Celebrate Holi The Unique Way With These Creative Recipes And Party Decor Ideas6 minute
The hurricane that 2020 left was a pile of less-than-fun parties, dampened festivities, and disappointing events in its wake. And although 2021 hasn’t been all that much different, there’s no reason not to take every opportunity you can to celebrate and let loose. And what better way to do that than by throwing a memorable and fun Holi party that’s just as fun to organize as it is to attend! Everything about the festival screams celebration: from the multitude of colors merging with each other and the playful banter amongst loved ones to the array of delicious food and the flowers in bloom that signal the arrival of the spring season. Is it any surprise then that Holi happens to be most people’s favourite festival? That said, the fact that we’re in the midst of a pandemic might motivate most of us to stick to celebrating in the safety of our homes so we’ve compiled a list of things as well as recipes that will liven up your holi this year, starting with a few party decor ideas.
When it comes to a celebration, you can’t go wrong with balloons. What’s better is that you can young up your family to help you blow them and bond with them in the process. Mix things up and gather a bunch of colorful ones and tie a ribbon at the end of each before securing them in a knot. Place them in a long floor vase. Using helium gas is a good way to keep the balloons upright in the vase but you could also tie the regular ones around a long stick.
2. Blackboards With Quotes
If you like all things quirky, you’ll love this one. Make your own little blackboard placard with some black card paper by folding it and propping it against ice-cream sticks or sticks to look like a miniature black board. Write fun, quirky Holi-related quotes and phrases on them like “बूरा न मानो होली है.” You could also punch a hole in the middle of these cards and hang them up around the house.
3. Gulaal Matkas
What’s Holi without a whole lot of gulaal! Grab a few clay pots of different sizes and shapes, paint them in fun and bright colours, and fill them up with gulaal. Place them either at the entrance to your house or around the house. Don’t be afraid to mix and match the pot colours with the colours of the gulaal as well as the arrangement itself. You could create geometric patterns wherever you place the pots or even try making rangolis around them.
4. Floral Arrangements
Speaking of Holi welcoming the spring season, any party would be remiss without some fresh flowers. Arrange colorful flowers in water pots, glass bottles, or vases. Try and mix things up as much as possible to make it look fun and colourful. Place some flowers loosely around the house and wear one in your hair as well!
5. Bar Corner
One of the many joys of Holi is the opportunity to hop on over to the bar for a refill. And if you’re throwing a party at home, all you have to do is set up a corner with bottles of alcohol and chases, glasses, cocktail mixers, and bottles of water. The bar area can also serve as the centerpiece to your entire party.
Once you’ve got your party decor sorted, it’s time to whip out those aprons and get to work because no Holi is complete without some delicious foods and beverages to accompany it. Here’s a list of our personal favourites.
1. Curry Gujiya
No Holi celebration is complete without generous helpings of gujiya. However, a little creativity is all it takes to turn this classic into something even more special. Switch out the regular sweet gujiya for a curry one and you’re bound to surprise your guests.
- Spinach, finely chopped 8 cups
- Boiled potato 7.5 cups
- Cottage cheese, grated 1 ¼ cup
- Desi ghee 3 tbsp.
- Cumin seeds 1 tsp.
- Garlic 2 tsp.
- Ginger 2 tsp.
- Green chilli, chopped 1 tsp.
- Onions, chopped ½ cup
- For the gravy:
- Desi ghee 5 tsp.
- Garlic 3 tsp.
- Fennel powder 5 tsp.
- Tomato puree 1 ½ cup.
- Coriander powder 4 tsp.
- Degi mirch powder 2 tsp.
- Cream 2 tbsp.
- Butter 8 tsp.
- Salt, to taste
- Kasoori methi / fenugreek seeds, to taste
- In a bowl, mash the boiled potatoes and add spices to it.
- In a heavy bottom frying pan, pour ghee and sauté onions, ginger, green chili, and cumin seeds with chopped spinach.
