Holi Special: Plan The Perfect House Party

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Holi

If you are planning to play host this Holi, What’s Hot gives you some easy tips for planning to ensure you and your guests have a great time. We also bring to you recipes of top three must haves on the menu for this festival.

With the arrival of spring come beautiful colours, and we Indians celebrate it with Holi. The combination of playing with colours and eating good food bring back wonderful memories. I was seven when I played Holi for the first time in my life. My mother would take me and my brother to the neighbourhood colony. Our faces would be covered with splotches of magenta and other vibrantly coloured powder, and our clothes soaked with deep-red and green water. Later in the evening, she would host a small party at home inviting friends and relatives and serve our favourite Assamese Holi special snacks: savoury chandra puri – also known as gujiyas – stuffed with roasted coconut, cashew nuts and raisin; naan kata – that looks like a star fruit made with corn flour and tastes salty – mitha aalu lal mohan – a sweet like gulab jamun but prepared from sweet potatoes – and badam gakhir, an almond based milk drink.

These foods may differ from one place to other, but you would agree when I say that any Indian festival is incomplete without a scrumptious feast. Moreover, what’s a better way to celebrate festivals than with your friends and family?

If you are planning to play host this Holi, What’s Hot gives you some easy tips for planning to ensure you and your guests have a great time. We also bring to you recipes of top three must haves on the menu for this festival.

Fix the Venue:

First things first! Finalise the Holi party venue, as your entire party plans will revolve around the venue only. You can choose open venues like lawns and grounds. Even the terrace could be an ideal venue for this celebration.

Guest List:

guests

Preparing a guest list will help you in planning the menu. Like any other party, make a precise list of all the people you would want to invite. Make sure you call them up days in advance so that there are no last minute cancellations.

Food Menu:

food

The highlight of any Indian festival is sweets and savouries. Gujiya is the soul of Holi celebration. It is a sweet with a delicate crust made of wheat flour and rich stuffing with dry fruits inside.

Forget not the other traditional delicacies like ladoos, malpuaspuranpoli,papri, saankhein, namak pare, onion bhajia, and pakodas as they are dedicatedly known to be Holi snacks. These sweets and snacks are easy to make, and are commonly found in sweet shops as well.

You can also prepare bhang pakodas and golees (chewy little balls of bhang mixed with ghee and sugar). In case you are thinking of gifting something to your guests, you can perhaps have a box of sweets gift wrapped for each guest to take home as a return present.

Drinks:

Drinks

How can you not serve drinks on a Holi do? Consider keeping both soft and semi-hard drinks including ‘thandai’. Thandai or bhang lassi is intoxicating enough to escalate the spirit of Holi.

Dress Code:

Holi

The best part about Holi is that you don’t have to dress up! But to add fun to the party you can ask your guests to dress in plain white outfits. And if you want an additional pep- up, ask the female guests to wear flowers in hair and men can wrap a coloured stole around their waist.

Dance & Music:

dance

It goes without saying that a Holi party is incomplete without music. To bring in the desi flavour and make the party crowd groove to foot tapping beats, you can compile a list of popular Bollywood Holi numbers like RangBarse , Holi ke din, Do me a favour lets’s play Holi, and many more.

Colours:

Holi-Face

Colours magically connect with the emotions and moods, and make us happy. For a wholesome splash of colours, make sure to buy organic colours (gulaal) that are skin friendly. Keep a dry plate of colors on every guest’s table for easy access. Also keep few fancy pitchkaris, water balloons, and buckets of water handy to soak your guests up. Alternatively, you can also arrange an inflated tube pool where the guests can jump in for a Holi dip.

Here is a list of three selected Holi recipes to help you win the hearts of your loved ones.

Saankhein

Saankhein

Ingredients:
1 cup soaked chana dal (Split Bengal gram)
1/3 cup soaked arhar dal (Split pigeon pea)
1/3 cup soaked urad dhuli (Split black gram skinless)
1/3 cup soaked moong dhuli (Split green gram skinless)
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ajwain (Carom seeds)
Oil to fry
Salt to taste

Method:
Step 1: In a processor grind the soaked lentils to a dough-like consistency without using water.
Step 2: Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients and shape the dough into slightly flat rounds.
Step 3: Heat oil over high flame, and put in the balls. Turn after about 10 seconds and lower heat.
Step 4: Keep it aside to cool down and cut them into thick slices.
Step 5: Now, deep-fry the slices and make them crisp before serving.
Step 6:  Serve with tomato and chilli ketchup.

Colourful Gujiya

Gujiya

Ingredients:
1 cup maida (flour)
½ cup ghee (clarified butter)
½ cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp charoli
1 tbsp cardamom powder
1 cup grated coconut
1 tbsp sliced almonds
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp pistachios, chopped
1 tbsp cashews, chopped
1 pinch kesar (saffron) for colouring
Oil for deep fry

Method:
Step 1: Pour ghee over the maida and add half a cup of water to it.
Step 2: Grind a few strands of kesar, and let it form a paste.
Step 3: Add kesar paste to the gheemaida mixture for orange colouring.
Step 4: For green colour add fine powdered pista.
Step 5: Now with these ingredients make a dough out of this to make the outer covering of gujiya.
Step 6: Mix all the other ingredients except oil in a mixing bowl so that the consistency becomes even.
Step 7: Roll out 5-8 flat breads (puris) from the dough and add spoonfuls of the filling to it.
Step 8: Roll it into halves and seal the edges of the puri with your fingers.
Step 9: Now in a deep bottomed pan heat oil, and when it is hot release thegujiyas in it.
Step 10: Fry till the gujiyas turn golden.

Hot Buttered Bhang

Hot buttered bhang

Ingredients:
½ cube of butter or ghee (clarified butter)
1/3 marijuana leaves
240 ml vodka
½ tsp powdered cardamom seeds

Method:
Step 1: In a pan, melt the butter or ghee, and put in the marijuana leaves into the pan. Step 2: When the butter and leaves are hot and sizzling, pour in the 240 ml of vodka.
Step 3: Continue boiling the mixture for roughly 30 more seconds, stirring simultaneously.
Step 4: Add a pinch or two of powdered cardamom seed while boiling.
Step 5: Once the mixture has been boiled to desired amount, mash the contents through a strainer.
Step 6: Throw away the mush, and reboil.
Step 7: Now pour the liquid into champagne glasses to serve.

Note: All three recipes serve two people.

The article first appeared on What’s Hot/TimesCity