LifeFoodTraditional Holi Recipes For You To Try This Festive Season

Traditional Holi Recipes For You To Try This Festive Season

The bright hues of blues and pinks, mixed with yellows and green stains the air as a crowd of young children sing ‘Bura na mano Holi hai’ from the top of their lungs. Your clothes are stained with colours that will never clear up, but the smile never leaves your face. These are the shared memories everyone has experienced during Holi. The festival where good triumphs over evil and joyous celebrations spread house to house. It is a festival of colours, fun, cheer and boundless happiness. But apart from the colour and music, it is the food that brings us together. The cooling thandai, Holi sweets and Holi snacks to be feasted upon post the water war. 

Holi is not complete without classic Holi dishes. Malpua, gujiya and thandai are the classic Holi recipes used for snacks. But there also are many Holi special recipes that probably are a hit in your house and amongst your friends. Here are a few classic Holi snacks and holi special sweets for you to prepare for this Holi festival. And among the holi special recipes, the best thandai recipe is also included! 

5 Holi Special Recipes To Bring In The Festive Vibes

1. Thandai

Holi isn’t complete without a thandai recipe. Completing your Holi recipes with this amazing thandai recipe is the best thing ever. 

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Rest Time: 3 hours


Thandai Masala

  • 35-40 almonds blanched
  • 20 black peppercorns 
  • 4 teaspoons fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 4 teaspoons poppy seeds(khus khus)
  • 2 tablespoon watermelon seeds
  • 15-20 green cardamom pods (elaichi)


  • 1-litre whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 2-3 tablespoons rose water 
  • strands of saffron
  • sliced nuts to garnish
  • rose petals to garnish


Make Thandai Masala/Paste

  1. First, blanch the almonds. You can soak them overnight or soak them in hot water for 15-20 minutes and then peel off the skin. It would easily come off.
  2. Transfer the blanched almond to a blender along with peppercorns, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, watermelon seeds and cardamom pods.
  3. Grind to a smooth paste. You may add little milk for grinding if needed. This is the thandai masala and set it aside.

Make Thandai

  1. Add milk to a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Stir in between and let it come to a slight boil. 
  2. While the milk is getting heated up, remove 2 to 3 tablespoons of the hot milk from the pan and transfer to a small bowl. Crush saffron strands between your fingers and add them to the hot milk. Let it sit until it gets a nice yellow colour.
  3. Once the milk comes to a boil, lower the heat and add the thandai masala to it. Use a wire whisk to mix it all.
  4. Then add the sugar and mix until it dissolves. Turn off the heat.
  5. Add the saffron milk mixture to the pan and stir. Let the thandai sit like this for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes, add rose water and stir. Let it sit for another 30 to 60 minutes. This is important for the milk to absorb all the flavours of the spices before we strain it.
  7. After it’s been sitting for a while and all the milk has absorbed all the flavours, strain the thandai using a sieve into a pitcher.
  8. Press the solid thandai masala that collects into the sieve with the back of a spoon as you strain it- this is to get the maximum flavours out of the spices into the thandai.
  9. Transfer the pitcher to a refrigerator and chill, preferably overnight. 
  10. To serve, pour thandai into glasses and garnish with sliced nuts like pistachios, almonds, rose petals and saffron strands!

2. Malpua 

Malpua is a Holi special sweets recipe made using milk or khoya. It is a sweet pancake and a must Holi sweet. 

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins


  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon khoya
  • 1 teaspoon powdered green cardamom (elaichi)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped pistachios
  • saffron as required
  • 1 tablespoon semolina (rava)
  • water as required
  • 1 1/2 cup refined oil
  • 10 gm readymade rabri
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar syrup


  1. Take a bowl and mix khoya, maida and sooji or semolina. 
  2. Next, add cardamom powder and mix well once again. 
  3. Gradually add water to prepare the Malpua batter. 
  4. Ensure that the mixture has a pourable consistency and is not too thick. 
  5. Once the batter is ready, keep it aside for a few minutes. 
  6. Take a small bowl and soak saffron in water to make saffron water.
  7. Now, heat oil in a pan over a low flame. When the oil is hot enough, pour a ladleful of the mixture and spread evenly. 
  8. Keep the flame low and cook until the malpua is golden from both sides. 
  9. Remove the cooked malpua and drain the excess oil. 
  10. Drop the malpua in sugar syrup and allow it to soak for 10 minutes. 
  11. Repeat the same with the remaining batter. 
  12. Drain the malpuas, garnish with pistachios, saffron water and rabri. Serve immediately.

