22 Holi Dishes That Add Colours And Flavours To The Festival

Celebrate colours and sweetness!

Abhishek Biju Nair

Mar 2, 2021|7 min read


Holi, also known as the ‘Festival of colours’ is one of the most celebrated festivals in India and also in every corner of the world. It’s celebrated on a full moon day, in the month of March every year. The day is when people play with their families and friends with colours.

Holi Dishes
Holi Dishes

The festival brings a sense of brotherhood among people. But what festival is complete without the traditional dishes? Holi is not just a festival of colours, but also a FEAST FEST! That is why we have Holi special food to celebrate.

Like all other Indian festivals, Holi dishes form an essential part of the festival. It is that time of the year when our moms prepare some delicious Holi dishes for us. In fact, there is a sort of competition among women for making the best Holy dishes!

If you’re and your mom are confused about what Holi dishes to make this year, here’s a list of Holi special food for your help. These Holi dishes are a treat to the taste buds!

1. Thandai

First on the list of Holi special food, is a traditional festival drink made by mixing dry fruits, nuts, and spices. The word ‘Thandai’ is a Hindi word for ‘cool’ which makes it obvious that Thandai is a cold drink. It is mostly consumed during Holi and also Hindu festivals like Mahashivratri in North India. 

2. Dahi Bhalle

Dahi Bhalle is popular street food or a type of snack which is prepared on Holi. Dahi Bhalle is also known as Dahi Vada. It is prepared by soaking round fried flour balls in thick yoghurt. It’s found in various cities across India. If a little bit of sugar is added to the yoghurt, then you’re going to love it!

3. Puran Poli

A traditional Maharashtrian Holi dish that is delicious and will leave your stomach full. The dish has various names like Bobbattu, Holige, Uppittu, and many more across India. Puran Poli is made of Jaggary which gives it the sweet effect. The dish is commonly made in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. You should try this dish next Holi.

4. Malpua

This Holi dish is going to trigger your sweet-tooth for sure! Malpua is a traditional Indian sweet. Mainly popular in Maharastra, West Bengal, and Odisha, this Holi dish is like a pancake that is deep-fried in ghee and is dipped in sugar syrup before eating. Other than Holi, Malpua is also famous during the month of Ramadan. The Holi dish is also famous in Nepal and Bangladesh.

5. Rasmalai

Next on the list of ‘24 Holi Dishes That Add Colours And Flavours’ To The Festival, we have a dish originating from Bengal. The desert is also called ‘Rossomalai’. This delicious Holi dish is made by soaking ‘channa’ in ‘malai’ flavoured with Cardamom. Usually eating it cool enhances the flavour and uplifts the mood.

6. Badam Phirni

Phirni is Punjabi-style milk and rice-based creamy desert. Adding Badam to it makes it creamier and gives it a good texture. Saffron and cardamoms are also used to give it additional flavour. This dish is served in small clay containers or a glass bowl. It’s delicious!

7. Coconut Milk Murukku

Coconut Milk Murukku is a common snack that is made during the festivals of Holi and Diwali. Murukku is prepared using rice flour, coconut, and a few other spices. The flavour of coconut and the crispiness of the Murukku make it tasty. It’s usually served with tea. Murukku is easy to make and you should try making this Holi special food!

8. Bhang Pakora

The festival of Holi is incomplete without Bhang. It’s is a deep-fried snack and is made using gram flour, onions, potatoes, etc, and mainly bhang seeds. Preparing Pakora is the most common way to include Bhang in dishes in North India; and in those states, a Holi without Bhang is unimaginable.

9. Gujiya

One of the most popular Holi dishes of all time. This sweet is mainly used as an offering to welcome or greet people during Holy. Gujiya is made of flour and filled with condensed milk and dry fruits. People across India especially the states in North India eat his dish.

10. Gheehar

This Holi dish is one of the famous traditional sweet dishes of India. Available only during Holi, Gheehar is the same as Jalebi, but a bit crunchier and larger too. It’s prepared by soaking flour in sugar syrup.  

11. Kesar Malai Peda

A great sweet dish to prepare during Holi. The Kesar malai peda is a traditional Indian sweet dish that is made using milk solids like paneer and flavourings. This drool-worthy dish is the right pick to make your Holi perfect!

