Holi is the festival of colours and is celebrated with lot of fun and fervour. For me Holi is a sweet remembrance of the non stop fun we had as children colouring each other with the darkest of shades that would not come out for weeks. Holi meant the kitchen smelling heavenly with yummy treats esp Thandai and Gujiya. It meant spending hours in the bathroom afterwards scrubbing ourselves hard to get the colour out of our hair, face and body. Our nails would be invariably painted with a pink or black colour. And we all looked the same!
I remember when I was small, my cousin brothers who are elder to me were the mastermind behind all the mischief. They would fill scores of balloons with coloured water and throw them at their friends. Each year, it was a competition of sorts to paint each other with the toughest of colours that would take weeks to come out. Going next day to school meant meeting my friends in different shades.
Things thankfully have changed over the years. For better reasons, the culture of playing Holi with those chemicals is slowly reducing. People are realizing the after effects of these meaningless colours and have started opting for Organic colours. I personally prefer Holi now with dry colours or what we call Abeer.
For Holi this time, I experimented with the very famous Thandai flavour and incorporated it in cookies. Thandai is a popular drink consumed esp during Holi which is made by grinding almonds, rose petals, fennel seeds, melon seeds and black peppercorns and adding to milk. There is a variation called Kesariya Thandai where saffron is added to the mixture but the most famous one is the Bhang Thandai which is basically adding the leaves of cannabis plant whihc has intoxicant properties.
Ingredients : Yields about 15 cookies
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour (maida)
- 3 tbsp whole wheat flour (atta)
- 2 tsp rice flour (chawal ka atta)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- a pinch of baking soda
- 6 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp butter, cold
- 2 1/2 tbsp Thandai spice
- 1 tbsp rose water
- 1 tbsp milk
- almonds, chopped
- khus khus/posto (Poppy seeds) for sprinkling on top
Thandai spice : This will make a little more than the quantity required in the cookies
- 1/2 cup dries red rose petals
- 2 tsp fennel seeds/saunf
- 2 tsp melon seeds/magaj
- 4-5 green cardamoms/hari elaichi
- 15 whole black peppercorns/gol mirch
Thandai spice :
Grind all the ingredients to a fine powder.
Sieve the mixture to get a further fine powder and remove any particles.
Cookie dough :
Add all purpose, whole wheat and rice flour in a bowl and mix with sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Add cold butter and rub the flour in the butter till it gets incorporated in the flour mixture.
Add the Thandai spice and mix.
Now add rose water and milk and knead to a smooth dough. If required add a little more of the rose water/milk.
Cover in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
Take the dough out to come to room temperature before you begin baking them.
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and line a baking tray with a lightly greased parchment paper/aluminium foil.
Dust a little flour on your work station and roll the dough to 1/8" thickness.
Cut out cookie shapes with a round cookie cutter or a round shaped bowl/glass.
Press in the chopped almonds on top of the cookie and sprinkle with khus khus/posto seeds.
Place the cookies on the baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or till they are browned well.
Allow to cool completely to crisp them.
- Substitute rice flour with corn flour.
- Be more experimental and add Bhang to the cookie dough.
Wishing all of you a Happy and Colourful Holi