Raksha Bandhan, 2020 is almost knocking on your door and it’s high time you get ready. Being celebrated on the 3rd of August, this year’s the chance for you to get your creative juices overflowing. Raksha Bandhan need not necessarily be on hold due to Covid-19. You can still tie your bhai or behan rakhi, still eat your favourite desserts, and still exchange the most amazing gifts; all you need is some clever planning ahead of time.

2020 is the year of DIYs, considering we’re all pretty much homebound due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, how cute would it be to make your rakhis or your bhai’s favourite mithai; that’s certainly something to smile about.

So, let’s maximise the fun of Raksha Bandhan this year by helping you take matters into your own hands (literally!). Here’s a one-stop guide that will walk you through it.

Not In The Same City or Can’t Meet? Take Raksha Bandhan Online

Technology has been a saviour right through the pandemic. It has helped us stay connected with our loved ones far and beyond, and on Raksha Bandhan it will be no different. Here’s how you can take your celebrations online.

1. Celebrate Over A Video Call

People are playing games, holding karaoke nights, and even getting married online. So, the scope for a fun celebration on Rakhi over video call is endless. Exchange wishes, have your favourite mithais at the same time, cook together, sing together, play some Tambola, or even just enjoy some never-ending conversations—online is definitely the way to go if you’re away from your siblings.

2. A Personalised Video Message

Surprise your sibling with a personalised video message and a heartfelt social media post. You can even get the whole family to record small bytes for your sibling and share it on the Whatsapp group (every family has one/thousands of these). If you’re comfortable, share it on social media so that every year it shows up as a ‘memories’ post and you’re reminded of the wonderful Rakhi celebrations of 2020.

DIY Recipes Of Some Classic Indian Sweets For Rakhi

Cooking someone’s favourite dish is a great way to show how much they mean to you. So, stir up something delicious in the kitchen for the whole family. If you’re in the same house, you can enjoy it together. If not, you can courier (Express) your handmade love to your family members.

1. Instant Kaju Katli 

We have all grown up loving Kaju Katlis or Kaju Barfis. A typical and a famous traditional Indian dessert recipe, it is generally prepared in houses during festivities like Diwali, Raksha Bandhan and Ganesh Chaturthi. We often think that Kaju Barfis are difficult to make, however this easy lip-smacking recipe will become one for your cookbooks.

Nutrition Facts (Per Piece): Calories: 92 | Carbs: 6g | Fat: 4.5g | Protein: 1.5g | Fibre: 0.3g | Sugar: 8.4g

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 20 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cashews
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ⅛ teaspoon of elaichi powder
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • Silver Vark/Kesar strands (optional)

Method:

  1. In a small mixer jar, take 1 cup of cashews, grind it to a smooth powder, sieve the powder and set it aside.
  2. In a non-stick pan, mix the sugar and water over low flame until a syrup forms. Keep mixing it until 1 string consistency is formed.
  3. Add the sieved cashew powder and elaichi powder to the sugar mixture over low heat and keep stirring until a dough is formed. Add a teaspoon of ghee before you take the dough out of the pan onto a greased surface where you can knead it for about 30 seconds.
  4. After kneading the dough cover it with butter paper and press a plate on top to form a uniform layer.
  5. Roll the dough out adjusting the thickness according to your preference and cut the edges to form perfect diamond shapes. Decorate it with some silver vark or kesar strands and finally serve it this Raksha Bandhan!

2. DIY Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun is another childhood favourite and is a hit with almost every family. Try this recipe with milk powder and let us know in the comments how it turned out!

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving, 4 pieces): Calories: 380| Carbs: 70g | Fat: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fibre: 0g | Sugar: 64g

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

For Sugar Syrup:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon elaichi powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For Gulab Jamun:

  • 9 tablespoon milk powder
  • 3 ½ tablespoons of all purpose flour/maida
  • 1 tablespoon of rava/sooji
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 4-5 tablespoon warm milk

Method:

  1. In a wide pan, take one cup of sugar and water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for about 4 minutes until the sugar syrup thickens.
  2. Add the elaichi powder and lemon juice to stop the crystallisation process. Stir it, cover and keep aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, take milk powder, maida and sooji. To this add the baking soda, ghee and lemon juice. Crumble the mixture with your fingers. 
  4. Start adding the milk little by little and knead it into a dough. Make sure the dough is smooth and soft. Roll the dough into small balls after greasing your hands with ghee. Keep in mind that there shouldn’t be any cracks on the surface of the small balls, else it will break when you fry it.
  5. Fry the balls in hot ghee in low flame, stirring in between. Fry them until golden brown. 
  6. After frying, immediately drop the hot balls into the sugar syrup and coat it well. Cover the lid and let it rest for about 2 hours. The jamuns will have doubled in size by now. 
  7. Garnish it with some chopped pistachio nuts. Enjoy these delicious gulab jamuns either hot or cold.

3. Exotic Ras Malai

Ras Malai, literally means juicy milk cream. It’s the same as rasgulla, but served in a thick milky cream rather than just a sugar syrup. This recipe is bound to be a hit this Raksha Bandhan so make sure you give it a definite try.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving, 4 pieces): Calories: 331 | Carbs: 33.6g | Fat: 13.1g | Protein: 8.7g | Fibre: 0.1g | Sugar: 8.6g

Preparation Time: 3 hours

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

For Chenna/Paneer:

  • 1 litre full-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup of water

For Sugar Syrup:

  • 1 ½ cups of sugar
  • 8 cups of water

For Rabri:

  • 1 litre milk
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon elaichi powder
  • 2 tablespoons of kesar milk
  • 7 chopped pistachios
  • 5 chopped almonds
  • 10 chopped cashews

Method:

