While taking a stroll by your home this weekend, apart from the familiar sights and sounds of the neighbourhood, you will undeniably spot a bunch of children chasing each other with pichkaris and dousing one another in myriad colours. Well, “Holi Hai”, so you might as well grab a water gun yourself, fill it with bright-hued powders and join in the fun. For it is, after all, Holi, the festival of colours, which is celebrated on March 29 this year, that denotes the end of the cold winter season and proclaims the start of spring. This annual celebration by Indians is an important religious and cultural event, which falls on the last full moon day of the month of Phalguna as per the Hindu calendar – usually sometime between February and March.
Revelries on Holi include reciting prayers upon lighting a bonfire, to imply the death of the demon king Hiranyakashipu’s sister, Holika, to mean the victory of good over evil. People also go about splattering vibrant tints on one another, with dyed ashes, water balloons, spray guns loaded with wet stained powders, all the while singing cheery tunes and dancing with joy. Moreover, heartfelt gratitude is expressed to Mother Nature, for blessing all of humankind with ample natural bounty of fruits, vegetables, nuts from the annual agricultural harvest for food and sustenance, plus vivid blossoming flowers in springtime. Wait a minute, are we forgetting something? But of course, there’s plenty of tempting food as well, for when it’s festival season in India, can desi khana be far behind?
Needless to mention, traditional Indian sweets such as Gujiya, Mapula, Kheer, Thandai, Rasmalai rule the roost amongst the widespread culinary feast during Holi festivities. Yet, in all the merriment of getting soaked in a spectrum of hues and biting into these saccharine delights, you invariably tend to crave a touch of namkeen packed with nutritious ingredients, to balance the flavours, boost your energy levels and uplift your health right?
Scrumptious Savouries To Dig Into Amidst Holi Celebrations:
Guess what, we read your minds and so, here are the recipes of two wholesome popular savoury snacks prepared during Holi. Pyaaz Ke Pakode, which are crispy onion fritters combined with gram flour, seasoned with spices and Dahi Kachori, comprising a flaky crunchy outer layer engulfing an eclectic mix of moong dal, yoghurt and tangy chutneys as a filling. Go ahead, whip up these nourishing mouth-watering desi snack recipes and relish them with your family along with delicious sweets, for a truly happy and healthy Holi.
Pyaaz Ke Pakode
2 big red onions, cut into thin, long pieces
1 ½ cups besan i.e. gram flour
2 green chillies, sliced into tiny bits
3 tsp dhania powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
Salt, as per taste
A bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 cup sunflower oil
In a large bowl, combine the thin red onion slices with the besan, green chillies, dhania powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, the required amount of salt.
Sprinkle the coriander leaves, then add some water and mix well, to form a thick smooth paste.
Heat sunflower oil in a deep pan on high flame, then slowly put in round spoonfuls of the onion blend paste.
Toss the onion balls, fry until they become golden-brown all over and brittle.
Take out the deep-fried onion balls from the pan, place them aside on a tissue to absorb excess oil.
Enjoy these yummy, crispy Pyaaz Ke Pakode with family on the jubilant occasion of Holi, alongside tangy pudina chutney and sweet tomato ketchup.
Onions are high on water content as well as dietary fibers and low on fat, making them ideal for weight loss and healthy digestion. Imbued with capsaicin, a potent antioxidant with decongestant traits, green chillies considerably reduce the risk of cancer and resolve respiratory problems like cough, cold, sinus infections. Coriander leaves are a rich source of vitamin A, which enhances eyesight and prevents vision-related disorders like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts. Gram flour or besan houses ample proteins for optimal growth, development of muscles, tissues and vital minerals of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium that fortify bones, joints.
2 cups maida i.e. all-purpose flour
3 tbsp ghee
Salt, as required
½ cup moong dal, soaked for 3 hours and drained
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
A pinch of hing/asafoetida
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 tbsp amchur/dried mango powder
2 tbsp besan/gram flour
1 cup sesame oil
2 cups dahi/curd/yoghurt
2 tbsp tamarind chutney
Mix the maida, ghee, salt in a bowl with a sufficient amount of water and knead it into a soft dough.
Cover this bowl with a damp muslin cloth and store it at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes.
Pulse the soaked moong dal in a mixer to obtain a coarse blend.
Heat sesame oil on medium flame in a non-stick pan, sauté the cumin seeds and once they sputter, add the moong dal mixture.
Mix thoroughly and cook for 2 minutes, then add the hing, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, garam masala, amchur, besan.
Stir well on a medium flame for 3 minutes until the mixture becomes slightly brown.
Turn off the stovetop and allow this moong dal blend to cool down.
Split the maida dough into 10 – 12 equal spheres and roll them out into flat circles.
Place the moong dal filling in the centre and wrap the dough around, sealing it tightly on all borders, then press the kachoris on top gently.
Heat sesame oil on medium flame in a kadai and deep fry the kachoris for 5 – 7 minutes turning them over on all sides, so they become golden-brown.
Switch off the flame, take out the kachoris and absorb the excess oil on tissue paper.
Make a hole in the centre of the kachori, fill it with fresh curd and a bit of tamarind chutney.
Savour these crunchy, delectable Dahi Kachori with near and dear ones during the lively Holi festivities.
Moong dal is a powerhouse of proteins, providing essential amino acids for robust muscles, development of organs, tissues in the body. It also contains profuse volumes of folate or vitamin B9, for healthy red blood cell synthesis, circulation and preventing birth defects in newborns during pregnancy. Maida or all-purpose flour delivers loads of calories for instant energy, while ghee is laden with healthy unsaturated fats which uplift cardiac functions for a healthy heart. Dahi i.e. curd or yoghurt comprises vast reserves of probiotics that enrich healthy gut flora and facilitate smooth digestion.
Netmeds.com Wishes All Its Customers A Very Happy And Healthy Holi 2021! :)