The festival of Holi is a celebration of good over evil. Primarily associated with the use of colour of every possible shade you can imagine on a palette, the festival is celebrated with much zeal and cheer all over India. The celebrations typically start early in the morning with boys and girls revelling in gulaal play and trying to duck and dodge the water balloons. Along with that, people also enjoy savoury Holi dishes and sweets.

After hours of dancing and merry-making on the streets and with families throughout the morning, the spirit of the festival is carried on by feasting on the special and traditional delicacies in the later afternoon and evenings.

With Holi 2024 just around the corner, which occurs on March 25, let us pledge to celebrate Holi in an eco-friendly way with no water and focus more on munching these delicious Holi festival foods. 

Food for Holi Festival

  1. Gujiyas
  2. Dhuska
  3. Puran Poli
  4. Thandai
  5. Namak Pare
  6. Masala Mathri
  7. Malpua
  8. Dahi Bhalle
  9. Lassi
  10. Pakore
  11. Kanji Ke Vade
  12. Kachori
  13. Kathal ki Sabzi
  14. Ranga Dima
  15. Phirni

Also Read: This Year Celebrate the Vibrant Festival of Holi with Club Mahindra

  • Gujiyas

Let us just say Holi is synonymous with Gujiyas. Nothing spells the spirit of Holi better than a plate of decadent and traditional delicacy, Gujiyas, that everyone loves to munch on. This Holi food is popular mainly in north and western states of India like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab, these fried dough pockets have a generous filling of jaggery, nuts, and khoya, and then soaked in sugar syrup, make it a delight to eat, make the festive occasion ‘sweeter.’

Today, you can find different varieties of Gujiyas with flavoured fillings, including chocolate, pista, and sugar-free gujiyas. So, take your pick and enjoy these delicious bites with your friends and family.

  • Dhuska

To enjoy playing Holi and moving your feet to the Holi beats blaring out from every corner for hours, you need energy, and a lot of it. This is why the people of Bihar, Jharkhand and some parts of Uttar Pradesh start their day with a hearty and heavy breakfast consisting of the traditional food of Holi, Dhuska. 

It is a deep-fried dish made with dal, rice, chillies, and garlic that is served with Ghugni, a simple curry made of black chickpeas or chana, as the locals call it. If you are visiting any of these places to witness Holi celebrations, make sure to indulge yourself in this traditional Holi food and keep going on with your festivities and revelries. 

  • Puran Poli

This is one of the famous Holi sweets and an integral part of Holi traditional cuisine in Maharashtra and perhaps Karnataka, Puran Poli is something you cannot miss having while you are in Mumbai, Pune or any other city in Maharashtra. This delectable dish is basically chapati or roti with a sweet stuffing made of chana dal and sugar. 

The dish is easy to make and a staple food in all Maharashtrian homes during Holi. The sweet filling and the savour outer create a perfect harmony of flavours. Typically served with a dollop of ghee (thoop, as the locals call it), every bite will make you go ummmmm!

Also Read: 7 Shades of Holi That Make It Such a Unifying Festival!

  • Thandai

Holi celebrations cannot be complete without a glass of Thandai, a cool and refreshing beverage that cleanses your palate after enjoying all the decadent and greasy Holi foods. Every sip of it will leave you with a feeling of ‘aaahh’ and send you into a state of utmost bliss. 

Thandai is a traditional Indian beverage popular mostly in northern states like UP, Rajasthan, and Bihar, and it is a must-have drink during Holi. The beverage is essentially a milky concoction, which has rich ingredients like dried fruits, nuts, seeds, saffron and aromatic spices.

  • Namak Pare

There is something about Holi that makes you feel like munching on something all the time. You cannot possibly delve into a plate full of papdi chaat or chole kulcha every time you feel like noshing. But you surely nibble on the ever-so-delicious Namak Pare, aka Namak Para, every time the cravings kick in. 

It is a bite-sized, diamond-shaped, and deep-fried savoury snack that looks like a pastry strip cut into smaller pieces. The traditional recipe is simple and is made of refined flour and ghee seasoned with salt, jeera (cumin seeds), and ajwain (carom seeds). 

It is one of the most traditional foods of Holi, and it is extremely popular in states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. A favourite among kids and adults, Namak Para also makes for a perfect accompaniment with a cup of piping hot tea or chai.

Also Read: 3 Beaches You Can Visit During Holi And Celebrate With Family In Goa

  • Masala Mathri

A staple Holi celebration food, Masala Mathri is a savoury, flaky cracker that's a part of the festive cuisine across North India. Made with refined flour, carom seeds, and a blend of spices, it's deep-fried until golden. Perfect with a cup of tea, its crunchy texture and spicy flavour make it a favourite. This snack embodies the spirit of Holi, offering a delicious treat that complements the sweet dishes of the festival. Whether bought from a favourite shop or homemade, Masala Mathri is a must-have to enjoy the full experience of Holi's gastronomic delights.

