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10 Wonderful Traditional Holi Foods

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Food eaten on the festival of colors, Holi,  is synonymous with all aspects of the celebrations. People celebrate it by smearing colors on each other and then head to the dining area to feast on special Holi food. Visitors who come over with colors are greeted with a variety of sweets and savories as well. Here is a list of 10 wonderful traditional holi food for those who want to celebrate the festive occasion in keeping with their Indian culture and tradition…



  • Traditional Holi Foods

All recipes made for Holi are enjoyed with great fervor by friends and family. Given below are some traditional recipes that are prepared during Holi.


  1. Gujia – This is the most ubiquitous filled-pastry like sweet dish commonly prepared in northern part of India for Holi. In fact in parts of Lucknow one would find at least 10 different varieties of gujia being prepared, with a variation in filling and/or crust.

  2. Papri – A savory snack served with chutney made from mint leaves, papri can be eaten as a dish in itself or used as a base for preparing other dishes like papri chaat, khaara choorma etc. One can either make these at home or purchase ready made papris from sweetmarts.

  3. Puran poli – This is a famous sweet dish from the Deccan plateau of India. The dish is prepared like sweet flattened bread and made using jaggery and wheat flour along with other spices and condiments.

  4. Malpua – Another sweet dish traditionally prepared during Holi, Malpua is prepared with flour and sugar syrup. It may be served as is or with rabri. Unlike other sweets, this one can be prepared in advance for Holi feast since it has a long shelf period.

  5. Dahi bhalle – These are savory lentil dumplings made with urad dal (split black gram), this snack is very popular and eaten with mint chutney or curd.

  6. Bhang - No Holi celebrations are complete without drinking bhang. Bhang is made of cannabis leaves that are ground into paste and added to milk, clarified butter and water for a refreshing but addictive drink.

  7. Kesar chawal – This lovely form of rice is a favorite main course dish during the Holi feast. Rice is fried and cooked with saffron or kesar to give a characteristic yellow color to the rice dish. Sweetened varieties of the dish is also common during the festival.

  8. Kanji ke vade – This savory is made by soaking soaking urad dal and rai overnight and then grinding them into paste form. Scoops of this mix is deep fried and drained prior to serving. This is one of the most popular Holi foods.

  9. Thandai – A refreshing cool drink made using poppy seeds, rose petals, black peppercorns and leaves of cannabis. Bhang is occasionally added to thandai for that intoxicating Holi effect.

  10. Onion bhajia – Cut onions are mixed with chickpea flour and deep fried. The bhajias are drained on paper towels and served warm with mint chutney.


Holi food recipes vary from home to home but the traditional Holi foods include most of the foods depicted above. So try out these simple recipes and have a blast with colors. Happy Holi!


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10 Wonderful Traditional Holi Foods