Holi - The festival of colors. There is hardly any other festival across the country that is celebrated with such grandeur, fervor and fun as Holi. The festival sees all age groups engaging in delight and coloring each other in a friendly manner with an atmosphere high in mischief and jovial mood. Water and colors form the part of celebrations with an underlying tone to forget the past animosity if any and celebrate together. The festival which marks the arrival of the harvest and summer is considered very auspicious with prayers and bonfires burnt on the eve of Holi.
The story behind the burning of the bonfire goes that Prahlad, a young boy was a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. His uncle Hiranyakashyapu was a demon king and did not wish to see Prahlad worshipping anyone else. To test Prahlad's devotion to Vishnu, he sought the help of his sister Holika who was blessed with the ability to be impervious to fire. So Holika sat in a bonfire with Prahlad in her lap. Prahlad kept chanting the name of Vishnu and the fire which was supposed to harm him, actually ended up burning his aunt Holika, after whom the festival is named.
The burning of bonfires on the eve of Holi symbolizes the burning of evil and offerings are made to appease the gods for prosperity and good fortune in the times ahead.
The festival is celebrated with a lot of fun and games, with all age groups embracing their mischievous sides to put colors on their near and dear ones. There is dance, music and food accompanied to heighten the mood.
A major part of the Holi celebration is the feast, Holi special sweets and snacks. People play with colors to their hearts' extent and then enjoy gorging on the delicious preparations that mark the day.
Special dishes are made just for the occasion that are a foodie's delight. People look forward to the special dishes that are made and this is what makes Holi a major favorite amongst food lovers and children.
Gujiya or Karanji is a sweet dumpling made with suji(semolina) that is roasted or deep-fried in ghee. The outer coating is made from Suji and the filling may consist of a variety of choices like coconut, curd cheese, suji mixed with sugar and dry fruits like cashews, almonds, pistachios, raisins and cardamom. This sweet is also called Nevri in Goa and Pedakiya in Bihar. Prepared all across the country during Holi or other festivities it's crunchy outer layer opens in to give a soft filling that is sweet and savory. Since it can be stored fresh for a long time, it is the preferred choice for a Holi snack that can last the entire celebration.
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Shakarpara, Shankarpali, or Khurma is another Holi special sweet and snack that is enjoyed throughout the country. It is also called Lakdi Mithai as it resembles wooden chips. It is generally crunchy and sweet and is garnished with powdered sugar. It is made by boiling sugar in milk and then adding Rava or Suji to it. This dough of Sugar, ghee, maida, Rava and semolina is then allowed to sit for 2-3 hours after which it is rolled and cut into small bits that are then deep-fried. It is very popular in Marathi, Gujarati and Kannadiga communities along with states of UP and Bihar. It has a long shelf life hence it can be brought from the market or prepared at home easily. Generally, it is made by women and offers a source of livelihood for many who make a living by selling these.
Motichoor Ladoo is a traditional Indian sweet for all-purpose and all occasions. Ladoos are spherical and made with different items and in different styles all across the country. They are always sweet and can be made from almost any ingredient mixed with sugar/jaggery along with dry fruits, nuts and garnished with edible silver foil. Their colors are a result of their constituents and hence Ladoos are eye candy for everyone of all ages. Generally made from gram flour and dry fruits along with other constituents, the dough is kneaded with ghee and sugar/jaggery until soft and then pressed into a ball shape that is left to steel for a few hours and then consumed. Besan ladoo, boondi ladoo, Motichoor ladoo.
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Thandai is a must-have drink in Holi. Made with sweetened milk that is cooled and mixed with spices like a mixture of almonds, fennel seeds, rose petals, pepper, poppy seeds, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar. There are many variations to this infused with various local herbs and seasonings and is an ideal drink in the summers to keep the body cool and prevent sunstrokes or heat strokes. People gorge on delicacies and wash it down with Thandai. Modern people are often ruining the lack of proper recipes to make this tasty drink. Hence the drink has been made into a tasty block requiring just adding milk to it.
Peda is a traditional sweet dish commonly enjoyed and one that is a must-try for everyone. Made as thick semi-soft circles made from khoya and milk with added sugar and seasoning like dry fruits, saffron and other ingredients like for flavoring, Pedas are quite popular and found in almost every sweet shop or Halwai store as they are easy to make and cheap too.
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Khaaugully is fast becoming the go-to platform for all kinds of sweets and tasty treats. Visit Khaaugully.com to find sweets for every occasion and festival. Ranging from assorted flavors to sugar-free variants, sweets, chocolates, cakes, snacks, healthy eats and more are available on Khaaugully. With amazing discounts, online payments, super-fast orders, and contactless packing and doorstep order delivery, across all major towns and cities, Khaauglly is the one-stop destination for all your snack needs!