Rang Barse…10 Handpicked Traditional And Regional Holi Recipes

Holi hai! Holi recipes, handpicked by us for you to create and gorge on, from women YouTubers. If you make something different, let us know.

Holi hai! Holi recipes, handpicked by us for you to create and gorge on, from women YouTubers. If you make something different, let us know.

Holi, the festival of colours celebrated in the spring brings back beautiful memories from my childhood days when family did not just mean parents and siblings. It was the whole neighbourhood.

Holi celebrations began with holika dahan in the evening. This was followed by elaborate family festivity the next day, when the morning was about organising our water guns, water balloons and colour packets, and the delicious malpua made by my mom. Then followed a complete 3-4 hours of water drenched colour play in the sun.

And of course, us kids and everyone else hogged the holi sweets that came one after another during the entire day, and even the day after.

Holi, the triumph of good over evil

Everyone who celebrates holi knows the story behind this festival.

The evil King Hiranyakashyap wanted to kill his son Pralhad who would not worship him instead of his chosen deity, Vishnu. The king’s sister Holika had a blessing by which fire could not harm her. So, she was made to sit in the fire with Prahlad in her lap. But Holika was consumed by the fire since her blessing worked only when she entered the fire alone, and Prahlad was unharmed.

So what do you say we check out some Holi food?

For some yummy food, check out these Holi recipes

Like most of the other festivals of India, Holi also has various customs and traditions linked to it, spread across different states of the country. Food being an inseparable part of any Indian celebration holds a special place in all cultures nationwide.

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The vibrant colours (gulaal) and mouthwatering delicacies are the essence of the Holi festival.

Here are a few famous holi recipes from all over India, which signify this colourful festival.

Holi sweets


This sweet dish is like the staple food of the Holi festival. It is made of sweet and crispy pastry filled with khoya or suji along with dry fruits stuffing, and has different names given to it across various states of the country.

  • Gujiya in UP
  • Pedakiya in Bihar and Jharkhand
  • Ghughra in Gujarat
  • Somas in Tamil Nadu
  • Karanji in Maharashtra
  • Garijalu in Telangana
  • Kajjikaya in Andhra Pradesh
  • Karjikayi in Karnataka

Wow, what a variety of names this one and the same dish has within the same country given to it.

Here’s a great recipe by Nisha Madhulika. She started her channel in 2007 while struggling with an empty nest syndrome, and is today among the top 10 Indian YouTube superstars.


Another important name in the holi recipes list is Thandai. The name of this festival itself brings the image of colours and thandai flashing in front of our eyes.

Thandai is a sweet beverage prepared using milk and an assortment of various spices flavoured with kesar, mostly. At many places ‘bhang’ (crushed dried leaves if Indian wild hemp) is also added to thandai to enhance the mood of the festival – – remember the song Jai Jai Shiv Shankar starring Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz?

Here’s an authentic recipe of thandai, shared by Sakshi.


Malpua is a dessert offered to the deity on the occasion of Holi, especially in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and UP, a kind of pancake dipped in sugar syrup and made with dry fruit stuffing at times.

Like many other holi recipes, there is a tradition of adding “bhang” to malpua also added at many places to increase the element of frolic in the festivities.

My personal favourite is the malpua served with the toppings of rabri or malai, my mother’s special recipe, but this one from Ratna ki Rasoi also looks yum.



Puranpoli is a sweet that comes originally from the state of Maharashtra, but it is also prepared in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. The basic Marathi recipe has wheat flour, chana dal, and jaggery or sugar as main ingredients, but there are variations of these across the various states.

Here’s a good recipe from Lata, explained in Marathi, but if you follow the visuals correctly, I guarantee you your puranpoli will come out well.

Savoury holi recipes


Chaats are an important part of Indian festivities. Likewise it holds a special place amongst the holi recipes as well. The most famous ones are dahi bhalle, samosa, and papdi chaat.

Dahi Bhalle are a mouth watering dish is a favourite and relished by one and all. Also known as Dahi Vada, it is quite a cooling dish despite being savoury, and served with tamarind chutney.

Here’s a recipe from Meenakshi’s kitchen.

This recipe of Papdi chaat from Kabita Singh of Kabita’s Kitchen sounds just about right.

And then there is this Samosa chaat… slurp!

Bhang Pakode

Pakode or fritters are made with a variety of vegetables like onion, green and red chillies, potato, cauliflower etc dipped in gram flour and some spices and then deep fried. This one has a surprise ingredient that makes it the perfect holi food. Bhang, which we encountered in the Thandai recipe above.

Here’s a good recipe from Parul Gupta.


This is a crunchy snack from Tamil Nadu, also popular in the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It’s Maharashtrian cousin is called chakkali. Murukku means ‘twisted’ in Tamil, and hence the name. It is made with rice and lentil flour with some added spices, and deep fried after being moulded into twisties.

Here’s an easy recipe from Archana of Hebbar’s Kitchen.

Mutton curry

This is might come as a surprise to many, but in North India, and specifically in the state of Bihar, having mutton curry is customary on the day of Holi, and is one of the Holi recipes that makes me nostalgic for my childhood. Long queues can be seen on the mutton shops right from early mornings on the day of the festival.

Here is an easy to cook recipe from Reema Kitchen. Reema is an upcoming blogger with a good variation of veg and non-veg recipes on her channel.

These holi recipes are an integral part of our Indian culture, and poignantly define the states they belong to.

Here’s wishing you all a happy and prosperous Holi. Have a colourful year ahead, and stay safe.

Image source: yohoprashant on pixabay

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