Happy Holi everyone :)) For my non Indian readers who want to know what Holi is , here is some info(Holi).Every time around Holi and Diwali,I miss home so much its almost painful. My mind is flooded with good times and memories-friends and family hanging out,mom's superlative cooking,dad's organizing a community dinner and us kids helping organize and being mom's side kicks in the kitchen.
Holi was always such a blast.We started the day in our old clothes because we knew that they would be unrecognizable at the end of the day ,so why bother.White was the color of choice since it showcased all the other colors we would play with,so well.Some of us were more adventurous and wore new white and paid the price for it:))
Mom would start preparing all the goodies on Holi eve -gujhia, mathi, chaat, kachoris, gulabjamuns ,other sweets and a lunch menu(gosh, the woman never tired).Come Holi morning and we had a stream of visitors-applying dry colors on each others face and exchange holi goodies-funnn!!The ritual continued with us visiting more friends.After we had played dry holi for a few hours,the kids would graduate to the wet holi(mixing dry colors with water,the more adventurous tried to mix colors that would not come off for many days).We would splash that colored water one each other, over and over again on each other till we could not tell who the other person was .It was hilarious to return to school next day with pink ears or purple hands.Ofcourse none of us gave any thought to how all that color would come off. Let me just tell you, it took hours of cleaning just to look normal again, but always worth it.
The dry colors
And now to the Yummy part.We had our traditional Holi lunch of rajma(kidney beans), dahi bada/dahi vada/dahi bhalley( fried,salted lentil donuts in spicy yogurt),pulao(basmati rice with seasoning),poori(fried Indian flat bread),other side dishes that varied and kheer(stove top pudding made with rice, milk and sugar).Mom made sure, she passed on her recipes to her 3 kids and we proudly carry on the tradition to this day.The day ended with more friends visiting and before we knew it the day was over and we were already waiting for Next year.I still do:)
Holi in the US of A can be a lot of fun with the right people and Iam lucky to have the right people in my life. Though mom and dad can't be here all the way from India , I always feel their presence and blessings in all festivities and my celebrations with freinds.Here's one of my previous holi posts.(Holi 2007)and one of my holi recipes here(Tomato Paneer)
Here are pictures from one of my host fun holi ever ..Holi 2005,we organized a get together and had about 20 friends over
just to give you an idea of the physical transformation
and how colorful too
What's holi without some singing?
So what's cooking in my kitchen for Holi 2009 How about some dahi vada(or dahi bhalley)?Dahi vada is popular street food and also is a great side dish to many an Indian dinner/lunch parties.Its essentially vadas(fried,salted lentil donuts) in thick,spicy yogurt sauce.
1 cup urad dal( washed, soaked overnight and ground to a fine paste.Dont add too much water or the vadas will not hold their shape)
2 inch piece of ginger grated
2-3 green chillies finely chopped
salt to taste
oil for deep frying(I use canola oil, you can use what you want)
2 cups yogurt
4 cups water
Red chili powder to taste
Tamarind chutney(you can pickup ready made chutney at the Indian store)
some lukewarm water to soak the vadas for a few minutes
2 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoon dahi vada masala(available at Indian grocery stores)
1 teaspoon red chili powder
chopped coriander leaves
This is how you make it
Fold in the grated ginger, green chillies and salt to the urad dal paste and salt.
Pre-heat oil for fryingand roll up your sleeves:)wet your palm with some water and place some urad dal batter on it.Shape it like a donut,then dip your finger in water and poke a penny sized hole into the donut.Gently drop it into the hot oil.(often times, the donut looks done from the outside but actually isn't cooked on the inside.The key is to have the oil at the right temperature and fry it till it turns a golden brown.Dont leave it in the oil too long, it turns dark and hard very fast).Now place these vadas into the lukewarm water you had kept aside. Let them soak for a few minutes and watch them .Dont let them turn all soggy. Take them out,remove the excess water by pressing between both your palms and keep aside.Now, prepare the yogurt with water,and salt(to taste). Blend into a smooth consistency. Divide into two parts. Add the vadas to the first part.Once that's done,pour the second part of the yogurt on top of the vadas.You can perform this step in a nice serving dish or you could do it seperately and then transfer it to a serving dish. Once in the serving dish,add the tamarind chutney in pretty patterns, then repeat the pattern with red chillies, dahi vada masala and cumin powder. In the end add some chopped coriander for that pop of color.(My picture doesn't have the coriander , I know ..I forgot)
There you go. Enjoy this colorful , sweet and savory dish.I look forward to posting more pictures from Holi 2009 celebrations on the weekend
This recipe is dedicated my family and friends