Holi: the colours of food

Today is Holi, the festival colours. The best thing about Holi this time is that it is on a Wednesday and there is nothing like a mid week holiday!

I think I last played Holi while I was in school. It was good fun then. Holi in the East doesn't have any food associations unlike the intoxicating drink, Bhaang, the cooling milk and crushed dry fruit drink, thandai, the laddoos and so on in the North. But I do remember playing Holi in our building in Calcutta once when the building committee had got gulab jamuns for all. Our hands were full of colour so the building aunties had to pop the sweets into our mouths.

I didn't really venture out in Holi after I got into college and definitely not after I began to work. I do vaguely remember being smeared with dry colour, aabir, in college the day before Holi. Another Holi memory after I began work was as a bachelor at Mumbai when a friend's sister and brother in law generously hosted some of us who were living alone over the weekend and stuffed us with great food and ever flowing drinks.

Like I said, I have not played holi with colours for years, but come to think of it, there is more to colour than the colours which one smears people with.

Here are some of the colours we played with today:


  • the crinkled red skin of fried chicken sausages, ribbed in the middle
  • the bright yellow of sunny side ups
  • cappuccino brown (Nishant, Tanuja, thanks for the amazing coffee machine)
  • the soothing yellow of butter melting on a pan


  • creamy, off white, yellowish alu posto
  • the orange of mooshoori daal and its metamorphosis into yellow ochre
  • rui fry with its marinade of fiery red chilly powder, the calming light brown of jeera powder and the cheerful yellow of turmeric powder
  • virgin white of lovely steamed, rice


  • Lively red of jelly slices at which came with the coffee at Candies


  • Dark, solid brown of Goan sausages
  • Bursts of green chilly
  • Solid brown and electric pink of chocolate and strawberry mousse from Regal at Pali Naka, Bandra. Allegedly sugar and fat free. 'Allegedly' because they taste too damn good. (yet to try the strawberry one though)

Hmmm, that's quite a colourful Holi, isn't it?

Happy Holi :)