Celebrate Holi with these 12 special recipes

This festival of colours, play it safe and celebrate with delicious food and drinks from some of India’s best chefs and mixologists.

Holi, the festival of colours, among the most popular ones in India, is just around the corner. Naturally, celebrations this year, like in the last, have taken on a different form. Getting together with family and friends and dousing each other in colour might be out. Instead, why not celebrate the occasion with some delicious food and drinks?

We spoke to some of the most accomplished chefs around the country to compile a delicious list. Check out these 12 recipes of delicious treats and drinks, and maybe try your hand at a few. All the better for a safe and healthy holi.

Organic Palm Jaggery Malpua

By Chef Thimma Reddy, Executive Chef, The Park Hyderabad


  • 1 cup refined flour
  • ½ cup semolina
  • ¼ cup refined grated organic palm jaggery
  • ½ tsp fennel
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 120ml water or as required
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 30ml ghee
  • Rabri for serving
  • Dry fruits for garnishing

For sugar syrup:

  • 1 cup palm jaggery
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • Few threads of saffron


In a large mixing bowl, take refined flour, semolina, grated palm jaggery, fennel and cardamom powder.

Add milk, mix slowly in one direction ensuring there are no lumps in the batter, later add water and mix well until the batter is of smooth pouring consistency.

Further whisk the batter for at least 5 minutes, cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Now pour a ladle of batter into hot oil or ghee. Once the malpua starts to float, splash oil over the malpuas and also press gently with a perforated spoon. The malpuas should puff up like pooris.

Fry both sides until they turn golden brown, drain the malpuas onto a kitchen towel to remove excess oil and soak them in hot jaggery syrup.

Rest for 10 minutes, making sure both sides of the malpua are soaked well.

This Holi dish can be served with rabri (optional) and garnished with a few nuts.

Gulab ki kheer

By Chef Dirham Haque, Executive Sous Chef, Four Seasons Hotel Bangalore


  • 50gm fresh rose petals
  • 40gm basmati rice
  • 30gm sugar
  • 40gm danedar khoya (with a grainy texture)
  • 5ml rose water
  • 400ml full fat milk
  • 5gm green cardamom powder
  • 0.25gm Kashmiri saffron


Soak the basmati rice for 2 hours in water and then grind it to a semi-fine paste.

Finely chop the fresh rose petals, and finely grate the danedar khoya.

Boil the milk on low heat, add the sugar, add saffron water, and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the soaked rice, rose water, fresh rose petals, and green cardamom powder.

Cook for 5 minutes.

Cool down and serve this Holi special dish cold.

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Celebrate holi with these 12 special recipes 20

Gulaabi Thandai

By Jayesh, Mixologist, Epitome, Mumbai


  • 60ml Tequila
  • 20ml rose syrup
  • Chopped almonds
  • 30ml milk


Blend all the ingredients together and pour into a long pilsner glass.

Tandoori Shakarkand Chaat

By Chef Paul Kinny, Director of Culinary, The St Regis, Mumbai


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 20gm tamarind
  • 100gm jaggery
  • 1gm onion seeds
  • 10gm Kashmiri red chilli
  • 50gm hung curd
  • 20gm mint leaves
  • 20gm coriander leaves
  • 1-2gm black salt
  • 1-2gm jeera
  • 1-2gm jeera powder
  • 2-3 green chillies 
  • 1gm amchur
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10gm sugar
  • 1gm black pepper powder
  • 1ml refined oil
  • 6-7 pomegranate seeds 


Sweet Potato 

Take two sweet potatoes and boil it in a saucepan for 10 minutes.

Remove it from the pan and peel it gently. 

Mash the potato gently and keep aside.

Tamarind chutney

Soak the tamarind in water, overnight or just 4 to 5 hours.

With your hands, squeeze the pulp from the tamarind in the same bowl. Strain the pulp and keep aside.

To prepare this holi dish, heat oil in a small pan. Fry the cumin seeds first followed by the onion seeds. Keep the heat to a low. Then add the jeera powder and mix well

To that add the strained tamarind pulp. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the jaggery and salt. Mix well and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or for more time until the consistency thickens.

Mint chutney

Wash the coriander and mint leaves together. 

In a grinder jar, add the coriander, mint leaves and green chillies and grind into a semi-thick paste.

Remove the paste to a bowl and add lemon juice and black salt to it. The taste of this chutney should be a little sour and spicy. 


Take mashed sweet potato in a rectangular mould. Freeze for 10 minutes to adjust the shape of the sweet potato.


