Holi special coverage: Parties, food, fashion and skincare — We present to you the ultimate guide to celebrate this festival of colours
Live music, bevvy cocktails and thandai and special menus will enliven Holi
Celebrate Holi this year with mouth-watering delicacies, parties in town, with a side of conscious skin and hair care to protect yourself from colours. Indulge presents to you a comprehensive guide on how you could go about the Holi celebrations:
Bring in the riot of colours on your plate with these city diners that have rustled up a colourful lot, adding hues of green, pink, yellow and red to the dishes, quite impeccably.
From playing with the notes of thandai to mixing up some bevvy cocktails, each menu is a grand celebration of life. So, drop in with your friends and family and have a whale of a time.
JW Marriott, Kolkata
This Holi, JW Marriott is going to make you indulge. The star property has planned a two-day extravaganza – Colour Me Happy, at JW Lawns. So, on March 18 and 19 from 11 am to 4 pm, live DJ performances, enchanting flower cabanas, organic colours and a wide range of diverse cuisines will entice you. A wide range of hard and soft beverages like Vodka Infused AmmPannaSuji, Vodka Infused Pudina and Jeer Aka Pani, Vodka Infused Gandhraj Lemon Pani, Vodka Infused Aam and PudinaKePani will keep you happy high.
Pocket pinch: Holi Brunch Rs 2199
Holi Celebration Stay Package: Rs 7499 – 25500
Fairfield by Marriott, Kolkata
If unlimited glass of thandai is on your must-do option this Holi the head to Fairfield by Marriott, Kolkata. A live thandai station showcasing an assortment of beverages along with lip-smacking favourites like chaat, Kolkata roll counter, Kebab counter, Biryani station and more will keep you busy all day. Adding to the revelry will be a delightful dessert section comprising ShahiTukra, Baked Boondi, Moong dal halwa, Malpua, Mango Passion Cake and Opera Slice.
Pocket pinch: Buffet starts at Rs 1100+
What’s Up! Cafe
Red Wine Sangria, Grapes Sparklers, Bone Crusher, Sunset Strips, Alphonse Mocktail and What’s Up Special Mocktail are a few tipples that will keep your spirits soaring this Holi. At this three-tier cafe at Southern Avenue, you can pair your drinks with appetizing nibbles like Two In One Kabab, Chicken Angara Kabab, Stuffed Hariyali Paneer Kabab and Palak Hariyali Kabab. Jatra. There will also be a live performance by Partha Banerjee, who promises to captivate the patrons with his soothing voice.
Pocket Pinch: Rs 1500/- plus taxes (without liquor)
At Oudh 1590 celebrate Holi with Rangeela Sharbats. The sweet concoctions made thoughtfully with the theme of the festive season in mind include Gulab Sharbat, Badam Sharbat, Doodh Gulab Sharbat and Aam Khaas and they will add to the celebrations. You can add more jazz to your day with perfectly flavoured and slow-cooked biryani, succulent kebabs and more.
Pocket Pinch : Rs 110 to 140 plus taxes (For the Sharbats)
The temperature is rising steadily outside and nothing can beat the heat but a refreshing drink with a strong punch of lemon and fizz. Chapter 2’s array of coolers featuring irresistible mocktails and cocktails like Earthy Cosmo, Ginger Zing, Clover Club and On The Beach are a saviour. Live music will elevate your mood further.
Pocket Pinch: Drinks start at Rs 250 onwards
Café Offbeat CCU
This Holi, Cafe Offbeat CCU is ensuring customers have limitless fun throughout the day with their Holi-Unlimited Offer! The cafe is a must-visit destination to party with friends, food, music and colours, at Topsia. With unlimited food (starters & mains), unlimited drinks (thandais & mocktails), phenomenal views of the Kolkata skyline and upbeat groovy music, Café Offbeat CCU promises a delightfully memorable
Pocket pinch: Rs 999+ onwards
La Macario Cafe
At this Wood Street European-style café celebrate the festival of colours with some drinks with desi vibes. Quench your thirst with beverages like Classic Pistachio Thandai and Almond Kesaria Coffee and pair them with small bites like Mini Dabeli, Beetroot Dahi Kebab, Mexican Taco Shells with Guacamole, Street Style Chola Kulcha, Batata Hara Pockets and Middle East Platter. Seal the deal with a luscious Thandai Almond Cheesecake.
