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Colour 'em with masalas this Holi

The Indian kitchen has opened its door wider to all those wanting a happy, safe and non-toxic Holi this year.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2004 01:16 IST

The Indian kitchen has opened its door wider to all those wanting a happy, safe and non-toxic Holi this year.

Masalas found in most Indian homes are now being used to make Holi colours as an alternative to the toxic colours available in the markets.

Though the 'kitchen colours' can be made at home, activists of Kalpavriksh and Development Alternatives are also marketing the colours for those who have no mind for the home production.

The colours are made by:
·Mixing haldi powder with besan for a lovely yellow.
·Slicing a beetroot and soaking in water for a deep pink.
·Boiling marigold or tesu flowers in water for yellow colour. Alternatively, peeling pomegranate (Anar) and soaking overnight will also suffice.
·Drying henna leaves (mehndi), grinding them into powder and mixing with water for an orange red paste. (Be careful when using the commercial kaali mehndi. It may contain chemical dyes.)

To encourage the use of these colours, Development Alternatives is conducting workshops in schools and training women members of Self Help Groups.

Kalpavriksh is also sourcing the colours from a group, Malnad Home Garden and Seed Exchange Collective in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. The members of the group, comprising women, have developed four colours (yellow, green, red and pink) from ingredients such as turmeric, henna, rice flour, kokum, lemon juice and red clay.

First Published: Mar 10, 2004 12:54 IST