Colour. food. Drinks. Music. This is the day for pure indulgence. You may avoid sweets normally, but no one can resist gujiya or thandai on Holi (recipes below). You could always stick to your favourite poison of course. Or try golgappa shots. Take it from us, the combination of colour and sun and alcohol is potent. Add bhang to this intoxicating cocktail and you might be ready to fly (literally). The usual words of advice: Wear clothes that will cover as much of your skin as possible. Apply a thick layer of a good quality cream or oil before sallying forth. Everyone will tell you to try and play with natural colours, and you may do so, but can you be sure about the other people you play with?
After the wild celebrations are over, remove the colour by rubbing your skin with a paste of besan and milk. Then have a very long, very leisurely bath. Your hair will need several rinses. After your bath, slather yourself with body lotion. Dry your hair. And get into bed. There’s nothing, nothing as satisfying as a post-Holi revelry nap.
Traditional Indian music dedicated to Holi sometimes works better than aphrodisiacs and rustic intoxications like bhang. Horis, sung in a complex rhythm cycle, usually about the love between Radha and Krishna, are more colourful and erotic than your thali of abeer and gulal. And if you happen to access songs from artistes belonging to the Benaras, Jaipur Atrauli and Gwalior gharanas, especially the rare compositions sung by the bais of the pre Independence era – your hangover may last, well, forever. We list a few must-listen songs this Holi.
Savita Devi - Kahe karat mose raar - Raag Sohini
Ustad Rashid Khan - Piya sang khelun main Holi–Raag Basant
Ghulam Mustafa Khan - Piya sang khelun Hori – Raag Basant
Shobha Gurtu - Aaj biraj mein holi hai rasiya
Girija Devi - Tum to karat barjori - Raag Kaafi
Girija Devi - Aisi hori na khelo - Raag Pilu
Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty - Aaj jale chahe - Mishra Kafi
Soma Ghosh - Main To khelungi unhi - Composition of Bindadin Maharaj - Raag Mishra Gara
Soma Ghosh - Hori khelan kaise jauoon - Raag Pilu
Various Thumris and Horis by Rasoolan Bai, Acchan Bai and Siddheshwari Devi
Folk and Film
Holi khelan aaya piya - Abida Parveen
Mohe Kanha jo aye palat ke – Sardari Begum
Aarre ja re hat natkhat - Navrang (movie)
Dekho aayee Holi – Mangal Pandey (movie)
Hori khele Raghuvira – Baghban (movie)
Gujiya (makes 100 pieces)
For the dough:
For the filling:
Coconut powder 200gm
For the syrup:
Gulab jal 01tbsp
Desi ghee 2kg
Silver vark 01pkt
Make dough with maida, ghee and water. The ghee is used for shortening the dough.
Make 200 gm balls from the dough, keep them aside.
Prepare a filling by warming up the khoya and adding all the nuts after shredding them.
Prepare a sugar syrup having two string thickness.
Roll the dough balls into thin round shapes, put the filling at the centre and cover with another sheet of the same size. Pinch the edges to seal them.
Heat the ghee for frying and fry the patties to a light golden brown colour.
Dip the fried patties in syrup for about two to three minutes and then drain the excess syrup from them.
Serve garnished with vark. Serve warm
Courtesy chef Subroto Goswami, executive chef, Radisson BLU hotel new delhi paschim vihar
Thandai (makes 25-30 glasses)
Milk 2 ltrs
Water 1 ltr
Badam (Almonds) 25
Choti Ilaiyichi 4 (grind them into a powder)
Cinnamon 1 inch piece
Saffron A few strands
Kali mirch 8 (Black pepper corns)
Green pistachios 30
Raw cashewnuts 20
Poppy seeds 3 tblspn (Khuskhus) (soak them for 30 mins in cold water)
Sugar 1 cup (as per taste)
Dip the almonds in warm water for 10 minutes and peel off the skin.
Boil the milk, bring it to a boil and add sugar.
Also add the saffron strands in the hot milk.
Let it cool down and put this milk in the fridge to chill.
Grind green cardamom, cinnamon and peppercorns to a fine powder.
Grind almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts and poppy seeds (use some milk which you boiled to help you wet grind these ingredients)
Now mix this paste with all the chilled milk and blend well.
While serving sprinkle some rose water or kewra.
Courtesy chef Jubin Katar, Club Sirrocco
- From HT Brunch, March 20
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