Pocket Pinch: Rs. 1100 plus taxes
Get into the mood with Monkey Bar’s special concoction that combines the traditional festival spirit with boozy indulgence with Holi Colada, a fun, boozy milk-based cocktail that represents the heart of the ‘thandai’ culture featuring thickened milk infused with badam shirin, loaded with white rum, topped with almond slivers and a touch of saffron.
Pocket pinch: Rs. 1400++ (without alcohol) and Rs. 2000++ (with alcohol)
Move over Virgin Mojito and get refreshed with Virgin Thandai, which is one of the highlights of the Holi special menu at Zobet. Also, worth bingeing is their Thandai Base Cocktails. Pair your drinks with appetizers like Soy and Spice Bourbon Braised Drums of Heaven, Bok Choy Roll Dim Sum, Malaysian Crispy Soy Curd, to name a few.
Pocket pinch: Rs 1,100 + taxes without alcohol and Rs 2,100 + taxes with alcohol
The Westin Kolkata, Rajarhat
The Holi themed buffet at The Westin Kolkata, Rajarhat has been specially curated by the talented culinary team that will showcase Holi Special chaat station, Korma, Kebabs and curries, Shikanji, Lassi and Thandai counter, gujiya, Grill stations and many more live stations to select from. The scrumptious dessert option will include a variety of course enders to provide a sweet gift for the ladies.
Pocket Pinch: Rs 1799++
The Salt House
At The Salt House, an extensive menu has been planned to keep you high on energy throughout the day. If you are looking for small bites the from the small plates check out nibbles like Cheddar and Jalapeno croquettes with queso, Hummus, Pickles and wood-fired Kulcha, Bottle Masala Fries, Off-the-bone Chicken Wings, Beer-battered Chingri. For the mains there are Burrata Rosso Pizza, Mushroom Tortellini in truffle & parmesan veloute, Tex Mex Bowl, grilled harissa Chicken and Pan-roasted Bhetki, to name a few. For desserts, there are Hazelnut Mousse with salted caramel and french biscuit, Italian lemon, gondhoraj and lime cheesecake and Apple pie tart and cinnamon ice cream amongst others.
Pocket Pinch: Rs. 2000 plus taxes
Heading to Salt Lake with your gang? Raise a toast with heady and colourful concoctions at The Spirits. This plush watering hole at Sector V has curated a memo that will take your celebrations to another level. Sample Balam Pichkari, a vodka-based drink with litchi juice and a blend of white egg, Rang Barsay, a Jin-based drink with crushed ice and colour tonic water. Also gorge on lip-smacking dishes like Rangoli Puchka, Holi Special Kebab and others.
Pocket Pinch: Rs 1500 +
At William’s Kitchen in Shakespeare Sarani, your plate will be as colourful as it gets. The flavourful options include conversation starters and facilitators like Makai ka Shobra, Vibrant coloured Paneer Trio Platter, Hyderabadi Biryani, Gajar Ka Halwa and more.
Pocket Pinch: Rs 1599+
This Instagram-worthy gastropub at Sector V will be setting up a Holi Special Mocktail Counter, which means unlimited glasses of thandai on the table. Also, their unlimited buffet is lavish and the highlight includes Agra Ragra Chat, Steamed Dimsums and Assorted desserts. Entry: ₹1000
Pocket Pinch: Rs 1000 + per head
Party in style at LMNO_Q and surrender yourself to the high notes of the DJ and the chef. So, while the music mixer will add to the mood with some refreshing hits, the chef will tease your tastebuds to some interesting flavour, specially curated for the day. Sample Kishtwar Zafraan Murgh Shorba, Americano Jhalmuri, Park Street Paneer Tikka Platter, Indo Mex Seekh, Rajasthani Murgh Parche, Amritsari Fish Tikka, Delhi 6 Paneer Makhani, Handi Sabz Vegetable Biryani, Delhi 6 Paneer Makhani and Bewadi Murghi to name some. Savour desserts like Brazillian Kiss and Tiramisu Our Style amongst others.
