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Fun with food

Surupasree Sarmmah, March 13, 2017, DHNS 0:22 IST

'Holi' delicacies

George Bernard Shaw once said, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food”. His words stand true especially in a country like India where food and festivals go hand in hand. Though delectable food on a daily basis is something everyone wishes for, festivals are the perfect excuse for foodies to indulge in these.

A lip-smacking and colourful spread of sweets and savouries is the highlight of ‘Holi’ with ‘Mathri’, ‘Aloo Puri’, ‘Gujia’, ‘Shikanji’ and ‘Thandai’ being just some of the scrumptious specialities.

“Since summer has arrived early this year, I am planning to make popsicles for ‘Holi’. Complementing the festival, the popsicles will be colourful, fruity and healthy at the same time,” says Neetha Bhoopalam, a food consultant.

Neetha is making what she calls the ‘Fruit popsicle with vetiver honey cinnamon’.

“I have used cinnamon and the herb Vetiver (which acts as a coolant for the body) for the juice and mixed it with kiwi, strawberry and other seasonal fruits. I have also given a twist of millet to the classic ‘thandai’ this time,” she adds.

Catching up with friends and exploring the traditional dishes during festivals is always a much looked-forward-to activity.

A potluck dinner is what IT professional Sudarshan Sampath is planning . Since most of his friends are from North India, they have an amalgamation of authentic savouries to relish on the day. “I have friends who are Gujarati, Konkani and Marwaris and we all get together for dinner and indulge in some authentic homemade food. Since they don’t get to taste South Indian delicacies so often, this time I have made ‘Tengol’ from ‘rice flour’, ‘urad dal’ and lots of jeera,” says Sudarshan.

Born and brought up in Delhi, Nithya Ravi is used to an atmosphere of grand celebrations. The food blogger says that sweets and cool drinks are synonymous with this festival and she is keeping up with the tradition.

“Since everyone makes ‘Gujia’ during this festival, I thought of something different. ‘Kala jamun with stuffed dry fruits’, ‘Mango lassi’ and ‘Aloo bhujia’ top my menu this ‘Holi’.”

Nithya adds that everyone at home is more fond of savouries than sweets.

For Soma Mukherjee, an interior designer, the festival reminds her of her childhood.

“We used to invite friends and relatives over and have a gala time. However, today, people have become too busy and need instant results. Keeping this in mind, I have prepared ‘masala thandai’ with a twist in the traditional procedure.” she says.

Ingredients like fennel seeds, pepper corns, poppy seeds, saffron and dry fruits are roasted and powered into an instant mix.

This mix, she says, can be refrigerated and stored for about two months .

“Apart from thandai’, I also plan to make ‘chocolate gujia’ and ‘matar kachori’ which are a big hit in my family. I also make different savoury versions of ‘gujia’ during this time,” she says.

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