Holi is around the corner and soon every nook & corner of India will be painted with dazzling color hues. In fact, it is a good occasion for visiting friends & families. The Holi special good food list automatically gets included as a part of the fervor. But prior to the celebration, one of the most important thing that needs to be taken care of is, house cleaning & decoration, isn’t it? With children in the house, a clean kitchen should anyways be a priority task.
I am very particular about cleaning the kitchen area thoroughly to make it free from cockroaches, spiders, rats and more. Until a few months back I used to keep naphthalene balls in the sinks. Further with any cockroach sighting, I simply used to spray some anti-cockroach liquid. This method marginally prevented cockroaches plus there was always a fear of my hyperactive sonny gulping down the naphthalene balls or playing with them. This is when I gave LAL HIT a shot. Its advertisement claimed it to be far more effective plus it has a deep reach nozzle that too at reasonable price (A mid-sized pack costs just around Rs.100). This nozzle enables the liquid to reach down in the sink pipes and any crevices near pipelines etc. where cockroaches may hide or set up a base. It worked a miracle! The best part about the same was that there was no obnoxious smell that lingered in the kitchen.
Post that day, it became a regular in my home’s grocery list and also a part of my bi-monthly, sometimes monthly kitchen cleaning regime. I guess my efforts have paid off. My kitchen and home, in general, are free from any of those creepy crawly creatures which used to happily party with the food cooked by me.
Taking about the food recipes for Holi that I will be sharing in this posts are made simple with my own personal kitchen hacks to make the same recipes quicker & easier than the usual. Sharing with you three such recipes namely of Thandai – a summer special drink, Papdi Chaat, & Gujiya. This Thandai can be drunk by everyone in the family as it is bhaang (Indian Hemp) free. Papdi Chaat (yogurt based savory snack) & Gujiya (a kind of sweet) is mostly a hit among all and it is quick too!
Recipe for Thandai
♦ Full Fat Milk: 1 litre ♦ Almonds blanched and peeled: 20 ♦ Pistachios: blanched and peeled 25 ♦ Cashewnuts: soaked 15 ♦ Melon seeds (magaz) soaked 2 tablespoons ♦ Poppy seeds (khus khus): soaked 2 tablespoons ♦ Sugar: A little less than 1 cup ♦ Saffron (kesar) a few strands ♦ Green Cardamom: 5-6 ♦ Dried Rose petals 15 ♦ Fennel Seeds (Saunf): 1 tablespoon ♦ Black peppercorns: 6-8 ♦ Fresh Rose petals 2-3
♦ Bring the milk to a boil in a pan. Then add saffron to the warm milk and mix a little. Turn the flame to medium and then add sugar to the milk and let it simmer a little. till the sugar melts.
♦ Meanwhile, in a mixer grinder put almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, melon seeds and dry roasted poppy seeds with a little milk and grind together into a smooth paste.
♦ Next grind green cardamoms, dried rose petals, fennel and black peppercorns to a fine powder.
♦ Add the dry fruit fine paste to the milk and mix well. Simmer a little and then add the powdered mix of green cardamom etc. to the milk and give it a good stir.
♦ Holi special ‘Thandai’ is ready which will serve 2-3 guests with above quantity mentioned. Chill and serve.
Recipe for Mawa Gujiya
♦ Milk Cake Sweet (Dudh pak): 200 gms. crumbled ♦ Almond 8-10 finely chopped ♦ Cashew nut 8-10 finely chopped ♦ Raisins: depending on personal preference chopped ♦ Walnut 6-8 finely chopped ♦ Pistachio 6-8 finely chopped ♦ Green Cardamom 2-3 powdered ♦ Dry Desiccated Coconut: 50gms. ♦ Refined Flour 250gms. ♦ Clarified Butter (Ghee): 60 gms for kneading dough ♦ Oil (I prefer groundnut oil + a little of Ghee) to deep fry ♦ Milk 3-4 tbsps.
♦ For making the outer crust of Gujiya, sift the flour & then add the ghee. Mix it until it has a crumble like consistency. Now taking milk in small portions add to the flour mix and knead to form a dough. If required add a little water to knead a medium to a stiff dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and keep it aside.
♦ Filling preparation: In a pan on medium hit add the Milk Cake crumble add all the dry fruits, cardamom, desiccated coconut and mix well. Allow it to cool.
♦ Divide the dough & filling into 18-20 equal portions. Roll out each dough ball into a puri. Then taking one puri at a time place one portion of the stuffing in the middle, lightly moisten the edges with a little milk on edge fold through the diameter of puri and seal properly so that no filling comes out on deep frying.
♦ Heat oil in a deep vessel for deep frying and then gently put a few Gujiyas at a time and deep-fry on medium heat until golden brown. Gujiyas are ready!
Recipe for Papdi Chaat
♦ Crisp Papdi (Make at home or readymade): 25-30 ♦ Whisked Curd/Yogurt 1 cup ♦ Potatoes boiled and chopped 2 ♦ Green gram sprouts/Overnight soaked chickpea boiled 3/4 cup ♦ Tomato 1 medium chopped (optional) ♦ Onion 1 medium chopped ♦ Salt to taste ♦ Sugar 1 tablespoon ♦ Roasted cumin powder 1 teaspoon ♦ Chaat masala 1/2 teaspoon ♦ Red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon ♦ Green coriander chutney 1/4 cup ♦ Sweet tamarind chutney 1/4 cup ♦ Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing ♦ Sev as per choice ♦ Pomegranate peeled 1/4 cup
♦ Place 6-7 papdis on a plate and keep some of the boiled potatoes on top of it. Side by side, to the yogurt, add the salt and sugar mix well and then store in the refrigerator. After potatoes add green gram sprouts then tomatoes and onions. Pour a little coriander and tamarind chutney after this. Sprinkle salt, red chili powder, chaat masala, cumin powder for seasoning. Next, pour the yogurt covering almost 3/4th of each puri. Garnish it with sev, coriander and anardana. Serve instantly.