How To Celebrate Holi Festival of Colours, Love And Spring

What is Holi?

Holi, the Indian festival of colours, is celebrated to mark the arrival of spring and the passing of winter. Celebrated on 24 March this year, it always falls on a full moon. Indian mythology signifies Holi as a festival of letting go of the old and bringing in the new; a time to forget the mistakes of the past and begin with renewed hope and strength to create meaningful relations with friends and family.

How is Holi celebrated?

The night before the festival is marked with bonfires, with coconut, corn and chickpeas thrown into the flames as offerings of gratitude. Pujas (ceremonial worship and prayers) are held on the occasion.

The day is filled with fun, joy, and most definitely indulging in good food and drink. As a young girl, throwing gulal (coloured powders) and water balloons with family and friends had to be the best part of this holiday for me. Just remember to wear white or lighter colours as the gulal can stain. The festival transcends religion and caste, and bridges gaps in society, bringing people together.

More like this

Holi food to celebrate the occasion

Sweet and savoury snacks are a big part of Holi. There isn’t a specific meal, although lots of variety is served throughout the day. From samosas, chaat and mirchi vadas to the most wonderful vegetarian curries and plenty of sweets, including jalebis, barfi and malpuas.


One of my favourite foods to celebrate Holi has to be gujiya or karanji, a crispy pastry filled with coconut. These were my favourite snacks when I was growing up and something I still make at home. Try my Maharashtrian karanji recipe.

Coconut gujiya in baking paper


Karanji are best eaten while still warm, followed by a chilled glass of thandai – an almond-infused drink with fennel, cardamom and rose petals that is traditionally served during Holi.

Glasses of thandai on a tray on a table

Punjabi matar paneer

Renowned for its vegetarian cuisine, the Indian subcontinent has a massive population that relies purely on a meat-free diet. Matar paneer is a delicious recipe that hails from the north of India and is an all-time favourite. This simple dish starts with a tomato base and basic spices, including turmeric, coriander and cumin powder.

Try my Punjabi matar paneer recipe.

Punjabi matar paneer in a bowl with a spoon


An Indian milk-based sweet fudge made using ground cardamom and nuts. Barfi come in a variety of flavours including mango, ground pistachio, saffron and even chocolate. Another version of this is kalakand, made with milk solids, cardamom and almonds. Try Gurdeep Loyal’s kaju katli cashew burfi.

Chocolate and cardamom barfi

Regional curries

I love to cook a variety of curries for the occasion and I have shared loads of recipes in my olive magazine column, including Rajasthani laal maas (lamb curry), pork balchao and creamy chicken curry.

Creamy Indian Chicken Curry

#Celebrate #Holi #Festival #Colours #Love #Spring

Trả lời