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15 Special Food Items You Need to Try This Holi

9 mins. read

Colours in the air, laughter all around - what time of the year is it? Yes, It’s Holi! This is of the most awaited festivals in India to welcome the spring season every year. Cheering “bura matt maano, Holi hai” is everyone’s anthem and drinking gallons of thandai is not a sin on this day. Places like Vrindavan, Mathura, Barsana, Agra, Delhi, etc., are famous for their exceptional Holi celebrations. The best tour packages in any of these cities get sold out very quickly, so make your bookings are done early on! An integral part of Holi is the preparation of decadent sweets, namkeen items, and savoury appetisers that everyone can enjoy together. Deep-fried snacks, scintillating sweets, and scrumptious chaats make for special food items in Holi. If your imagination is already running wild, then hold your horses! Here are 15 dishes that you need to try this Holi and make it an unforgettable experience:

1. Gujiya 


One of the most celebrated Holi special foods in India is the ever-so-sweet gujiya. The aroma of gujiya, karanji, ghugra or karajikai fills the air at least a couple of weeks before the festivities begin. Whether you are in Jaipur, Guwahati or Hyderabad, gujiya and its variations are part of the special cuisine of Holi across the country. Nowadays, you can even buy baked and diabetic-friendly gujiyas at several sweet shops. But can you really meddle with this delectable Indian pastry dipped in chaashni?!

2. Masala Mathri

Tea-time snacking is a big deal in our nation and we all know why! A chuski of chai is simply incomplete without some khari, matthi or rusk, right? India Holi Festival is vibrant not only in its colours but also in its food preparations. This is the best time of the year to stock up on some freshly prepared masala mathri from your favourite namkeen store! Devouring this savoury and flaky North Indian cracker with a hot cup of adrak chai after playing Holi with your friends is what makes life beautiful.

3. Malpua

Malpua is a special sweet dish prepared during Holi in Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and various other places in the northern plains. This desi version of a pancake is so mouth-wateringly delicious that you cannot have just one! Malpua with Rabri is a match made in heaven that can possibly beat the most legendary love stories in the world. Don’t believe us? Try it out this Holi festival among many other sweets and thank us later.

4. Dahi Bhalle

When it comes to special food whipped up during Holi, dahi bhalle is one appetiser you will find at every household or traditional get-together. Refreshing, lip-smacking, and sumptuous, dahi bhalle is loved by one and all! It is also true that a lot of Indian families have special recipes for this dish that they prepare on Holi and several other festivals all year round. Once you have a plate of homemade dahi bhalle, there is no going back!

5. Thandai


Thandai, touted to be among the most popular Holi special drinks, is prepared with cold milk and a variety of dried fruits, seeds, and rose petals. Now let’s be honest, there is one ingredient that we all like to have in our thandai without saying it and it’s bhang. Playing Holi with your friends and family after gulping down a Patiala glass of thandai is one experience that you need to have as soon as possible.

6. Namak Pare

Besides Holi sweets glistening in the markets, namak pare is another savoury snack that people love to enjoy with their evening chai. Literally meaning salt pieces, these namkeen bits are so popular in our country during Holi that they get sold out days before the actual Holika Dahan takes place! So, make sure you buy a generous amount of namak pare well in advance.

7. Puran Poli

If we are discussing decadent Holi sweets and special foods, then Maharashtra’s puran poli needs to be mentioned too. The simplicity of this traditional food item is what makes it distinct and how! A sweet flatbread with a filling of lentils, jaggery, and some spices, puran poli is a Holi special food that you simply cannot miss whenever you visit Mumbai, Nashik, Pune or any other region in Maharashtra. Its south Indian cousin, obbattu, is also highly popular during the Holi festivities in Karnataka, Goa, and Tamil Nadu.

8. Lassi

Have you ever been transported to paradise before? Have a sip of this yoghurt-based creamy drink and your round trip to heaven is sorted! Lassi is one of the most beloved drinks in India, especially during Holi. Be it a rose-flavoured lassi or a mango-based extravaganza served in a kulhar, your Holi celebrations are incomplete without guzzling down a delicious lassi.

9. Bhang Pakore

A unique characteristic of Holi cuisine is the special pakoras prepared by halwais all over the country. Since these pakoras have bhang in them, the risk of having too much fun is pretty high. Thus, it is recommended to try out a few pakoras and only then dare to be a little risqué! An endearing aspect of our festivals is that we have the license to have as much fun as we want!

10. Kanji Ke Vade

When you have so many sweets to devour during Holi, it is quite possible to OD on them. Truth be told, a lot of us prefer eating savoury and chatpati snacks anyway. For all the chatoras, kanji ke vade is one special Holi dish that will make your soul happy. Sour, spicy, and warm, kanji is made with black carrots during the spring season and works well as a probiotic drink. When you add some warm vade, it becomes a combination that you can write sonnets on!

11. Kachori 

If kachori was a human being, then the entire Indian Republic would be at its feet! This fried ball of pastry filled with moong dal, green peas, potatoes, onions or dried fruits is so yummy that every bite of it can make your life seem a little better. During Holi, special recipes of kachori are pulled out by halwais and misthan bhandars. The right way to eat this delightful food item is either with sweet and spicy chutney or aloo ki sabzi.

12. Dhuska

Stating that we like fried snacks would be an understatement. Be it Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh or Jharkhand, the love for flatbread fried in oil is spread far and wide. Dhuska or Dhooska is yet another savoury deep-friend snack that is in high demand during the Holi season. Wherever you go in Jharkhand, you can smell this soft fermented rice-batter bread on the streets. Served with chana masala and chutney, this Holi special food is a must-try!

13. Kathal ki Sabzi

On the onset of Holi, Biharis like to mix things up a little and prepare kathal ki sabzi with pooris as their lunch meals. This jackfruit curry is undoubtedly one of the most unique preparations during this festival. A lot of families like to come together and gorge on kathal ki sabzi, jungli mutton, and pooris! This divine combination is an experience that you should have at least once in your lifetime.

14. Ranga Dima 

Since there is a huge influence of Ekasarana Dharma or Neo-Vaishnavism in Assam, celebrating joyous occasions like Holi is encouraged. The Assamese like to enjoy Holi in the form of Fakua or Doul where playing with colours, strumming traditional musical instruments, and chanting songs about Lord Krishna is practised every year. Ranga dima or red-coloured fried eggs are a staple during this festival served along with some aloo bhaja or fried potatoes. It is relished by children, adults, and the elderly alike.

15. Phirni

Phirni is a rice pudding slow-cooked for hours in milk, sugar, almond, and a few delicate spices. This laborious preparation leads to a sweet dish that can make your Holi celebrations memorable. Nowadays, you can even get fruity flavours like pineapple phirni, paan phirni, mango phirni, etc., at popular sweet shops and eateries. Served in an earthen bowl or matka, phirni is best served cold with a strand of saffron on top!

Are you excited about Holi 2023? With so many specialty food items on your bucket list, we recommend fasting for some time to prepare your tummies for the festivities!

February 04, 2023


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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