Holi 2024 USA: 8 Significant Traditional Dishes For The Festival
Image Credit: Gujiya for Holi | Freepik

Different regions in India follow unique customs and traditions for celebrating Holi. From throwing colours to throwing laddus and greeting with sticks, there are unique customs and rituals followed all across India that make this festival special.

Just as these customs and traditions vary, culinary cuisine varies from region to region. In the North, bhang thandai is especially significant. It is also offered to deities as prasad and drunk on the festival, which gives a sense of intoxication. In Delhi and Agra, chaat is popularly eaten at the festival.

In the state of Maharashtra, traditional foods like Puran Poli, and malpua are prepared during the festival. In Kerala, turmeric water is used for playing Holi and turmeric thandai is served as offering. Know about these interesting Holi foods all across India and see how they became a nostalgic treat resembling the festival.

8 Special Holi Treats In India You Should Try

1)  Gujiya

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Gujia is traditionally prepared in many regions of India during Holi. However, the ingredients filled inside differ from region to region in the North; these are filled with a mixture of khoya and nuts. In Maharashtra, it's filled with coconut shreds and dry fruits. Sometimes, it's also made with a bhang mixture.

2) Thandai

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Thandai is one of the most important and widely consumed beverages on Holi. It is prepared by combining milk and sugar with chopped almonds, fennel seeds, watermelon kernels, and poppy seeds. Rose petals, pepper, cardamom, and saffron are added for flavouring. This drink is popularly mixed with bhang laddu to create an intoxicating beverage.

3) Puran Poli

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Puran Poli is a Maharashtrian sweet dish that is basically a flat bread filled with a sweet lentil mixture. The bread is prepared with whole wheat flour and filled with a warming lentil mix of boiled and mashed chickpea lentils cooked with sugar until well combined.

4)  Elo Jhelo

Elo Jhelo is a Bengali special snack pore[ared during Holi. This snack is prepared on Diwali and Durga Pooja as well and is made in both sweet and savoury variations. The strips of all-purpose flour are slitted and rolled to form a unique shape. Then, these stripes are fried until golden and dunked in sugar syrup.

5) Kanji

Kanji is a strong probiotic drink prepared in many ways. While searching online, the recipes of fermented carrots, beetroot, and mustard seeds mainly come up. This drink is especially popular in Tamil Nadu,  Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala. In several regions, this drink is also prepared with fermented rice water seasoned with curry leaves and mustard seeds temper. More than 100 kanji recipes are prepared using different ingredients.

6) Dahi Bhalle

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Dahi Bhalle is made with urad dal vada and yoghurt base, garnished with tamarind and mint chutney. This recipe is famous in many cities across India and is often served as a snack or side dish. The vada balls are first soaked in water to turn soft and then dipped in yoghurt to let the flavours absorb. It is served chilled and tastes extremely delicious.

7)  Malpua

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Malpua is another famous Maharashtrian dish that has a special significance on Holi. The wheat flour pancakes are deep-fried and soaked in sugar syrup to become a melt-in-the-mouth treat. Along with Maharashtra, it is popular in many regions of India during Holi and has a nostalgic appeal that reminds of the festival.

8) Bhang ke Pakode

Bhang ke pakode is enjoyed alongside thandai and kanji. It is made with cannabis leaves wrapped in a hearty chickpea flour batter seasoned with spices. While this snack can be irresistibly delicious, do not eat too much, or you'll sleep endlessly and miss out on the fun of the festival.

These significant treats are etched in the hearts of Indians and give the celebration a delightful meaning. After knowing about these treats, you will realise that Holi is more than just a festival of colours, its also about enjoying these delightful treats that complete the celebration.