to feast on recipes which celebrate all the colours of the national flag. Read on below for some dishes that celebrate the tri-colour with their vibrant flavours:

Tri-Coloured Pulao

This layered rice dish is all about a deliberate culinary experience that involves turning a simple pulao into a celebration of independence and the spirit of equality and unity symbolised by the flag. Follow your usual pulao recipe but be sure to infuse two portions of rice with saffron and green hues before layering the tri-coloured pulao.

Tri-Coloured Chicken Kebabs

A skewer of chicken angara, chicken malai and chicken hariyali kebab come together to make this flag-coloured chicken dish that is a sheer explosion of flavour. Perfectly cooked chicken kebabs are mouthwatering delights to feast on with a side of pickled onions and warm tandoori rotis.

Tirangaa Subzi

A very popular dish which is served readily in many restaurants offering Punjabi and Mughlai cuisine, the Tirangaa subzi is a wonderful celebration of the saffron, white and green colours of the Indian flag. It is filled with vegetables like French beans, carrots, tomatoes and onions and brings out the flag colours through three distinct gravies.

Tri-Coloured Pasta

Spin this Italian dish into a main course celebrating Indian independence. As pasta has travelled to our shores and made itself a distinct home in our regional cuisine, so too it has become a way to celebrate a diversity which is so integral to the nation's spirit. Make pesto, Arrabbiata and Alfredo sauces to mark the day with a tri-coloured pasta dish.

Saffron Rice

Saffron rice can be made as a savoury or sweet treat to be savoured for any big family meal. You can either add a bit of coconut and sugar to this recipe to turn the rice into a dessert option on the plate or follow a more classic recipe that involves infusing basmati rice with the colour and aroma of saffron and the fragrance of spices like cardamoms, tej patta and cinnamon.

Palak Paratha

Go green with this recipe that involves making a paratha that resembles deep hues of the flag colour. The green colour in the flag stands for fertility, for the bounties of agricultural land in the country. A palak paratha made from the leaves of one such vegetable grown locally in most regions is but an ode to this fertility and richness of Indian soil. Pair it with curd and raita for a simple and hearty lunch.

Tirangaa Halwa

Make suji halwa following the classic recipe but infuse it with saffron and green hues and some rose water to give it a distinct Independence Day-dessert feel. Add tons of raisins, thinly sliced cashews and almonds to the dish to elevate its flavour. A few saffron strands seasoning the halwa will transport it to a whole new level of aroma and luxury.

Coconut Rice

Coconut rice or nariyal bhat is made as a sweet or savoury accompaniment to curries in a big meal. The beautiful white rice is a celebration of peace and prosperity. The sweetness of coconut blended with the aroma of other spices and condiments make this rice a favoured addition to any celebratory feast.