A collection of holi recipes of Indian sweets andIndian snacks to inspire you to whip up a tasty treat! I’ve included my favorite traditional recipes and Indian fusion creations.
I hope this post gives you some new inspiration to create in the kitchen. Whether you are a pro or a beginner, there is something here for everyone.
All recipes are vegetarian on my site. Where possible, I also offer alternative vegan options.
Holi, the festival of colors is in a way a kick off to the season of colors as we enter spring season. Whether you are looking for a traditional recipe or Indian fusion for a holi party, I got you covered!
Scroll through to find a traditional Indian dessert recipe or one of my Indian fusion creations!
Celebrated in March, Holi marks the arrival of spring after a long winter and symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
Holi is a spring and harvest festival that is celebrated throughout India and globally, also known as “The Festival of Colors.”
On the first day, bonfires are lit, and the following day, people throw colored powder and water at each other in celebration. It is a joyful and festive event that marks the arrival of spring.
How is Holi celebrated?
The celebration of the Hindu Holi festival begins the evening before the festival of Holi, known as Choti Holi or Holika Dahan. On that day, large bonfires are lit in many parts of India to symbolize the burning of evil spirits.
Some families do a prayer and walk around the fire once. People often offer coconut and add popped sorghum or rice to the fire. Note, India is very diverse and traditions of offerings can vary greatly from region to region just like Indian cuisine.
The lighting of a bonfire on Choti Holi or Holika Dahan symbolizes the burning away of negative and evil elements, and the heat of the fire also indicates the arrival of summer and the end of winter.
On the day of Holi, people usually wear all white, and colored powder is thrown playfully around at each other. Water guns and water baloons are also filled with colored water.
Families gather for festive meals and Indian sweets.
Thandai is a refreshing cold drink served on Holi. It is made with crushed nuts, seeds, rose petals, cardamom, black pepper, saffron, milk, and sugar. You’ll find Thandai Powder in the Drinks section below.
Dahi vada (dahi bhalla) and puran poli are popular Holi recipes too.
Holi Sweets: Traditional + Fusion
What better way to brighten the Holi celebration of colors than with bright and delicious Indian desserts?
You can find something for your Holi celebration from an easy recipe, like Greek yogurt shrikhand to classics like gajar ka halwa. A healthier option is Khajur Barfi made with dry fruits.
You’ll find unique, fusion recipes you won’t see anywhere else such as Thandai-inspired baklava!
There’s even Gulab Jamun Cake which uses saffron sugar syrup, yum.
Indian Baklava – Thandai flavors Indian fusion
Indian flavors meet a Greek dessert in this Indian fusion sweet treat. Flavors are inspired by Thandai.
Gajar ka halwa is a traditional India dessert made of shredded carrots flavored with cardamom and sugar. Made with no khoya. The carrot halwa is a easy dessert that can be served on its own or even with ice cream.
Easy Khajur Burfi or Dry fruit barfi (Date Nut Roll)
Dry fruit barfi or khajoor barfi or date roll burfi is so easy and a healthy sweet treat. It is a dates sweet or date burfi that is sweet, crunchy and delicious. This dry fruit burfi is made of nuts, dates, cardamom and coconut. There is no added sugar and it comes together in minutes! Great option for a healthier mithai option to serve.
Vegan carrot halwa or gajar ka halwa is a popular traditional Indian dessert made of shredded carrots. The carrot halwa is a easy dessert that can be served on its own or even with plant based ice cream.
Gulab jamun cake, always a party hit, is an easy, delicious,moist, saffron simple syrup-soaked cardamom cake with gulab jamun baked inside!The cake is layered with a light rose whipped cream or can be made without it.Read on to learn more about this yummy moist cake!
A very easy and fun dessert, kaju katli ice cream sandwiches with a variety of toppings that kids can get in on! This dessert can be completely made from store bought ingredients or you can make the kaju katli at home! This would be a great kid friendly party dessert where everyone can add toppings to their own sandwiches.
An easy, delicious moist, milk soaked cardamom cake with layers of rasmalai topping and rose cardamom whipped cream. It actually has rasmalai in it! This cake can be made either completely homemade or semi-homemade.
Moist and spongy traditional Gujarati khaman dhokla recipe! This instant savory besan (gram flour) khaman is a flavorful, steamed and so tasty. This recipe uses no yogurt or curd so it is both vegetarian and vegan.
Sev mamra or sev murmura is a 10-minute light snack made of puffed rice, spices, and sev. Tastes great as a crunchy tea-time snack or on the go. It has that crunchy addictiveness of popcorn but with more flavor.
You’ll need a delicious drink for your Holi events. Thandai is synonymous with Holi so I definitely recommend checking out the first one below. Make a pitcher of it the night before for a yummy, traditional drink.
10 Minute Instant Thandai Powder (Thandai Masala)
Ready in 10 minutes, this homemade thandai powder is a blend of nuts and Indian spices that gives delicious, deep flavors that are SO much better than store-bought thandai masala powder.
What Is Mango Lassi? + Recipe Using Mango Pulp (Fresh or Canned)
Indian mango lassi is a popular and delicious Indian drink made in 5minutes with either canned mango pulp or ripe, fresh mangoes to make mango puree. I have a tip on an ingredient to use for restaurant style lassi.
Measure out the ingredients into a bowl. Mix well to combine.
Roll round ladoo shapes with your hands into a smooth ball. If it feels sticky to you, you can optionally put a little ghee or coconut oil on the palm of your hands first to reduce stickiness.
Roll the sweet ball of coconut ladoos in some desiccated coconut powder. Garnish with crushed rose petals. Optionally refrigerate if you like a firm consistency.
Making it veganTo make vegan coconut ladoos, just replace the condensed milk with dairy-free condensed milk. I recommend oat condensed milk.Pro TipsPlace the ladoos on parchment paper and place them in the fridge to help them set quicker. If you put too much desiccated coconut, you will get a dry ladoo. This results in a choking-type feeling when eating them. So, adjust to your liking but be careful not to add too much coconut.