Taste like color

Taazi Gobhi-basi paranthe rarely sounds like your incomparable Holi treat. But at my grandparents ’house, it was a breakfast tradition as firmly established as well, good cannabis, chaat, gujia and all those other mouth foods that are associated with Holi.

Cauliflower, its distinctive taste with its freshness, ginger and a pinch of hing were fried and stuffed into a pulpy, where the flavors were mixed but the sharpness of the hing was always different. Fresh from the pan, it will reach the top of the table, hot, scooped only with a piece of triangular parantha, pan-fried the night before, and quite intentionally, eaten cold – at room temperature.

Anyone who grew up in northern India knows at least somewhat that most family obsessions were – or were, before our crazy lives made Maggie quite acceptable food – including hot bread. Puris, fulke, paranthe, even tandoor-baked bread were always served hot, directly from the pan, pan or oven. My family was no exception. So, why and when did they decide that stale paranthe, literally “stale bread”, should start Holi?


Part of it must have been an advantage. With everyone playing Holi in the morning, who would be under the laborious process of rolling out the dough? But in my mind, stale and fresh, stale and fresh, the unexpected combination of finding something like this on a festival table, is also quite symbolic for everything related to Holi: the only festival in the subcontinent that celebrates devotion. Social behavior, breaking boundaries, breaking availability and the mere joy of survival.

Bachanlia is quite acceptable in this stale state. After all, what else is alcohol? Or for Kanji? Like alcohol, kanji, “pickled carrot-water”, is a fermented drink. Some call it an alternative to alcohol. For those who tremble in their shoes on unknown journeys the cannabis-induced surge can take them, Kanji was a safe bet.

Combine black carrots (or regular carrots to which beetroot was added for vibrant red), red pepper powder, black salt and mustard seeds paste, the water was left in the sun for about four to five days. Before activating mustard fermentation. This may be the first “mocktail” in our region: of course the sharp sour and bitter of the taste profile is just like any good cocktail or mocktail.

If Holly broke the restraint, one way to demonstrate this consciousness was to deceive undoubted people. They can be sprayed with colored water and dipped in water to see if they are not; Or they can be fed cannabis-laced pakoras or gujia, not to mention cold. What could be more delicious than a delicious sweet, milky drink spiced with fennel and black pepper? And, what could be more dangerous than this?

But the sensitivity of this whole strategy-or-treat holi is reflected in other foods as well. A gujia, for example, is a sweet samosa. In a different century, you can expect philo pastry peels to break and bite into meaty minced meat. In the next Mughal market, potatoes could become a fair alternative. But Khoya, when did condensed milk start? What role did the Holi tradition play, which is so inherent in both the country, the music and the exuberance of Braj, the milk and the milk maid?

“Fun with food” may be a recent phenomenon that every glamorous, innovative chef is embracing today. However, sports are not reflected in anything other than licking. The best chaat bangs are many small bits together: sour with sweet, sour with spices, squishy on top with curls. Nothing is allowed to remain primitive. You cannot taste a single ingredient. You taste everything at once. For no reason is it so strongly committed to the Holi tradition. Must have laughter poems and gulal at the brunch party. If you can taste the splash of different colors, this is probably it.

Get it quirky

Here are some of the best, freshest, most unexpected cocktails you can drink in your town:

Strawberry Margarita in Olive Beach, Bangalore

It’s a classic that never goes out of fashion. The rose color makes it more suitable for Holi.

Road, Buntel in Gurgaon and Delhi

So you want colorful cocktails to keep up with the festivities? New bongtails even come in glass bongs (water pipes, used for smoking, if you please).

Try their purple hedge – vodka + tequila + gin + dark rum + whiskey + triple sec.

Granita at an ATM in Delhi

Elderflower may be more Nordic than Indians but the syrup goes well with sparkling wine to give you a fresh, sweet cocktail.

Punch in Bombay Canteen, Mumbai

There are various house versions made with a variety of ingredients like kokum, pomegranate juice and apple-cinnamon tea. Made overnight, these cocktails, served in customized brass containers, were conceived and designed by the best in the business, Dimi Lejinska.

Imli Bloody Mary Indigo Daily, Mumbai and Delhi

If you’ve heard of Bloody Mary with a sweet-talk accompaniment on Indigo Daily, the idea seems to have been made with a special tamarind cocktail.

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