Wednesday 7 March 2012

Holi Hai!

It is Holi in India & things are getting very mulayam. As one regime ends & another begins, we are planning to burn all things undesirable in the Holika dahan tonight. In Begusarai, in North Bihar, the enthusiasts would pull off your wooden fence & burn it in the holy fire with a bura na mano holi hai slogan. One could not possibly bura mano in the face of such festivity & you ended up with a new fence every year.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Whether the practice continues there I wouldn't know. We moved out of Begusarai years ago. What those rogues would do to the meaningless statues in the park, I wonder. They couldn't burn them for sure. Behenji is made of sterner stuff. They might have unveiled them one Hoil & pulled them down the next and saved the sarkar some expense.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Different age groups were coloured differently in our small town. While the children were a happy pink & green, the mothers would look silver. Fathers went painting the town black with each throwing the other in water bodies that resembled drains. 
                                                                                                      Malpua & Dum Aloo was our breakfast and mutton & rice, a late lunch, after we returned home as victorious troops, coloured & happy. Evening was visiting neighbours with abeer & eating dahi vada, malpua & dum aloo in their homes. That took care of the dinner. The best Holi of our life was there.
                                                                                                        No drains in London & you dare not look at the neighbour's house, forget pulling out their fence! You can quietly go about making the malpua & dahi vada at home, though. And the mutton, if you wish :)

Ingredients for Malpua
The Pua:
1. 2 cup maida[makes 25-27 malpuas]
2. 1 cup semolina
3. 1/2 tsp aniseed(saunf)
4. 10-12 crushed peppercorns
5. 1 tbsp sliced dry coconut(nariyal gadi)
6. 1tbsp raisins
7. 1/5 tsp baking soda
8. 2tsp sugar(optional)
9. 1 1/2 cup water
10. 1/2 wok full of refined oil- to deep fry 
The Syrup:
1. 5 cups water
2. 4 cups sugar
3. 5-6 whole cardamom

1. Boil the sugar in water & make a one string syrup.
Add cardamom while water is boiling.

Keep it aside.

2. Mix the pua ingredients & let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
This helps the semolina & maida raise in water. The baking powder helps.

Keep the batter thick, you will get round puffy malpuas. If you like them flatter(like chilas), make the batter more liquid by adding extra water.

3. With a serving spoon, put the batter in the hot oil & fry both sides till golden brown. 

Fry on medium heat the first 3-4 minutes so the inside cooks well.

4. Remove the fried puas from oil & put them in the sugar syrup immediately.

Keep removing them from the syrup as you put a fresh lot to 

Serve hot or cold. It is equally delicious, either way.


                            Happy Holi family & friends!
Ma, Kakai & Kaki amar pronam niyo. Bhaiyu, Jaya Bonu, Bilu & Tua, those were the days!
Babai, Aapuma & Dadu, we miss you. Manku Mama, Gauri & Uchit, we think of you. 
Begusarai tujhe salaam!


  1. thanks di for bringing back the fond memories of begusarai..............

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