Pocket Pinch: Rs. 1,200 (without alcohol) + tax; Rs. 2,000 with alcohol + tax
Effingut Kolkata’s debut Holi celebrations in the city of joy will be lit. After all, this swanky property in Park Street will be celebrating the day with a Special Desi Night. DJ Girish will elevate the mood with his heady mixes making you hit the dance floor. Also, their lip-smacking appetizers will keep you satiated. Binge on Effin’ Style Aloo Papdi Chaat, Fuchka Wala and Coriander and Sesame Fritters to name some. Pair your dishes with amazingly crafted cocktails like I Love Yuzu and Tommy’s Margarita, amongst others.
Pocket Pinch: Rs 1200 plus taxes (without alcohol), Rs. 2000 plus taxes (with alcohol)
Have a blast this Holi with the special buffet at Polo Floatel, the picturesque hotel diner by the river. Start with some warm soups and fresh salads like Burmese khow suey, Green apple, celery and rocket salad, toasted almond, Tossed garden green salad and move on to Sunehri paneer tikka with dhaniya aur pudina ka chutney, Vegetable spring roll with sweet chilli sauce, Gandharaj fish fry with kasundi mayo dip and Bengali style chicken cutlets. The dessert counter with Chocolate peda, Apple kheer, Malpua with rabri and Puran poli will make for sweet endings.
Pocket Pinch: Non-alcoholic: Rs 1999 + taxes | Alcoholic: Rs 2500 + taxes
This Holi, Traffic Gastropub is all set to present its specially curated concoctions that combine the traditional spirit along with boozy indulgence. So, double the fun with their Rainbow Shots, Thandai, Rang Barse and Rangoli Cocktail Platter.
Pocket Pinch: Rs 1500 for two people (approx)
Canteen Pub & Grub, Kolkata
Continue your holi party at Canteen Pub & Grub, Kolkata, with a range of delectables from their eclectic holi-themed menu. The highlights include Singaporean PohPai, Pepper Blust Chicken, Gulabi Anardana Paneer Tikka and Gulal Murgh Tikka. Pair these dishes with their fun, boozy concoctions like Purple Haze, Spring Blossom, Colour Me Pink, Mast Thandai and Ocean Breeze.
Pocket Pinch: Rs. 1700 for two people (approx)
Lord of the Drinks, Kolkata
This Holi, the most happening watering hole of the city, Lord of the Drinks Kolkata has specially curated two fun boozy concoctions for its patrons. While Matka Tini is a fun boozy vodka and milk-based cocktail that represents the thandai culture, Paan Tini is loaded with white rum, cranberry juice, lemon juice and garnished with orchid and meetha paan to add colour.
Pocket Pinch: Rs. 1800 for two people (approx)
Hard Rock Café, Kolkata
Indulge in some gluttonous bingeing, this Holi with Hard Rock Cafe Kolkata as it is all set to tantalise your taste buds with their eclectic range of food and drinks. Start off with Rhythm & Rose Mule or Blackberry Sparkling Sangria and pair these drinks with delectable delicacies like Tropical Burger, Katsu Chicken Burger or Charred Huli Huli Veg Skewers.
Pocket Pinch: Rs. 2500 for two people (approx)
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Aftercare for your skin: Vedic’s Watermelon Body Scrub
Holi colours can be pretty stubborn as they get stuck in your pores and require multiple washes before going away for good. An exfoliating scrub can come to your rescue in such a case and leave your skin feeling soft and supple. Vedic’s Watermelon Body Scrub contains volcano sand and vitamin-e oils that will not leave your skin feeling dry.
