Friday, April 5, 2013

Holi re Holi !!

BM # 27   Day 5
Occasion : Holi Festival

Holi, the festival of colors is one of the major festivals of India. It is celebrated with lot of zest and different states follow different traditions. Every state has something special to be served on this unique festival.

On the Holi day ,normally friends and families get together and move around in groups in their neighborhood, or visit their friends to apply color and exchange greetings. Dhol is played by dholi's and one can see people dancing to it's beats.
There is a tradition of consuming The intoxicating Bhang on this day to further enhance the spirits, but for those who do not want this ecstasy they have Thandai which is an excellent substitute fo Bhang.

The festival has many legends associated with it. Bonfire is lit on the eve of holi to celebrate the good over evil and the triumph of devotion to God. 
People gather at important crossroads and revolve around this bonfire and pray.They render gracefulness to Agni, the God of Fire and gram stalks from the harvest are offered to Agni.

The holi of Vrindavan and Mathura is very famous, traditionally they serve Gujiyas on this special day. People living in Gujarat serve ladoos and Dhani
Pooran Polis are made in Maharashtra , where as Sandesh is the highlight of holi in Bengal. My Rajasthani friend always makes Kanji Wadas and I always get a big jar from her. We Sindhi's make savory samosas and Sindhi Pakoras, but get Gheehar and Mitha sambosas from the sweet shops. Gheehar is the larger version of Jalebi, much more crisper, while the Mitha sambosas are samosas stuffed with halwa. These two sweets are offered to the friends and family who come to apply color and wish a happy holi.

So friends, come let's celebrate begin we have the Thandai...

5 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups water
Make a syrup by boiling the sugar and water. Check here.

Soak and make a paste
1/2 cup melon seeds
1/2 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup rose petals
1/4 cup fennel
10 cardamoms
1/4 tsp white pepper pwd
Soak melon seeds ,almonds , poppy seeds, rose petals and fennel for 3-4 hours.
Make sugar syrup with sugar and water.
Make a paste of rest of the ingredients.
Add the paste to the strained syrup.
The syrup starts bubbling as soon as you add the paste, so keep the flame very low 
Strain the syrup.
This syrup can be stored for a long time and is a concentrate, you need to add a few tablespoons to chilled milk or water.

The left overs from the sharbat can be stored in another box .You can mix some milk and then strain the mix.
This is a recipe which is for keeps!..My mom on her visit taught me and trust me I have yet to taste a fantastic thandai as this!!

And here is the recipe for Gujiya...

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tb sp sooji
2 tb sp ghee
1/3 cup warm water or as needed
Mix flour, sooji and ghee in a bowl.
Make a soft dough with warm water, adding the water gradually.
The dough should be soft and pliable.
Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 15 minutes.

100 gms  khoya
1 cup almonds, cashews, pistachios, crushed in a chilly cutter
1tsp cardamom pwd
Few strands saffron
2-4 tb sp sugar
Saute’ the khoya in a non stick pan.
Cook till it is pinkinsh brown
Mix well.
Add nuts and cardamom.
Mix well
Add nuts and sugar. Mix and cool the mix.

Sugar syrup
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
Boil the sugar and water, until the syrup is about one thread consistency.

Making the Gujiyas
Divide the dough into eight balls.
Roll into a circle.
Place the circle in the center of the mould.
Place a tsp of stuffing and apply little water around the edges .
Close the mould.
Press hard.
The gujia comes out perfect, we are left with some dough remains, which can be reused.
Similarly make all gujiyas.
Deep fry in ghee on low heat, till golden.
Remove and dip them in sugar syrup.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place them on a strainer, the excess syrup will drain off.
Garnish them with nuts while the syrup is still moist.
Gujiyas will dry up in an hours time.

This was my first experience with Gujiya, I was so hesitant, but the result was a hit!!


Pooran Poli

Gulabi Gulkand Sandesh
Now you all know my love for roses and that sinful ingredient..Gulkand!!

The Sindhi Gheehar
My very first attempt..very satisfying, better than the store bought ones!!

A word of Thanks to Anar, Beena and Sarita for helping me with this post!!  
I shall share the rest of recipes very soon , will link them to this post!

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  1. Lovely spread. Looking forward for the recipes of gheehar and kaanjiwada.

  2. What a delicious spread. My mouth started watering just reading the dishes names, the pictures are even more tempting. Makes me wish I was there to enjoy these for Holi :-)

  3. Wat a tremendous and super droolworthy spread, its only 7am here and am drooling over those beautiful dishes, very apt set up for holi and lovely dishes.

  4. Cannot take my eys off.beautiful spread.

  5. OMG! So many mouth waterning dishes.

  6. Wow what a lovely post Vaishali, me too looking fwd to the gheehar and kaanjiwada recipes..btw I love how you have made the poli outer layer as well..not to mention the gujjias..

  7. A wonderful Holi spread there..Looking forward to the gheehar and kaanjiwada recipes..

  8. What a lovely spread Vaishali! Really mind blowing :). I am scrolling up and down so many times to soak these in :)

  9. I can't take my eyes off the screen. What a beautiful spread and each and everything I see here is my favorite. Brings me back to my few years I spent in Northern India!

  10. Wow Vaishali, no one can beat you in explaining festivals in detail. And the spread looks wonderful. Waiting for the other recipes...

  11. wow Vaishali, who would not want to eat this, you are genious planner

  12. Nice array of dishes,cannot take my eyes,looks wonderful......very well done and awesome pictures..

  13. Wow VAishali this is ... this is making me very hungry. All these delicous sweets and thandai. I am waiting for all the recipes. i know I can google but that is not as satisfying.

  14. What a beautiful spread Vaishali! I celebrated my first holi this year (don't laugh at me please, not everyone celebrates it here in the South) and enjoyed it a lot. A North Indian family made thandai, poha and kachoris and I totally loved it.

    I love the spread and the clicks and its just making me really hungry now...for colors and food :)

  15. Wow wonderful explanation, nice presentation too. Good to knw about these traditional recipes

  16. Am spell bound by your post Vaishali. Awesome spread!!
    I have been looking for an authentic thandai recipe and have it here now. Definitely trying this out ...

  17. Wow.. what a holi treat. every guest will be so happy with your treat.

  18. wow !!What a spread....looks the thandai and the gulkhand sandesh...bookmarking the two recipes