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There are several ways to do Holi right. Daubing a riot of colours on your neighbours’ faces, brandishing water guns the size of tanks, and of course, splashing other revellers from rooftops. No Holi celebration is ever complete without the mandatory Holi party that has to be wet and wild in equal measure. But, beyond the water slinging debauchery is the food, that is a nod to the turn of the season. Dishes celebrating spring make their debut on Holi and you can sample them all in their fun and quirky avatars across happening restaurants in town.
Date: February 28 - March 5
Timings: 12 noon - 12 midnight
Holi cocktails are the need of the hour as we move towards mercury-tipping temperatures in the coming months. At Gastronomica, add vibrancy to your celebrations with Kanjioska that uplifts the age-old kanji recipe with stellar mixology. Kanji, the pickled drink of black carrots that north India is partial to, has been blended with flavours of caipiroska to create a rocking Holi beverage. From February 28, the restaurant will be offering one free welcome Kanjioska tube shot to every guest to mark the occasion of Holi.
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Date: February 28 - March 4
Price: Special Holi Food Menu: Starting at Rs 180, + taxes, per dish
Virgin Thandai: Rs 200, ++ taxes
Thandai: Rs 350, ++ taxes
Time: Open from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight (Guests below the age of 25 years are
only permitted till 6:00 pm)
At Monkey Bar, get into the spirit of revelry with Holi High, a celebration paying homage to the festival of colours across the brand’s Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata outlets. A chilled glass of Monkey Bar’s special 'Thandai' – sprinkled with almonds, aromatic spices and a host of secret ingredients, is the order of the day. Giving it company are Papdi Chaat (crisp papdis served with chilled and sweetened yoghurt, boiled potatoes, sprouts, chutneys, masala and sev), Bedmi Puri (a twist on the popular street food, the urad dal pooris are served with 'Raseele Aloo' and 'Salli' along with a side of 'Kachumbar' and 'Salted Chillies'), Khasta Matar Kachori (green pea and spicy soy-stuffed kachori served with mango chutney) and more. The deal is sweetened by Monkey Gujiyas (flaky, sweet dumplings stuffed with cream cheese, almond and cashew nuts, topped with dry cranberries and dusted with cardamom sugar).
Dates: March 1 and March 2
Timings: 12 noon - 12 midnight
Meal for two: Rs 1000 plus taxes
Hudson Lane’s popular hippie-themed restaurant Dum Maro Dum is celebrating Holi with much fanfare. While the 60s music and old Holi songs will keep you grooving, there is the Holi Mezze Platter (coloured pita bread with a variety of dips and vegetarian snacks) to satiate your soul. In addition, there is Bell Pepper O’ Pizza with colourful toppings. Completing the picture are chilled thandai-flavoured spheres.
Date: February 23 - March 1
Timings: 12:00 noon - 01:00 am
Cost: Starting from Rs 285, plus taxes
Drop by Decode in Rajouri Garden if a full-on Holi party with food is calling your name. This west Delhi restaurant has planned an assortment of Holi-special dishes (desserts and drinks) under the umbrella Holi on my plate. The Paan Semi Freddo comes on your platter with edible rose gulal, pistachio sponge and a streak of saffron-rabri. Sharing space on the dessert menu is the Mango kulfi Snowball, a snowball-shaped mango- flavoured kulfi that is served with nuts and raspberry gel. For an ultimate high, go for the 'Boozy Thandai', a blend of saffron, nuts, thandai and vodka. What is more, the restaurant will be hosting a pre-Holi bash with a sundowner on February 28.
Habitat World, India Habitat Centre (IHC)
Date: March 1, 2018
Time: 07:00 pm onwards
Venue: The Hub
Cultural Programmes: Free
Food (à la carte): Price range (Rs 100 - Rs 315), per dish
If you want your Holi food served with a side of culture, there are 'Phoolon Ki Holi' celebrations at Habitat World in IHC. Kick-starting the festivities will be the traditional 'Holika Dahan Ritual', which will be followed by a gamut of cultural performances. The programme will be bookended by a unique event where guests would be invited to play Holi with flower petals. A specially-crafted menu for guests on the occasion will include traditional Holi delicacies like Thandai, Amritsari Machi, Dal Kachori With Aloo Sabzi, Achhari Paneer Tikka, Keema Kaleji, Kulchas and more.
Susmita Saha is a Delhi-based Features Writer. She has worked as an Assistant Editor at India Today and The Telegraph and writes on arts and culture, films, travel, food, architecture, design and various other lifestyle subjects. She has seriously itchy feet and plans to tick the world off her bucket list, one burger at a time.