Pocket Pinch: Rs. 699
Skincare for Holi: Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Replenishing Oil
Shield your face from destructive colours and chemicals with Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Replenishing Oil. It will not just help you protect your skin but keep it hydrated while you immerse yourself in Holi colours. The fast absorbing facial oil is infused with jojoba esters that will give you a healthy glow as you head out.
Pocket Pinch: Rs. 8500
Holi Healing: The Moms Co.'s Natural Hair Strengthening Oil for moisture lock
As much as Holi reminds us of colours, food and desi parties; it also brings in skin and hair damage. UV Rays, dust, colours and their chemicals can do more harm than good, so here are some skin and hair care products for you:
Locking in some moisture before stepping out is undoubtedly a clever way to combat colour particles sticking to your hair follicles. Homegrown brand The Moms Co. has launched a Natural Hair Strengthening Oil enriched with the goodness of Amla, Bhringraj and Coffee that can protect your hair from breakage, split ends and hair fall.
Pocket Pinch: Rs. 429 for 100ml
Or if you prefer to go more chic and trendy, this is THE ONE for you!
Designer Kacha Tanka’s ivory dhoti wrap skirt set featuring an ivory wrap top in cotton voile base with thread and glass beads embroidery is sure to turn heads. It is paired with a matching dhoti wrap skirt and a chiffon tie-dye shrug, perfect for that stylish look at the bash. Price Rs 8,960. Available online.
Here's one more cute dress that is the epitome of feminine elegance!
Designer Shivani Bhargava’s hand block-printed tier dress is perfect if you want to go for an easy-breezy look. Fine pink rose jaal with pink green stripes and green polka gives a distinctive look to this side-tier dress. Price Rs 6,800. Available online.
Celebrity chef Saby Gorai shares a delish Holi recipe: Dry Fruit Gujiya with Coconut Ice Cream
Celebrity chef Saby Gorai might not be in Chennai this Holi. But he did share one of his favourite Holi recipes with us to create at home. The culinary director of Dank, who has spent much of the past year straddling work in Delhi and Chennai says, “This traditional dessert is quite popular up North but I am giving you my take on it with a South Indian twist.”
Dry fruit gujiya with Coconut Ice cream
3 cups Maida | 6 tbsp Ghee | ½ cup Water
1 tbsp Ghee | 250 gms Khoya/Mawa | ½ cup dry coconut (grated) | 1.5 tbsp Almonds (chopped) | 1.5 tbsp Pistachio (chopped) | 1.5 tbsp Cashew nuts (chopped) | 1.5 gms Cardamom powder | Ghee for frying
25 gms Dry Rosella Flowers | 50 ml Water | 1 tbsp Sugar | ½ tsp Lemon juice
? For Rosella jam, combine everything except lemon juice and cook. When it comes to the desired consistency, add lemon juice and keep aside.
? For dough, kindly mix all the ingredients and knead until you get a firm and tight dough. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
? For the filling, sauté grated dry coconut in ghee, add remaining ingredients and cook well.
? Roll the dough into small roundels, stuff the filling and close tightly in a half-moon shape.
? Deep fry the gujiya in ghee.
? Serve right away with Rosella jam and coconut ice cream.
To all the men out there, this bandi set is a guaranteed head-turner!
Gargee Designer’s super light linen embroidered bandi set is all you need for this Holi. The tie-dye ensemble is perfect for bringing your traditional best forward as you tackle the spray of colours. Price Rs 25,500. Available online.
Here's the perfect outfit to enjoy Holi to the fullest!
We concede that a complete white ensemble at a Holi party is timeless. Designer Deepika Arora’s white ponte roma playsuit with puffed sleeves and patchwork does the trick. It also comes paired with a matching belt too. Let the party begin! Price Rs 5,800. Available online.