  • Malpua

Malpua is an indulgent sweet treat savoured during the Holi festival. This traditional pancake, made from a batter of flour, milk, and cardamom, is deep-fried and then soaked in a fragrant sugar syrup. Often served with a dollop of creamy rabri, Malpua is a favourite in regions like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar. Its rich, gooey texture and sweet, aromatic flavour make it a heavenly dessert that perfectly complements the festive mood. Malpua with rabri is not just a dish; it's an experience, offering a taste of India's culinary heritage during Holi.

  • Dahi Bhalle

A refreshing and beloved snack, Dahi Bhalle is a renowned food for Holi festival. Soft lentil dumplings are soaked in yoghurt and drizzled with sweet and tangy chutneys, topped with spices like cumin powder and red chili. This dish is a harmonious blend of textures and flavours, offering a cool contrast to the day's heat and excitement. Dahi Bhalle is more than just food; it's a symbol of joy and togetherness, making it a staple at Holi gatherings across the country, where it's enjoyed by everyone for its comforting and delicious taste.

  • Lassi

Lassi, a creamy, yoghurt-based drink, is a quintessential Holi refreshment. While it is not a part of the traditional Holi sweets, it is a sweet refreshment enjoyed on the day. This delightful beverage can be sweet or savoury, often flavoured with fruit, rosewater, or spices, providing a cooling respite from Holi's exuberance. A glass of thick, frothy lassi not only quenches thirst but also offers a taste of traditional Indian hospitality. Whether it's a mango lassi or a classic sweet lassi, this drink is a must-try, encapsulating the essence of the festival's joy and the richness of Indian culinary traditions.

  • Pakore

Pakore

Pakore are a typical snack during the Holi festival, offering a delightful crunch with every bite. These crispy fritters are made by coating various ingredients such as vegetables or paneer in a spiced gram flour batter and deep-frying them to golden perfection. With their irresistible texture and flavour, pakore are perfect for nibbling on while revelling in the colourful festivities of Holi. They embody the festival's cheerful essence, bringing people together to savour and celebrate the joyous occasion.

  • Kanji Ke Vade

Kanji Ke Vade is a distinctive and flavourful Holi celebration food. This fermented beverage, made from mustard seeds and beetroot or carrots, serves as a base for savoury lentil dumplings. The tangy and spicy taste of Kanji, combined with the soft texture of Vade, offers a delightful sensory experience. It's not just a dish but a celebration of flavours that embodies the essence of spring and the vibrancy of Holi. Kanji Ke Vade is a testament to India's diverse culinary landscape, offering a unique taste that's both refreshing and invigorating.

  • Kachori

Kachori during Holi is an irresistible treat. These deep-fried pastries are filled with a variety of ingredients, from spiced moong dal to a mixture of peas and potatoes, making each bite a surprise. Served with chutney or curry, Kachori is a versatile dish that can satisfy both sweet and savoury cravings. It's a reflection of India's rich culinary diversity, with each region offering its own twist on this classic snack. Enjoying Kachori during Holi is a delightful experience, symbolizing the festival's indulgence and the joy of sharing food with loved ones.

  • Kathal ki Sabzi

Kathal ki Sabzi is a common food for Holi festival in North India. This dish is a favourite in parts of North India, where jackfruit is celebrated for its versatility. It is a traditional Holi dish with a meaty texture and a rich, spicy flavour. Cooked with a variety of spices, tomatoes, and onions, it transforms into a hearty curry that's often paired with fluffy pooris. Kathal ki Sabzi during Holi offers a delicious way to enjoy vegetarian cuisine, showcasing the festival's spirit of innovation and the joy of communal meals.

  • Ranga Dima

Ranga Dima

A special delicacy from Assam, Ranga Dima is a vibrant dish enjoyed during the Holi festival. It consists of boiled eggs that are then fried and coated in a spicy red masala, giving them a distinctive red hue. This dish is a perfect blend of simplicity and flavour, offering a unique twist to the traditional boiled egg. Ranga Dima is not just a treat for the taste buds but also a reflection of Assam's rich culinary culture. Enjoyed with fried potatoes or as a standalone snack, it adds a colourful and spicy touch to the Holi celebrations. 

  • Phirni

 Phirni

Phirni is one of the top Holi sweets that you have to try! It is a creamy, rice-based pudding that's a must-try during Holi. Slow-cooked with milk, sugar, and aromatic spices like cardamom, it's garnished with nuts and saffron for an extra touch of luxury. This dessert is often served chilled in earthen bowls, which enhance its flavour and presentation. Phirni's smooth texture and delicate sweetness make it a perfect end to a festive meal, capturing the essence of Holi's joy and the richness of Indian dessert traditions. 

So, there you have a list of the most delicious and famous traditional Holi dishes from different parts of India that make Holi celebrations even better. Which of these dishes are you most excited about trying?

Well, today, almost all these Holi dishes are available everywhere in India. Stock up your pantry with these dishes and have a gala time!

  • Food
  • Experience
  • Festival
  • holi

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