Holi 2024 USA: 5 Holi Special Thali From Different Indian States
Image Credit: Holi Special Thali | Canva

Holi is a celebration to welcome warmer days and farewell chilling winter. When the seasons transform and the warmer days start to kick in, the cuisines in different states start changing, too. It is almost poetic to see the flavours of both seasons amalgamating. This is what is reflected in the festive special delicacies, too. 

At the time of Holi, you get to see different platters in different states, each presenting regional flavours and ingredients perfectly. In Maharashtra, Puran Poli is considered an important dish to offer to deities and bring prosperity. In North India, Gujiya has a very prestigious value and is considered the principal treat on Holi. Like that, the Thalis in these states also differ and include seasonal special dishes that display a fusion of both summer and winter delights, signifying the seasonal transformation.

Thali meals are important as they contain all the festive dishes on one single platter, creating a wholesome meal. Several elements—sweet, sour, liquid, and solid—come together to create a perfect fusion of flavours. Explore the different special thalis from different states of India and make yourself a perfect festive special meal at home by taking inspiration from the contrasting dishes.

Try These 5 Holi Special Thalis At Home

1) Maharashtrian Thali

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Maharashtrian Holi Special Thali features Puran Poli as the centrepiece that marks the meal's start. Then, an array of delicious side dishes like coconut chutney, lime pickle, cucumber raita and carrot salad grace the platter. Potato sabji, french beans bhaji, courgette fritters and kothimbir vadi are served as main dishes to pair with roti and rice. Kadhi and Katachi Aamti create savoury side dishes with the spicy Masala bhat. Then, to conclude with something sweet Seviyan Kheer, Panchamrut is served. All of these dishes create a conjunction of bold and spicy Maharashtrian flavours that tantalise the taste buds.

2) Banarasi Thali

Image Credit: Urad Dal Kachori | Freepik

Banarasi Thali features milder and more constructive flavours with Banarasi special treats. The Holi Special thali in Banaras begins with a glass of Thandai mixed with dry fruits and rich aromatic spices. After that, urad dal ki kachori makes an amusing bite, melding the delectable flavours together. Aloo sabzi and baingan sabzi form a complementary pairing with the kachori, giving warming flavours in each bite. For a spicy side dish, lal mirch ka achaar is served to add an adventurous twist to the platter. To end the meal, the crispy and sweet gujiyas mark a sweet conclusion, along with a refreshing Kanji drink.

3) North Indian Thali

Image Credit: Gujiya | Freepik

In North India, Holi is all about the awaited treats that add joy to the festival. Thandai, Lassi, and kheer are important additions to the thali. Main dishes include paneer butter masala, methi aloo, puri, jeera rice, dal, and crispy lentil papad. The centrepiece is again Gujiya, which is made with khoya or mawa filling along with dry fruits. Mango achaar is served as a complementary element to add a Summertime feeling to the dish.

4) South Indian Thali

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In South India, Holi is celebrated with turmeric drink rather than colours and it is offered to deities and drunk as prasad. The gujiyas in the south also differ from the North, and they feature coconut filling despite the khoya. In the South Indian Thali, you will see warming lentil curries made with pumpkin cubes and radish as the main dish. It is served with rice and pooris in many homes. Cobri Karchikai or coconut gujiya is placed in the centre. Aloo ki sabji and stir-fried black chickpeas create complementary sabzi to pair with the main dishes.

5) Rajasthani Thali

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Flavours in Rajasthan become a little bit extravagant with the introduction of more spicy elements in the dishes. Opulent and royal dishes like gatte ke sabzi, laal-maas, Dal bati churma, and Ker-sangri become the highlighting main dishes in Rajasthani Holi special Thali. The rich Rajasthani Kadhi, made with a warming chickpea flour base and yoghurt, makes a satisfying side dish. Missi roti and cumin rice are usually eaten with the spicy main dishes. The meal is concluded with besan ke ladoo and kheer.

Make these delectable thalis for Holi at home and get the taste of your homeland on your platter with nostalgic flavours. Mix and match the different sides and main dishes from this thali to create your special, satisfying platter and get lost in the warming flavours.