Recipe for Gulab Kesari Thandai:
Thandai Masala Paste – 1 Tbsp, Boiled Chilled Full Fat Milk – 200 Ml, Sugar Powder – 2 Tbsp, Gulkand – 1 Tbsp, Mixed Chopped Nuts – 1 Tbsp, Rose Syrup – 4 Tbsp, Dry Rose Petals – 1 Tsp, Saffron – as required.
Take Chilled Milk and add the Thandai Masala Paste, Sugar, Rose Syrup, and Gulkand and stir well to mix all the ingredients evenly. Garnish with the chopped nuts and the dry rose petals. Served Chilled
Thandai Masala Paste:
Peeled Almonds – ½ Cup, Cashew nut – ½ Cup, Black Pepper Corn – 25 to 30 Corns, Elaichi – 25 to 30 Pcs, Poppy Seeds ( Khus Khus) – 02 Tbsp, Fennel Seeds – 2 Tbsp, Melon Seeds ( Charmagaj) – 2 Tbsp, Saffron – 25 to 30 Strands, Dry Rose Petals – 2 Tbsp
Soak all the ingredients in water for a minimum of four hours. Strain all the ingredients out from the water. Grind the ingredients in a wet grinder to smooth paste. Store it in an air tight container. You can store it for three days in the refrigerator.
Recipe for Mawa Gujiya:
For Gujiya Dough:
Maida – 1 Cup, Suji (rawa)– 1 Tbsp, Baking Soda – 1 Pinch, Ghee – 1/4th Cup.
Take the flour in a mixing bowl and sprinkle rawa and baking powder evenly over the flour. Add ghee into the mix. Now gently whisk it till everything is mixed, but the mixture should be coarse and note fine. Now, add hot water and knead a firm dough. Cover and rest the dough for 30 mins.
For Gujiya Filling:
Powder Sugar –1/3 Cup, Khoya – 1 Cup, Ghee – ½ Tbsp, Chopped Dry Fruits - 1/3rd Cup (Cashew, Almond, Pistachios, Raising), Elaichi Powder – 1/4th Tsp.
Grate the mawa and keep it aside. Dry roast the chopped nuts and let it cool down. Melt the ghee in a heavy bottom pan on low flame add the grated khoya. Cook the khoya till it begins to gather well. Keep aside and let it cool down. Add the chopped nuts, powdered sugar, and elaichi powder. Mix everything well and keep aside. This mixture can be stored in an airtight container for around four days.
For Gujiya Syrup:
Sugar – 4 Cup, Water – 16 Tbsp, Elaichi Powder – 1.5 Tsp, Rose Water – 02 Tsp, Saffron – 8 to 10 Strands.
Mix all the ingredients together in a heavy bottom pan. Keep on a medium flame and bring the liquid to a boil. Keep skimming the liquid to remove the scum. After the syrup is skimmed twice to remove all the impurities, strain the syrup to make sure there are no impurities left and the syrup is clear. Keep cooking the syrup till it gains a single string consistency.
For Assembling and making Gujiya:
Divide the dough in two parts. Make a medium log of each part and slice it into equal parts of 30 Grams each. Roll each slice on your palm into small balls and keep back in the same bowl and cover them. Dust the rolling board with the same flour and roll each ball with a rolling pin to a small circle having 4-5 inch diameter. Do not add too much of flour, use very minimum or no flour if you can manage for rolling. With your fingertip apply water to the circumference edges of the rolled dough. Place a tablespoon full of gujiya filling in the centre of each of the discs; be careful not to overfill the gujiya and to keep the sides empty. Carefully bring together both the edges and gently press the edges. With a small gujiya cutter, trim off the extra edges. It is very important to make sure that the edges are well sealed. Prepare all the gujiyas in this way and arrange them on a plate and cover with a moist cloth and keep aside. Heat oil in a small kadhai on medium heat and deep fry the gujiyas till golden brown on both the sides. Remove the gujiyas from oil and dip them in the sugar syrup for around 30 seconds. Remove and drain on kitchen towel. Serve warm.