“Orey Grihabashi, khol dwar khol laaglo je dol…”
Faces smeared with fluorescent greens and pinks, crisp white clothes splashed with water colours, adults dancing midst clouds of gulal, children hurling water balloons chasing each other spraying coloured water. A sight which reminded me of my childhood as I looked down from my balcony. When we were young we would gather in the designated area (A particular area in the parking lot would be cordoned off for the youngsters) in our apartment with buckets filled with water, pitchkari’s , abeer (coloured powder). Some of us would be diligently working on stocking up our grenades (water balloons) ready for attack in our hideout unknown to other, so we thought. Faces beyond recognition, clothes looking like drenched rags, hair messed up would mark an end to the day. It would take days to scrub the colours off but there was always a feeling of cheerfulness associated with remants of the celebrations.
These days the colours contain chemical ingredients which are harmful to the skin. One way to remove the colour is to rub the skin with a paste of besan and milk.
Kolkata celebrates ‘Doljatra’ and usually falls a day later than Holi. Celebrations in Kolkata are marked with much élan, unlike Bangalore. Holi marks the beginning of spring and the arrival of the hot season. Like all other festivals, the motto is to indulge and the day would not be complete with satiating the sweet buds.
While flipping through the page of the ‘Brunch’ the weekly magazine distributed with ‘Mint’, my eyes caught attention to an article on Holi and some recipes associated with it.
A North Indian sweet ‘Gujiya’ and ‘Thandai’. The last time I tasted Gujiya was a couple of years back when my friend had got it to office. Reading through the recipe I felt it was a tad different from the usual, the fact being that the pastries after being fried were dipped into a sugar syrup. Here’s the recipe as it was in the magazine, courtesy chef Subroto Goswami from the Radisson Blu Hotel.
I quartered the amount to prepare 20 gujiyas.
Gujiya (makes 100 pieces)
For the dough
Maida – 1 kg
Water – 400 ml
Ghee or vegetable oil – 300 gm
For the filling:
Khoya – 300gm
Sugar – 2.5 Kg
Kesar – 1 gm
Pista – 50 gm
Almond – 100 gm
Mishri – 50 gm
Coconut powder – 200 gm
For the syrup:
Gulab Jal – 1 tbsp
Sugar – 2.5 kg
Desi ghee – 2kg ( I used Saffola vegetable oil)
To make the dough mix the maida, ghee and water. The water can be added bit by bit to get the right consistency.
Prepare the filling by adding all the ingredients and keep aside.
Prepare the sugar syrup having 2 string consistency.
Make small balls out of the dough and roll them out into thin round shapes. Place the mixture in the middle and cover with the other side to form semicircular patties. Pinch and roll the edges to seal the filling.
Heat oil or ghee and fry them till golden brown and drop them into the sugar syrup. Let them soak in the syrup for a few minutes, drain the excess syrup and serve. They taste best when slightly warm.
Hope you enjoy them. HAPPY HOLI to all my readers.