ADDING COLOUR TO SPRING…The festival of HOLI!

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
Holi - the festival of colours
Holi, an Indian festival, heralds the arrival of Spring – the season of hope and new beginnings and marks the rekindling of the spirit of life. Gulmohurs, corals, silk-cottons and mango trees start flowering, gardens and parks present a glorious spectacle of a riot of colours – crimson, red, pink, orange, golden yellow, lemon and a variety of glittering greens.
A pallette of colours from my garden…
As the brief spring warms the landscape, northern India cuts loose for a day of hi jinx and general hilarity. The festival of Holi is celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March every year. The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. Thus, the playful throwing of the colored powders has a medicinal significance: the colors are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors. A special drink called thandai is prepared, sometimes containing bhang (Cannabis sativa). It’s amazing that Spring is heralded & celebrated in so many different ways across the world!
Drenched in colour…& loving it!
This festival of joy, mirth and buoyancy is celebrated when both Man and Nature cast off their winter gloom.

Man, of course, includes our son. He was polishing his water guns days in advance, making plans with his pals & couldn’t wait for the day to arrive. Drove us insane as usual with his impatience!! He was up early & we saw him disappearing into realm of colour within no time! The daughter, on the other hand, let it pass. There was NO WAY she was going to get mucked up!! The boy was unrecognisable by the time he reappeared. It was eventually scrub-a-dub time for him & he is still quite pink!! This was also the only time in his life the colour pink wasn’t girlish at all!! He had an absolute blast, & came back famished begging for lunch!! PHEW!!
‘Before’ & ‘After’ Mug-Shots of the boy!!
Can you tell that it’s the same kid?

So the famished fellow gorged on Aloo-ka-parathas & a raita when he returned. Aloo-ka-parathas‘ are an Indian flatbread stuffed with a filling of boiled mashed potatoes, spiced up with chopped green chillies, fresh coriander, powdered pomegranate seeds etc. I’ll walk you through a quick tutorial… Roll a ball of dough, place a round portion of spiced up mashed potato on it, wrap the dough around it & roll out gently. Cook on a hot griddle/non-stick flat pan on both sides, & then flip over, smear with oil (or clarified butter); repeat on the other side! Serve hot with a dollop of butter, yogurt/raita & pickle (lime, mango,green chili…)! YUM!!

2 things I always remember…make sure the stuffing is cold, not warm, and the dough is firm & pliable. Practice makes perfect…then you can graduate to stuffed parathas with grated cauliflower, radish, cottage cheese, mince…the possibilities are endless!

The kids had theirs with a ‘chilled raita…whipped yogurt to which finely chopped tomatoes, spring onions & greens, green chilies & fresh mint was added; spiced with black rock salt.

We had ours with the same but added some finger licking good home-made ‘Lime & Green Chili Pickle’ to our menu! Burst of flavour…& colour!

The recipe for the pickle comes from Maya @ Konkan World. Thanks Maya…this recipe is a keeper & the flavours are simply amazing. This pickle can perk up the blandest of Indian dishes…I’ve known some brave-hearts who even make pickle sandwiches!! HOT!! Do check out the recipe HERE at Mayas’. I will post a detailed one later, with another pickled lime thingy soon! My personal blog patrol continues with this one…

Life is colourful…enjoy it!!


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Comments

  1. Dhivya says:

    wow!nice photos!happy holi to u too

  2. Saswati says:

    wow deeba..aaloo ke parathe and what a holi!here its still snowing in Moscow…so no holi for us this time :(

  3. That looks like a lot of fun, and so colorful! My mom would’ve killed me if I had done anything like that as a kid. Hehe.

    Happy Holi!

  4. Love the photos! Holi colors and yummy treats! Simply superb! Happy Holi to you too. Yes, life is colorful…enjoy it!

  5. Looks like you had a good time! Growing up, I used to love Holi. All the residents of the building would get together and play, and later on there would be a potluck. It was so much fun!

  6. Cakespy says:

    What a beautiful celebration of life and color!! Makes me feel so happy. And those pickles looks spicy but very delicious!

  7. Tellmehowyoueat says:

    Love this delicious tradition! Hope I will come one day to India to celebrate the Spring season and taste your yummy Aloo-ka-parathas (the name is very funny!).

  8. Passionate baker...& beyond says:

    Thanks Dhivya
    Hi Saswati…I didn’t realize you were in Moscow.We visited Moscow twice just after the cold war in the mid-90′s. It was freezing cold & very dark grey…the Red Square was stunning & so were all the steeples & local markets.Great memories…
    Ben, I would have probably killed him too. But he is quite a charmer, the little guy. Besides I have enjoyed playing it like this all my years until about 5 years ago,so am a little ‘patient’! That’s the bad thing about growing up, or old,…you see the cleaning up more than the having fun sometimes.Grrrrrrrr!!
    Thanks Uma…
    Yes TBC, I remember the potluck days too…what fun!
    Hiya Cakespy…I had a blast just keeping an eye on the lad!!
    Anytime Tellmehowyoueat…will feed you yummy funny aloo-ka-parathas!!

  9. Passionate baker...& beyond says:

    Thanks Dhivya
    Hi Saswati…I didn’t realize you were in Moscow.We visited Moscow twice just after the cold war in the mid-90′s. It was freezing cold & very dark grey…the Red Square was stunning & so were all the steeples & local markets.Great memories…
    Ben, I would have probably killed him too. But he is quite a charmer, the little guy. Besides I have enjoyed playing it like this all my years until about 5 years ago,so am a little ‘patient’! That’s the bad thing about growing up, or old,…you see the cleaning up more than the having fun sometimes.Grrrrrrrr!!
    Thanks Uma…
    Yes TBC, I remember the potluck days too…what fun!
    Hiya Cakespy…I had a blast just keeping an eye on the lad!!
    Anytime Tellmehowyoueat…will feed you yummy funny aloo-ka-parathas!!

  10. Bellini Valli says:

    What a colourful and fun way to herald in the Spring….our kids would have had so much fun!!!!The dish also looks like the Indian version of perogies:D

  11. Raaga says:

    happy holi… you all sure had fun!

  12. Angela says:

    How wonderful your garden would have been….. you have pansies too? I just love those, and have been begging my friend in the US to dry them for me and send them across. Awesome colors of Holi and the flowers.. enjoyed the view. Thks. Angela

  13. Luks like u had a balst on holi.. happy holi. nice parata and photos.

  14. Purnima says:

    Indeed colorful! Boy looks cute wt b4-after too! Where is Meher? Hiding frm colors? Yum aloo paratha, loved pickles n ur crystallized winter flowers too! extremely colorful! visual treat! tks n happy holi to u all!

  15. aradhana says:

    hi there!
    The son saw pictures of Rohan all painted up and regretted not being there for holi!…No regrets as far as Nin nd me go!!
    Great stuff on the blog…as usual..am maha-impressed!!
    Lol Chhoti

  16. familiabencomo says:

    My son would LOVE this celebration – water guns, allowed muckiness, chaos…. Heaven! Oh how I wish I were there! This explains why one of the moms in my son’s class came all dressed up.

    You are so lucky to live with such vibrant colors surrounding you – what an inspiration.

    Tanti baci, Amy

  17. meeso says:

    Great photos and the food looks amazing, your chilled raita has me craving some right now!

  18. deeba, u have given us virtual treat of holi through this post. oh, i so much miss being in india:(

  19. Nicisme says:

    It’s so colourful for sure! I’m not surprised your son had such a great time.
    Thanks for showing me this Deeba, I’m laughing so much, it must be that little purple face!!!

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