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 Diet & Nutrition

March 2012
Goodness of Holi Goodies!
Dr Panchali Moitra
Rang Panchami, Basant Utsav, Dol Purnima or Holi - different names but the same zeal towards celebratory festivities and a distinctive passion for traditional delicacies! Whether it is the melt-in-the-mouth sweet indulgences, frivolous bhang or enticing snacks, the list of Holi recipes seems endless. Get ready to enjoy the goodness of these popular Holi goodies.

Quintessential Gujias
  • This recipe varies across households, cultures and regions but is a must-have during Holi.
  • The maida dough is rolled, cut into signature gujia shapes with cutters, filled with sweet khoya, coconut and nuts mixture and is later deep fried before serving.
  • This energy-packed sweet recipe can also be made as a savoury snack and relished with masala chai.
  • You may add rice flour or semolina to the basic dough recipe and bake the gujias instead of frying it to create your own healthier version of gujias.
The colourful frenzy associated with Holi has become synonymous with ‘bhang’.
  • The leaves and flowers of the bhang plant are ground and then mixed with other ingredients to prepare bhang pakoras, thandais, laddoos and halwas.
  • Linked to Lord Shiva, bhang is believed to be a sacred herb with medicinal attributes when consumed in limited or appropriate quantity.
Exercise caution while trying out bhang preparations. Uncontrolled or excessive intake of bhang can damage the nervous and the cardiovascular systems. Ensure that it remains just the playful intoxicant of the moment and not turn out the party spoiler.

Regional shades
  • Puranpolis: A popular Holi dessert in Maharashtrian households, puranpolis are flatbreads (thin chapattis) with sweet chana dal filling. The roti (called poli) is made from maida and milk based dough and the delectable filling (puran) has lentils cooked in jaggery and then flavoured with saffron, elaichi and nutmeg.
  • Kanji ke vade: This is a traditional snack prepared in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan during Holi. Soaked urad or moong dal is ground, made into a batter and then deep fried. These vadas are then left dipped in kanji (a tangy and spicy water mixture) for 3-5 days under sunlight. The refreshing and easy to digest kanji ke vade are a must try.
  • Kesari Bhaat: A sweet rice preparation interlaced with kesar or saffron and the choicest of nuts, Kesari bhaat is sure to make every occasion special.
  • Paapri Chaat: Add a spicy touch to your Holi revelry by preparing chatpata paapri chaats and Punjabi dahi bhalle.
Easy and Healthy Sprouts Bhel!
Toss mixed sprouts, roasted rice flakes (chiwda), crushed peanuts, chopped onion, tomatoes, green chillies and coriander leaves together. Add mint and coriander chutney, tamarind sauce, black salt and serve.
Dr Panchali Moitra is Nutrition Expert, Weight Management Consultant

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