Remove it from the mould and roast it on a burning hot plate for 4 to 5 seconds.

Put it on a plate, place mint chutney and tamarind chutney at the side. 

Place a scoop of hung curd on the plate to garnish. 

Sprinkle black pepper powder on a scoop of hung curd. Add two small mint leaves on it.

Place pomegranate seeds on the side of sweet potato for garnish.

Hara Bhara Kebab

By Suhasini Mudraganam, Chief Nutritionist, Possible


  • 200gm boiled sweet potatoes             
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • ½ bunch palak leaves
  • 100gm boiled green peas                
  • 3 green chilies               
  • 3 tbsp Possible gluten-free atta
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste           
  • Salt as required
  • ½ tsp garam masala               
  • ½ tsp amchur powder
  • 2 tsp oil                      


Mash the boiled sweet potatoes till tender.

In a pan, dry roast Possible gluten-free atta for 2 minutes and keep aside.

Blanch the spinach. Drain off completely.

In a pan, add a tsp of oil, put the ginger-garlic paste in oil till the raw smell is gone. Add peas and chillies, stir fry. Add mashed sweet potatoes and mix well.

To this, add garam masala and amchur powder, and mix well.

Add the roasted Possible gluten-free atta and mix well. Add salt to taste.

Combine all together and make a uniform non-sticky dough.

If the dough turns sticky, then add breadcrumbs to absorb excess moisture.

Make palm size patties and shallow fry on hot tawa till golden.

Serve this Holi dish with a dip.

Dahi Bhalla Chaat

By Chef Anshuman Bali, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar


  • 250gm urad dal (white) polished
  • 75gm moong dal (yellow) polished
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp chopped green chilly
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp broken cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

For garnish:

  • 1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp chaat masala
  • 50ml mint chutney
  • 50ml sweet tamarind chutney
  • 100gm yoghurt
  • 10gm castor sugar
  • 5gm pink rock salt
  • 1 tbsp beetroot juliennes
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger juliennes
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp boiled chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp boiled potato dices
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds


Soak both the lentils for 2-3 hours in water and then drain and grind it into a thick paste.

Leave the batter covered in a warm corner to get fermented for about 2 hours or add 1 tsp baking soda and start processing further.

Add all the other ingredients except garnish items. Mix well and fry ball-shaped dumplings of the batter in oil until they’re golden brown and crisp.

Hold these for some time and then soak them in water for almost 30 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, whisk the yoghurt with rock salt and sugar and keep ready.

Now give the dumplings a gentle squeeze and break 2-3 of these on a deep dish plate.

Sprinkle the roast cumin, chaat masala and black pepper on top. Add the yoghurt and the chutneys. Again top up with your choice of garnish and finish with another dredge of the masalas.

Glenfiddich Highball

By Angad Singh Gandhi, Brand Ambassador, Glenfiddich India


  • Glenfiddich 12-year-old 60 ml
  • 3 parts good quality soda water
  • Pear slice
  • Lemon slice


Combine all ingredients in a Highball glass, packed with cubed ice.

Garnish with lemon and pear garnish.

Ready to serve.

Yoghurt Ice-cream with AM PM

By Anubha Jhawar, Founder, Celes Té


  • 2-3 small pcs of cinnamon sticks 
  • 5 cloves 
  • 4 cardamom
  • ½ tsp ginger powder 
  • 10 black pepper corns
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup or less AM PM (Masala Chai Blend)
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder 
  • Rose petals for garnish
  • 400-500gm yoghurt (made from full cream milk)
  • Brown sugar to taste


To boiling water (3/4th cup) add cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom, ginger powder and black pepper corns and leave it covered for an hour.

Bring this spice concoction to boil. Add AM PM blend and allow it to brew for 10 mins, covered.

Strain this water and squeeze as much liquid from the tea and spices. The water should be about ½ a cup at this point.

Add brown sugar and vanilla essence and stir it until it dissolves.

In a bowl, whisk the yoghurt and add the tea and spice mixture to it.

Add some saffron strands and cardamom power and mix it well.

Pour this mixture in a container that can be kept in the freezer. Garnish with rose petals and some saffron strands.

Cover it with a plastic wrap and freeze for 5-6 hours.

Relish this healthy dessert!

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Mawa Gujiya

By Chef Parimal Sawant, Meluha The Fern, Mumbai



  • 300gm refined flour         
  • 100gm ghee                


  • 200gm khoya               
  • 15gm ghee                
  • 15gm chopped dates
  • 15gm chopped cashew nut
  • 15gm chopped almonds
  • 10gm chironji
  • 10gm raisins
  • 20gm powdered sugar         
  • 5gm cardamom powder


Knead stiff dough using ghee, refined flour and water. Cover it with damp muslin cloth and leave aside for 15 minutes.

