Restaurants and chefs give Holi an innovative spin
Restaurants and chefs give Holi an innovative spin

Holi is coming up. The festival of colours is celebrated in springtime with as much fervour and excitement as you can imagine! It makes the opportunity for bonding, fun and applying colour to friends, family and neighbours to mark happiness and joy in people’s lives. While the fun is day-long, it’s not just about the gulal and rang, but also indulging in some delicious festive food. Chaats, pakoras, gujiyas, barfis and ras malai as traditional faves. But time, hotels and food entrepreneurs are giving sweets an innovative and fun twist, with new flavours and some quirky packaging…

Thandai goes unique

This time, move away from mithai in the form of traditional barfis, jalebis and imartis. Go unconventional, instead! Marina Correa, of Cakers N Makers, has come up with a thandai bundt cake and a thandai chocolate bar. She says, “A lot of customers wanted to go offbeat and with thandai being a must-have I created a version in the form of a cake, which makes for than one way to enjoy this ingredient. The cakes have thandai powder inside and it’s also used as a topping, after which garnishing like pichkaris and coloured chocolate colour splashes are added. People have already placed pre-orders for the cakes as this makes for something different.”

Esora Holi

While Esora Wine and Bistro is offering patrons a fusion dessert called Thandai Cheesecake to lighten up the festive swag, banker-turned home baker Kavya Keswani of Heavenly Sins has created a thandai mousse cake. She says, “This is basically a vanilla sponge cake layered with thandai mousse and a splash of different coloured glaze over the top. The mousse basically consists of white chocolate, fresh cream, thandai powder and whipping cream. People had been so used to having mithais, but I feel that cakes are coming into the picture more than ever now. One can also go mini and make the same dessert in a mug, which becomes lighter.”

For a chilled take on thandai, have it in an ice cream form. Sanmish Marathe, owner of Kesar thandai ice cream and puranpoli ice cream, says, “We wanted to do this the traditional way and so we decided to do the thandai authentically, making our in-house powder and syrup. With the season being hot, this will be a festive and cool way to enjoy the day.”


Festive desserts get redefined

If boxes are not your thing, Taftoon Bar & Kitchen, known for its authentic Kashmiri and Persian cuisine, has dished up a dessert platter with a flavoursome take on sweets. The tray is a mix of kesar matka kulfi, jalebis and malpua, as well as saunf-scented sweetened pan cakes with pistachio rabdi.

Everyone’s fave gujia gets a new spin, too. Sid Mathur, of Khoya has come up with gujia in walnut, coconut and classic flavours. He says, “The classic style has fresh khoya with saffron, dry fruits and toasted desiccated coconut and then the gujia is lightly soaked in sugar syrup. For walnut lovers, I decided to do walnut gujias, with roasted walnuts giving the dessert a distinct flavour. Coconut gujias are another novel idea, where gujias are made with a filling of cashew paste, khoya, pistachio and lightly toasted coconut.”


Hampers find big business

They have vast range of Holi gifting hampers and Holi basket options. With the demand to have creative gifting, has created quirky, creative and packaging to go with Holi offerings. Says founder and CEO, Tarun Joshi, “In keeping with trends, there is herbal gulal that is placed in a gift box with mixed sweets, there are dragees in motif boxes as well as artisan chocolates and truffle gift trays. So many people are looking to go offbeat and unique and these fit in. Since this is a festive occasion, we also came up with ethnic zari potlis that have dry fruit.”  


It’s not just sweets, savouries are also flying off the shelves. Snackible, who make healthy snacks, is back with a Holi hamper curated for the festival of colours. Anuschka Goenka of Asorte Gourmet, an online delivery, says, “People will be having Holi parties at home so grazing platters are much in demand. These make for a healthy, low-cal indulgence and also has something for everyone. On the platter you find gourmet cheeses and fine accompaniments such as fresh preserves, grain-free crackers and antipasti as well as vegan options, so that people can enjoy the party minus the calorie guilt.”

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