3. Chocolate Gujiya 

If you like the usual gujiya and a chocolate lover, this chocolate gujiya will blow your mind! It is one of the best Holi sweets made with chocolate chips and khoya. 

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins


For the dough

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp ghee(clarified butter)
  • To taste salt
  • 1 cup of water

For the filling

  • 2 cup mava (condensed milk)
  • 2 cup of sugar
  • A pinch of cardamom powder (elaichi)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

For garnish

  • 250 gms of cream
  • 250 gms chocolate
  • 50 gms cardamoms


  1. Add flour, ghee, salt. mix them and make the dough, add water slowly to make it a hard dough and leave it for half an hour.
  2. In another pan, cook mava (condensed milk) till its brown, add sugar and continue to cook. Then add cardamom powder.
  3. When the mixture cools, add some chocolate chips to it and mix well.
  4. Now take a small piece of dough and roll it well. Cut it into smaller pieces with the help of some moulder or katori, remove extra dough and fill the mixture in it.
  5. With some water, seal the edges. Then fold the edges to the inside with the help of a fork.
  6. And fry till its golden brown
  7. Meanwhile, take a bowl full of fine chocolate, add some fresh cream and microwave it for 2 minutes at the lowest temperature, keep steering after every 30 seconds.
  8. Once the gujiya is cooked, dip it in sugar syrup.
  9. Place them on a plate and pour some chocolate syrup on it, garnish it with some cardamom and serve.

4. Khasta Kachori 

Khasta kachori is a popular Holi snack. This Holi dish is a puffed pastry filled with a spicy moong mixture and can be eaten anytime. 

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 1 hr 35 mins


  • 2 cups refined flour
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • to taste salt
  • cold water (to mix)

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup black gram (husked), soaked
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 3/4 tsp garam masala
  • 3/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds, powdered (saunf)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder (dhaniya)
  • to taste salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp mango powder


  1. Grind the lentils coarsely.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add the cumin seeds and asafetida.
  3. When they begin to splutter, add the lentils and the rest of the ingredients, which make up the filling.
  4. Saute over low heat till the mixture is well fried. It will stop sticking to the pan when done.
  5. Take the mixture off the heat and leave to cool.

Prepare the dough:

  1. Mix in the flour and salt.
  2. Add the ghee to the flour.
  3. Make it into a crumbly mixture with the tips of your fingers.
  4. Add enough water to make it into a stiffish dough (it should not yield easily when a finger is pressed into it). Cover and leave to rest for at least 15-20 minutes.
  5. Make marble-sized balls of the lentil mixture wetting your hands as and when necessary to prevent the mixture from sticking to them. Cover with a cloth till ready to fill.
  6. Make about 20 smooth balls from the dough. Roll them out till 1/4 ” thick (about 5 cms/ 2 in diameter).
  7. Take one piece of rolled dough and pinch the edge all around, leaving the centre thicker.
  8. Dampen the pressed edges, place a ball of filling in the centre and bring wet edges together, covering the filling completely. Press together to seal.
  9. Place this piece in your palm, and with the heel of the other palm, press gently in the centre. Flatten a bit with the palm first, then roll it lightly in around.
  10. The kachoris are now ready to be fried. Heat the oil in a kadhai.
  11. When a piece of dough dropped in oil comes up at once, put in as many kachoris that can fit in; turn over immediately and lower heat to medium.
  12. Fry them till they all turn even golden in colour, reducing the heat from medium to low.
  13. Takes about 10 minutes for one side and 7-8 minutes on the other. Remove from oil, drain and place on absorbent paper. Serve hot.

5. Badam Phirni

This special Holi dish is a delectable, creamy dessert. Almonds, rice and milk blend to make this delicious Indian dessert. 

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins


  • 1 cup of almonds, peeled
  • 500 ml of milk
  • 100 gms sugar
  • 2 tbsps rice
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder (elaichi)
  • 1 Tbsp gulab jal (rosewater)


  1. Chop the almonds finely and keep them aside. Soak the rice for 15 mins. Now grind to a paste using little water.
  2. Keep milk for boiling, add sugar and cardamom powder.
  3. Once it boils, lower the heat and add almonds. Cook for 2 mins and then slowly add the rice paste.
  4. Keep stirring on a slow flame till the entire milk thickens and coats thickly on the back of a spoon.
  5. Remove from flame, add gulab jal and pour in small containers.
  6. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Holi is the favourite festival for most children. Childish water wars, colours, music, dance and popular Holi dishes are loved by all. Everyone celebrates this festival with joy and laughter because after all – ‘Holi ke din dil khil jaate hain. Rangon mein rang mil jaate hain’. Check out this article on how to remove holi colour from skin and face

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