Excitement is in the air! This is going to be our first Holi since we moved back to our homeland, Varanasi in India. I believe all NRI’s miss the festival atmosphere and the delicious delicacies prepared on those days the most. I too, like many of them, have missed India the most during the festive seasons. Holi, the festival of colour is the most fun-filled and exciting festivals in India, but in my city, which is known as the spiritual capital, we celebrate Holi with so much zest and enthusiasm that the steps leading to the Ganga River are adorned with a riot of colours of pink, purple, green and yellow. It is during festival times like these when even strangers become friends and together all play with colours and paint their faces red and blue.
We had invited over some of our friends from the US, who had excitedly agreed to fly down and participate in our celebration. They were to arrive in the evening. All the arrangements were being made for a grand splash party and a rain dance organized in our lawns. Yes! Can festivals be complete without a spread of delicacies like the Thandai (A milk based drink), Ladoos, Gujia and Kachori to name a few of the main dishes that cannot be missed on this day?
Steven, my US friend woke up early this morning. His excitement was something to be seen to be believed. He was with me in the kitchen, helping me and curious to learn the dishes. Sharing here are two recipes that makes for a healthy and refreshing Holi Special!
Ingredient for the Gujiya Covering:
Maida 2 cup
Ghee 2 tblsp
Milk ¼ cup
Ingredient for the Gujiya stuffing:
Mawa 1 cup
Powdered sugar ½ cup
Condensed mik 1 tblsp
Cardamom (Eaichi) 4-5 (Peel and make powder)
Cashew nuts 10 (Cut into tiny pieces)
Raisins 1 tblsp
Charoli (Chironji) 1 tblsp
Preparation for the Dough
Melt the Ghee and mix it with Maida. Warm the milk a little, and then knead a dough of hard consistency using the Milk. The dough should be hard enough to make Pooris. Cover the dough and keep it aside for 20 minutes. The dough will rise and will be ready for making the Gujias. While the dough rises, let’s prepare the stuffing for the Gujias.
Stuffing for the Mawa Gujiya
Put the Mawa in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for about a minute. In a minute, the Mawa will be cooked and ready for stuffing. You can also cook this on a flame if you want. Add the pieces of cashews, raisins and the cardamom powder. Add the powdered sugar when this mixture is cool or only a little warm. Do not add if the mixture is hot. The stuff is ready.
Note: Do not add the powdered sugar to the Mawa when it’s hot. This will melt the sugar and make the stuffing become soggy.
Preparing Gujiya for baking
Knead the dough again till it has a smooth consistency. Now break it into small balls. You should get 12-14 dough balls out of the quantity we prepared. Take each ball in your hand press it till it becomes a flat oval. Prepare all the balls similarly. Now cover them with a cloth and keep them aside.
Take the pressed dough ball and put it on a rolling board. Use the rolling pin to make a 3.5 inch thin disc. This will look like a Poori. Take the Poori and add on it 2 spoons of the Gujiya mixture. Dip your finger in water and use it to make the Poori’s edges wet. Now seal the Poori.
Note: Cover the ready gujiya with a cloth so that it doesn’t dry up.
Baking the Gujiya
Grease the baking tray and put the Gujiyas on the tray with a little away from each other. Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees and put the Gujiya tray on the wired stand. Set the oven at 200 degree for 10 minutes. Take the Gujiyas out after 10 minutes and check them. They should be brown from the top.
Glaze the Gujiya
Coat the Gujiya with condensed milk to glaze it. It will look shiny and tempting. Dilute the condensed milk a little using regular milk. Coat the Gujiyas with this sweetened milk using a brush. Turn it over and coat the other side too, now bake it for another 8 minutes, making sure that you don’t overcook them.
Thandai is one of the very energetic drink for the summer season. One glass Thandai can protect one from sun stroke and nose bleeding in a day.
Sugar 1 kg
Water 500 grams
Almonds 50 grams
Black Pepper 2 tablespoon
Khus Khus ½ cup
Muskmelon seeds ½ cup
Cardamom 30-35 (peeled)
Rose water 1 small table spoon
Mix sugar and water in a utensil and keep it on boiling for 5 minutes. After a boil, make it cool. The sugar syrup is ready for Thandai.
Clean aniseed, black pepper, almonds, muskmelon seeds, cardamom and khus khus. Wash them and soak them individually for 4 hours.
After 4 hours, make them separate from water. Peel almonds. Beat them finely and use sugar syrup instead of water at the time of beating. Mix this mixture in the sugar syrup and sieve it. Mix the remaining mixture in the syrup and sieve it again. Thandai is ready. Fill it in air tight container and keep it in the fridge. You can use it more than a month.
Note: Whenever you want to drink Thandai, mix milk and ice cubes according to your taste and enjoy the real taste of Thandai.
- As a blogger, my ultimate goal is to help my readers love, celebrate and enjoy the different cuisine recipes from across the states in a healthy and positive way.