12. Besan Laddoo

No festival in India is complete without Laddoos. For Indians, Laddoo is not just a sweet, but a treat packed with nostalgia. Besan Laddoos are sweet balls made with gram flour, sugar, and ghee. If stored well, you can have them for many days and the best part is that it doesn’t take much time to prepare too. Laddoo is and will remain one of the most popular sweet dishes in Indian cuisine.

13. Matar Kheer

A perfect dish to celebrate Holi! Matar Kheer is a traditional dish cooked in parts of north India. There is no need for many ingredients to prepare this Holi dish. All you need is milk, sugar, and fresh green peas. Yes, a kheer made using green peas might sound a bit unusual or weird, but once you make and try it, you won’t regret it.

14. Kachori

Kachori is a deep-fried bread made with ground dal sauteed with spices and filled in the cover of maida. It’s one of the most popular Indian snacks that you’ll find across India. At times, during festivals like Holi, you’ll find different versions of Kachori. It’s also a sweet dish that is dipped in sweet syrup and eaten.

15. Lassi

On Holi, the mornings are cold and the afternoons are hot. Drinking a cold Lassi kills the heat and also makes you feel fresh. Lassi is a thick version of the buttermilk mixture and is very tasty and healthy. This Punjab-oriented drink is one of the most famous drinks in North India. Lassi can also be sweet, but that depends on the preparation. No Holi is complete without a refreshing glass of Lassi. If you’ve tried it yet, don’t forget to next time.

16. Saffron Rice

One of the most common Holi dishes. Saffron dish is made with saffron and white rice. It’s super easy to prepare and is one of the best and elegant side dishes.  The only negative side of this dish is that saffron is expensive!

17. Namak Para/Shakar para

Both Namak para and Shakar para are the sweet versions of the same dish. They’re fried dough that is crunchy. During Holi, this dish is served as a snack with tea or coffee. They’re popular in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat and can be a great treat after a long morning of playing Holi.

18. Barfi

Next up on this list of Holi foods, we have an Indian sweet, that would add extra sweetness to your Holi party. The word ‘barfi’ means ‘ice’ or ‘cold’. Barfi is a traditional Indian dessert that is made with condensed milk. They can be of different flavours and shapes. They’re also called ‘Indian-style brownies’ due to their resemblance with fudge brownies. 

19. Phirni

Phirni is a very popular North Indian dessert. What makes phirni unique from other Indian sweets and desserts is its rich creamy texture. It’s prepared with a rice blend infused with some essence. Phirni has several versions like Badam Phirni, Kesar Phirini, etc. It has been a part of Indian cuisine for generations. If you’re looking for a perfect dessert to serve your family and friends during Holi, Phirni is the right one!

20. Chana Masala

This Holi dish needs no introduction. We’ve all ate it once in our life for sure. The main ingredient of this is chickpea. It is arguably the most popular vegetarian dish in the Indian sub-continent. On every Holi, Channa Masala can be consumed with Indian bread or can also be eaten as a snack.

21. Masala Mathri

Masala Mathri is an Indian traditional snack that’ll go well with your tea time on the day of Holi. Originally from Rajasthan, it is made from flour, spices, and then deep-fried. It’s a perfect snack for you to share with your family. If stored in air-tight jars, they last longer.

22. Besan Papdi

The last dish on this list is another snack which is served on the day of Holi, with hot tea. Made with Besan, the snack is crispy and delicious from Gujarat.

All these Holi dishes, and how they’re prepared is just a treat to watch. We should be proud of the fact that these Holi dishes have put the Indian Cuisine on the world map for years. We all wait for this time of the year, to have sweets as much as we can. It is said that sharing sweets with family and friends enhances the sweetness in relationships.

I’m very much sure that reading about these dishes and how they're prepared to have left you drooling. In case you're not celebrating Holi at home, don’t worry! All the above-mentioned Holi dishes can be found at your nearby sweet shop or Halwai.

The festival of colours is all about fun but the fun increases when you have delicious sweets. So next Holi, make sure you take the above list, get your recipes and you know what you got to do. ‘BURA NA MANO, HOLI HAI!

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Abhishek Biju Nair

I grew up with immense love for Performing arts, Movies and Sports. I never thought that I could write an article. But life is worthwhile if you try! You never know what you’re capable of until you try. And then I tried writing for fun, and here I am!



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