The thought of skin allergies and rashes caused by synthetic or chemical colours on Holi puts off many and the safer, natural colours tend to burn a hole in the pocket. So, the best bet for an affordable yet safe Holi is to make the colours at home using natural ingredients like flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Here are some easy ways to make homemade colours for Holi:
* Yellow: Mix two teaspoons of turmeric powder with double the quantity of besan (gram flour) to make gulal while flowers like marigold, amaltas and black babul can be crushed and mixed with water for a yellow-coloured paste.
* Green: Mix mehendi (henna) with some amount of flour to make gulal while mint, spinach and other green leaves can be crushed and mixed with water or oil to make a paste.
* Red: Boil peels of pomegranate fruit in water till it turns red. For red coloured gulal, the dried peel of pomegranate can be crushed and mixed with flour or red sandalwood powder can be mixed with crushed hibiscus or rose flowers.
* Blue: Dried jacaranda flowers can be crushed and mixed with water or flour.
* Saffron: Soak the palash flower in water overnight. For better results, the flowers can be boiled in water to get a yellowish-orange colour.
* Magenta: Slice or grate one beetroot and soak in a liter of water. Boil or leave overnight for a deeper shade. Boil the peels of pink onions in half a liter of water for an orange-pink shade.
* Brown: Katha (Acacia catechu) of the pan, when mixed with water will give a brownish colour. Another option is to boil tea or coffee leaves in water.
* Black: Boil dried fruits of Amla (gooseberry) in an iron vessel and leave overnight. Dilute with water and use.
'Kasturi' (musk can add fragrance and enhanced therapeutic effects to the colours).
Celebrating the festival of colours