  1. To make the chenna or paneer, boil milk and add lemon juice to it till the milk curdles completely. Drain and squeeze off the excess water.
  2. After about 30 minutes, knead the paneer for 10 minutes. Make small balls out of it and flatten them by applying slight pressure with your palms.
  3. Make the sugar syrup, by taking sugar and water. Boil it for 10 minutes. 
  4. Drop the prepared paneer balls into the syrup. Cover and boil it for 15 minutes. 
  5. Squeeze off the sugar syrup from the balls and keep it aside.
  6. To prepare the rabri, heat milk until it comes to a boil. Once a layer of cream is formed, stick it to the sides of the vessel and boil it again and again till it reduces to 1/3rd of its actual volume. 
  7. To the reduced milk, add sugar, elaichi powder and kesar milk. Mix and bring it to a boil again.
  8. Refrigerate this rabri for 2-3 hours before using it. 
  9. Finally, bring together the exotic rasmalai, by pouring the chilled rabri over the squeezed paneer balls.
  10. Garnish it with the chopped badams. Let everything sit for about an hour and your dessert is ready!

Gift Ideas For Raksha Bandhan

When it comes to DIYs, a little preparation can go a long way. You can order what you need in terms of materials online, so that it arrives in time to work your arts and crafts magic.

For The Ever-So-Amazing Behens

1. Personalised Gifts

Even if you don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your gifts can’t be good. You can always personalise a wall frame, night lamp, photo frame, coffee mug or even a journal and gift it to your sister. She is bound to like it if you go all the way and add a special handwritten note for her to add another personal touch. 

Price: Rs 200 – Rs 500 (approx)

2. Beautiful Bags

Desi Naaris can never say no to a great looking bag. Girls carry bags every time they head out of their house, be it big or small because bags are a real necessity and you tend to carry your small little world in it.Therefore a beautiful bag, a purse or even a stylish wallet would do all the magic and promise you, she is going to give you the tightest hug ever. 

Price: Rs 900 – Rs 2,000 (approx)

3. Jewellery

You can buy jewellery depending on your budget. A lot of online fashion retailers have pieces for every budget and a large variety to choose from. You can get a statement necklace, a delicate ring, earrings, a bracelet, or maybe even an anklet. If she prefers something minimalistic and you don’t mind spending a bit, order a ring with her birthstone..

Price: Rs 3,000 – Rs 15,000 (approx)

For The Ever-So-Loving Bhais

1. Personalised Gifts

Brothers love personalised gifts as well. You can gift him a personalised key chain, a coffee mug, a notebook or even a water bottle. They always cherish a good photo, so frame it and ask him to keep it in his room and he will happily do so! Or if your bhai is thoda hatke and has a green thumb, give him a hand-painted pot where he can plant his favourite plant. 

Price: Rs 200 – Rs 500 (approx)

2. Spacious Bag

Men love bags too. There are a lot of options available in terms of bags for men based on their lifestyle. You can get a messenger bag, a satchel, a laptop bag, a gym bag, a backpack, or even a duffle bag.

Price: Rs 1,000- Rs 3,000 (approx)

3. Statement Watch Or Perfume

Watches are a classic gifting choice. You can find one for every budget and a quick look at your brother’s current or older watches will give you an idea when it comes to his preferences in dial, strap width, strap material and watch style. Alternatively, if you’re confused about his choice then get him a perfume; this gift is more-or-less neutral and as long as you get one from a good brand with a universally likeable scent, you’re covered.

Price: Rs 5,000 – Rs 20,000

DIY Gift Box Idea For Your Door Ke Rishtedaars

It’s affection, care and eternal love that binds families together. There are times when you often send sweets for your extended family on Raksha Bandhan to strengthen the already existing bond. But this time you can make it even better with our DIY gift box idea! 

  1. Add some dried nuts and candies to your gift box for all those rishtedaars who are big fans of badaams. Pack it in beautiful potlis.
  2. Pack some fresh homemade potpourri in another potli and place it next to the nuts. Nothing beats fragrant potpourri to add a touch of elegance to your box.
  3. During this lockdown, many individuals have taken up gardening as a new hobby, so you can order a beautiful bonsai plant from a florist to be delivered to your family.
  4. Add a gift voucher or an Amazon coupon in the gift box to surprise your rishtedaars, since everyone loves to shop.
  5. If your rishtedaars love reading books, this is a great time to gift them some interesting reads. 

Raksha Bandhan Activities To Bond With The Family

This is by far the most fun part of the occasion. Most of your memorable days are associated with family time and let’s make this Raksha Bandhan the same. 

1. The Letter Treasure Hunt

Treasure hunts are always super fun and this Raksha Bandhan you can customise your hunt based on your liking. Set up two teams, A and B, and a team captain for each. For the letter treasure hunt, the team captain of the opposite team has to hide the letters of a certain word which will be told to the other team. The playing team will have to find all the letters of that specific word around the house, guess the whole word as they collect the alphabets, and the winner will be decided based on the least amount of time taken to finish the task.

Play this letter treasure hunt this Rakhi and don’t forget to share your pictures and tag us! 

2. Cooking Competition

Set up a cooking competition in your house. Each and every member has to cook something from scratch and the winner will be declared after everyone has enjoyed the delicious family lunch/dinner together. The winner will get to choose what gets made in the house for the next 7 days, based on their choices, preferences and taste.

3. Antakshari & Dumb Charades

Playing Antakshari and Dumb Charades have been everybody’s childhood favourite and you can reminisce those days by bringing it back on Rakhi. Ensure the winning team gets something worth competing for in the end, so that everyone stays enthusiastic and entertained and really gets into the spirit of the game.

Hope this one-stop guide for Rakhi brings you and your family all the happiness, despite the pandemic. Happy Raksha Bandhan from The Channel 46 team!