- Once the moisture is absorbed and the spinach has wilted, take it off heat and let the mixture cool.
- Add the grated cottage cheese to this mixture.
- Fold the potato mixture in the gujiya mold with the spinach and cottage cheese stuffing and fry it until it turns golden.
- Meanwhile, heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan and add cumin seeds.
- Once the seeds crackle, add the rest of the spices and sauté for a while.
- Add tomato puree to this mixture and cook well. Then add fennel powder, and adjust the seasoning.
- Place the fried gujiyas atop the tomato gravy and top it all off with butter, cream, and ghee.
2. Gulaal Cookies
A little food colouring can go a long way to create an eye-catching snack that will have everyone hovering around the food table. Kids, especially, will love chomping on these.
- Store-bought sugar cookies
- Confectioners sugar 1 cup
- Cornstarch 1 tbsp.
- Lemon juice 1 tbsp.
- Milk 2 tbsp.
- 4 different food colors of choice
- In a large bowl add in the confectioner's sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice.
- Whisk this mixture slowly while adding milk. Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- Divide the mixture equally into four bowls and add in your choice of food coloring.
- Lay sugar cookies on a dry, flat surface and decorate!
3. Chocolate Thandai
Is there anything chocolate can’t elevate? Merging this all-time favourite delight with the classic festive thandai will give you a drink that you’ll want to down in one go!
- Thandai masala and paste 2 tbsp.
- Full fat milk 2 cups
- Icing sugar 1 tsp.
- Chocolate sauce 1 tsp.
- Chocolate shavings 1 tsp.
- Nuts, to garnish
- In a glass of milk, combine thandai paste and masala with chocolate sauce.
- Stir well and serve in shot glasses with chocolate shavings and nuts.
4. Gud Malpua
Everyone loves a good dessert during Holi. All we’ve done is take a classic and make it slightly healthier. Put this simple spin on a malpua and you’ll feel a little less guilty with each bite.
- Jaggery, grated 1 cup
- Refined flour 1½ -2 cups
- Mawa 1 cup
- Crushed black peppercorns ½ tbsp.
- Poppy seeds 1 tbsp.
- Saffron, a pinch
- Mixed chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios) 1/2 cup
- Milk 1 cup
- Ghee 5-6 tbsp.
- Rabri, to serve
- Heat 1 cup of water in a non-stick pan.
- Add jaggery and stir until jaggery melts.
- Remove this mixture from the heat and strain in a bowl.
- Add the mawa, crushed peppercorns, poppy seeds, saffron, ¼ cup mixed nuts, and refined flour to the bowl and mix well. Add milk, mix well, and set aside.
- Heat ghee in another non-stick pan. Drop a ladleful of batter in it, spread into a medium disc, and shallow-fry till golden.
- Serve hot with rabri and the remaining nuts.
5. Masala Pakore
A snack that you can munch on while playing with colors is the humble pakora. This comfort food is the perfect indulgent snack and is un-put-downable.
- Gram flour 1 cup
- Potatoes ¾ cup + 1 tbsp
- Cauliflower ¾ cup + 1 tbsp
- Onions ¾ cup
- Spinach ½ cup
- Eggplant/Brinjal ¾ cup + 1 tbsp
- Soda-bicarb 0.4 tsp.
- Carom seeds 1.18 tsp.
- Pomegranate seed powder 1.18. tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil for deep-frying
- Wash and chop up the vegetables in big chunks.
- In a bowl, combine the gram flour, soda-bicarb, and salt.
- To this mixture, add carom seeds, red chili powder, and pomegranate seed powder.
- Now add enough water to make a batter of slightly runny consistency.
- Heat oil in a frying pan.
- Dip the vegetable pieces one by one in the batter such that they get completely smeared with the batter from all around.
- Then deep fry them on medium heat until they’re golden and crispy.
There you have it! Easy, simple, and fun, these tips and recipes are bound to make your party a hit!