For the filling, heat a non-stick pan and add the khoya and sauté for three minutes till fat separates. Set aside to cool.

Add the figs, dates, cashew nuts, walnuts, almonds, and mix well.

Divide the dough and shape into balls, roll out each ball into a puri.

Place a portion of stuffing into one side of puri, fold the other half and apply water to the edges to seal it well.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan and deep fry till its golden brown.

Garnish this traditional dish with almond, cashew and silver waraq.

Vodka thandai
Celebrate holi with these 12 special recipes 22

Vodka lavender thandai topped with carbonated cream

By Dipesh Sinha, Assistant Food & Beverage Manager, Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai


  • 180ml Tito’s gluten-free vodka         
  • 100ml lavender essence       
  • 2 litres milk                             
  • 300gm sugar                           
  • 100gm cashew nuts
  • 100gm pistachio                     
  • 100gm roasted almond        
  • 50gm dried cranberry          
  • 150ml cream                        


In a bowl, add cashew, almonds, pistachio, cranberries and hot water. Leave aside for 30 minutes. Once the nuts are soaked with water and soft, blend till you get a smooth paste. Keep for chilling. 

Reduce 2 litres of milk to 1.5 litres and add sugar. Blast Chill.

In a blender, add Tito’s gluten-free vodka, lavender syrup, reduced milk, and nuts paste. Blend together for 1 minute. Pour in a kullad.

Top up with piping whipped cream.

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Celebrate holi with these 12 special recipes 23

The Henny Cillin

From Moët Hennessy


  • 50ml Hennessy VS
  • 5ml Ardbeg 10/Smoky whisky
  • 22ml fresh lemon juice
  • 22ml honey syrup
  • 3 slices fresh ginger
  • Garnish: Candied Ginger


Muddle the fresh ginger in the bottom of a shaker.

Add Glenmorangie, lemon juice, and honey syrup, add ice. Shake until well chilled.

Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.

Pour Ardbeg over the back of a bar spoon so that it floats atop the drink.

Bele holige min
Celebrate holi with these 12 special recipes 24

Bele Holige

By Muthu Krishnan C Nadar, Head Chef, Thangabali, Mumbai


  • Maida
  • Coconut oil or cooking oil
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • Salt as per your taste
  • Chana dal or toor dal
  • Powdered jaggery (medium sweet) or sugar
  • Grated coconut (optional)
  • Cardamom


We begin by making Kanaka (dough for the outer cover). Take maida or all-purpose flour in a bowl. Add salt, turmeric powder and water, little by little, to prepare a soft and sticky dough (much softer than chapati dough). Now pour in coconut oil or any other cooking oil. Spread the oil all over the dough and rest it for 30 minutes.

For the Hoorana or stuffing, take dal in a pressure cooker and rinse it. Add in water and cook the dal for 3 – 4 whistles. You can also follow the open-pot method. Drain the excess water from the cooked dal. Next, grind cooked dal, jaggery, or grated coconut and cardamom using a mixer grinder, grind until smooth. Use required water from strained water from cooked dal and make sure that the ground paste is very smooth. Transfer it to a thick-bottomed pan and switch on the stove. Start stirring the stuffing (dal and jaggery paste) under medium flame. Continue stirring until the excess water content is dried. Do not make it very dry as it will become hard once it is cool.

Wait until the stuffing is warm. Make big, lemon-sized balls. The stuffing balls should be soft but stiff. If you feel it is very soft, stir it for a few more minutes. Or, if you feel it is hard, sprinkle a little water and stir it again. Now make small lemon-sized balls from the dough for the outer cover. You cannot really make the balls. You need to pinch and take a small portion and drop it on a plastic sheet or banana leaf.

Next, dust your fingers, take dough for the outer cover and place a stuffing ball over it. Slowly push the stuffing inside and cover it evenly with the dough. Apply the flour generously and roll it into a very thin holige or obbattu. You can also pat it using oil-greased fingers and make it slightly thick.

Heat an iron pan or tawa and transfer the rolled holige or obbattu on to the tava carefully. Wait until you see bubbles. The tawa should be on medium heat. Flip it and cook on the other side as well. Optionally, you can drizzle some ghee. When you see slightly brown patches, it is done. Enjoy this special dish, Bele holige or Bele obbattu with ghee, milk and sugar powder.

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