The season of spring marks the arrival of the festival of colours, ‘Holi’. Holi is one of the most prominent festivals in India, celebrated in March. The blast of colours is seen in every street, and all the laughter, conversations and spirit of joy that we share with our loved ones become memories we cherish for the rest of the year. Sure vibrant colours play a huge role in the Holi celebration, but like any other Indian festival, the Holi celebration is also incomplete without “Kuch meetha”. Heartwarming sweets cover the central portion of the table at any Holi party, and we are talking about traditional Indian sweets!
Now that we have made you drool, we believe it’s time to discuss these sweets in detail. We have rounded 6 really simple sweet recipes you can try at home this Holi.
First on the list is a well-known traditional sweet that most of you have had at least once in your life, mainly if you belong to north India because our moms or grandmoms usually make it at home. We are talking about besan ladoos. As the name suggests, the key ingredient for this sweet recipe is besan, and lots of ghee and sugar are added to make the delicacy what it is. Besan ladoo is a go-to sweet that Indian moms choose whenever there is a celebration in the house. The process of making besan ladoos is quite simple, so it is definitely worth the try. All you need is gram flour (besan), finely chopped almonds, powdered green cardamom sugar and ghee; quantities vary depending on servings. Make sure you add sugar in adequate amounts because it highly impacts the final taste.
Ah, Gujiya! Celebrating Holi without Gujiya? Is that even possible? Gujjiya is a sweet that is associated with the festival of colours. The shops are filled with this much-loved dessert at least 10 days before Holi. We’re sure that you, too, head to one of these shops, but this year, instead of buying, how about trying the recipe at home? The sweet is shaped like pockets and bonded with perfect crimped edges. The inside is filled with khoya (the magic ingredient), seeds and nuts. The outer layer is sweetened with sugar syrup, making it irresistible. However, you can add your own twist to the recipe, like adding coconut or baking it instead of deep frying. This freedom of alteration is another reason to make Gujjyas at home.
Kheer is one of the most famous desserts prepared on the occasion of Holi. It is also known as payasam in some parts of our country. It is a type of pudding prepared mainly with three key ingredients — rice and milk, sugar or jaggery, as your choice. This sweet dish gives a rich, creamy taste of sweet milk. You can enhance the flavour by adding saffron and rosewater. Some even add dry fruits like crushed almonds and raisins to add nutrients. It’s basically a recipe that can be made with minimal ingredients but takes hours of hard work and patience to achieve that perfect taste. Also, it can be stored for 2-3 days, so you can prepare it in advance.
The next recipe on the list is known as Rasmalai. Rasmalai is a very popular Bengali sweet, and each individual typically purchases from their favourite dessert shop. Rasmalai, which combines the terms ras, which means juice, and malai, which means cream, is a beloved, slightly sweet, creamy, and rich dessert that is the ideal way to end a meal. Like preparing a rasgulla, Chhena/Paneer discs are boiled in sugar syrup to make ras malai, which is then prepared by soaking the discs in thickened milk or cream flavoured with saffron and green elaichi. The outcome? A creamy, melt-in-your-mouth delight with a sweet yet fresh flavour that will be a success at your Holi celebration! Additional tip: garnish it with fresh rose petals to take the taste several notches higher.
It’s no surprise that the sweet roti from Maharashtra hints that Holi is here—it’s a beloved festival treat! Jaggery and chana dal are used to make the sweet filling and the flatbread that tastes fantastic with savoury foods like pickles or Dals and milk, ghee, and a little Bura/Sugar powder. Puran (stuffing) preparation can be time-consuming to perfect, but once you do, you will look for excuses to make some now and then. It’s essential to soak and boil the chana mixture thoroughly, adding good flavour and moisture. The stuffing, which is folded into maida dough, is roasted to a delectably crisp exterior, while the interiors are slightly soft, much like a paratha.
Gulab Jamun is a popular Indian dessert that is loved for its soft and spongy texture and its sweet syrup. Here’s how you can make it at home:
- 1 cup of milk powder
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of semolina
- 2 tablespoons of ghee
- 2 tablespoons of warm milk
- Oil, for deep-frying
For the syrup:
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of rosewater
- In a large bowl, mix together the milk powder, all-purpose flour, semolina, and ghee.
- Add the warm milk and knead the mixture until it forms a smooth dough.
- Divide the dough into small balls, about the size of a ping pong ball.
- In a deep saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully drop in the dough balls and deep-fry until they are golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
- While the jamuns are frying, make the syrup. In a separate saucepan, heat the sugar, water, and rosewater over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Once the jamuns are ready, remove them from the oil and place them directly into the syrup. Let the jamuns soak in the syrup for at least 30 minutes to absorb the sweetness.
- Serve the warm Gulab Jamuns with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.
Enjoy your homemade Gulab Jamuns! Note that the dough balls can be a little delicate, so be gentle when handling them and take care not to overcook them in the oil.
With that, it’s a wrap; now, you can add some extra sweetness to your celebrations by preparing delectable traditional sweets at home.