Holi is onefestival that is celebrated with equal fervour across all socio-economicsections in Kolkata. The food items that define this festival are most prominentthan any other festival. Let us have a look at the five foods without whichHoli will be incomplete.
Thandai - You talk about Holi and the first thing that crops up in the mindis thandai. A form of sherbet with milk, and bhang added, has always been theflagship offering of any Holi party. Lately, thandai has gained popularity inthe form of kulfi and ice creams. Apart from the Guruji brand of thandai, theones sold at various outlets in Burrabazar are also extremely popular pick-uppoints and can be seen crowded and buzzing with activity during Holi.
Gujiya - The usually home-fried and sugar syrup dipped sweet is a must-haveduring Holi. There are innovations to the traditional forms of gujiyas that arebaked including some with chocolate filling, and dipped in chocolate syrup and gujiyaswith coconut and raisins filling. Bestplaces to get gujiyas in the markets are Haldiram’s and Tewari Sweets outletsacross the city and Sharma Sweet in Burrabazar.
Dahi Bhalle - Known as dahi vada in some places and bhalle in others, this homemadespecialty tops the list of chaat bazaars during Holi. Deep-fried spongy ballsof lentils dipped in yogurt sauce, the consistency differs in different houses,and like Holi, it has splash of colours in one dish with different masalas, chutneys,and sometimes pomegranate seeds sprinkled on them.
Malpua - A North Indian pancake dessert that is again, deep-fried anddipped in sugar syrup, is a very popular dish with the Bengalis as well as thenon-Bengali sweet lovers. It is made in most households. Nowadays, though mostof the sweet shops offer malpua, the ones that top the popularity chart are BalaramMullick and Haldiram’s.
Kachoris - Raj kachori, with its huge size and a splashof silver sheen on the top is the thing to look forward to, at all the traditionalsnack shops during this festival. Apart from the Raj kachori, which is best hadwith yogurt and a combination of sweet and sour chutneys and bhujia sprinkledon top, the khasta kachori and matar kachori with ‘paanch phoron’, and temperedstir-fried potatoes are the best tummy fillers at most Holi parties.