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3 Holi recipes with a twist

Make a thandai with chia seeds, reimagine puran poli with ragi and add whole wheat flour to gujiyas

Ragi millet puran poli by Four Points by Sheraton, Navi Mumbai, Vashi.
Ragi millet puran poli by Four Points by Sheraton, Navi Mumbai, Vashi.

This Holi, give a twist to traditional favourites. Siddhesh Sawant, sous chef, at Four Points by Sheraton in Navi Mumbai, Vashi, shares three innovative recipes for an elevated festive menu complete with the warmth of homecooked food. 

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Ragi Millet Puran Poli


50 gms chana dal

150 ml water

100 gms ghee

5 gms fennel powder

5 gms ginger powder

5 gms cardamom powder

2 gms nutmeg powder

50 gms jaggery powder

50 gms whole wheat flour

15 gms all-purpose flour

50 gms ragi flour

15 gms salt

5 gms turmeric powder (optional)


Rinse the chana dal well. Alternately, you can soak the chana dal for 30 minutes to one hour and then drain the water.

Cook the chana dal with 3 cups water for 4 to 5 whistles on medium heat.

The dal must be cooked well. If you soak the chana dal, the cooking time will be reduced.

Once the pressure settles on its own in the cooker, open the lid. Carefully strain the cooked dal using a sieve. Drain all the water or stock from dal. Keep the stock aside. This stock can be used for making kata chi amti which is a thin tempered dal in Maharashtrian cuisine, or use it to knead rotis, or cook rice and vegetables.

Heat ghee in a frying pan or kadai (wok) and add ginger powder, nutmeg powder, cardamom powder and fennel powder.

Saute these ground spices for a few seconds on a low heat.

Add the chana dal and jaggery. Stir and let this puran mixture cook on low heat till the mixture becomes dry.

Keep on stirring the puran mixture at regular intervals.

Once the puran stuffing becomes dry and thick, turn off the heat.

Let it cool and then mash the puran mixture with a potato masher. You can also use your mixer to mash the puran mixture very well. Set aside.

In a bowl, take whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, ragi and salt. Add a little bit of water and ghee and mix. Begin to knead the dough adding water as needed. The dough should be smooth, supple and soft. Cover and keep aside the dough to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Take a medium or large-sized ball from the dough. Roll it 2 to 3 inches in circumference on a dusted rolling board. Place a portion of puran mixture in the centre of the rolled dough. Bring the edges together towards the centre. Join all the edges and pinch them.

Sprinkle some flour and start rolling the dough. Make a medium or large circle (poli/roti) depending on the size of the dough and puran filling.

On a heated tawa (griddle), spread some ghee. Place the rolled poli/dough circle on the tawa.

When one side gets browned, turn over and cook the other side till you see some brown spots.

Once the other side gets browned, turn over and apply ghee. If these steps are followed properly then the puran poli will puff up. When the puran has brown spots and turns golden, it’s a sign that it’s cooked well.

Make all puran polis this way and stack them in a casserole, or roti basket, or in a kitchen napkin. Serve puran poli warm or at room temperature with milk, ghee or curd.

Cooling thandai


1 tin (380gms) condensed milk

1 litre toned milk

20 gms almonds

5 gms cardamom powder

10 gms fennel seeds

20 gms pista and cashew nuts

5 gms khus essence

5 gms peppercorns

15 gms rose petals

10 gms chia seeds, soake

Pinch of saffron



Soak and peel 10 almonds. Grind them with cardamom to a fine paste.

Soak pista, cashew nuts and fennel. Blend till they are a smooth mixture.

Mix this paste with the almond mix , condensed milk, toned milk, khus essence and peppercorn. Strain.

Fill half a glass with crushed ice and top it up with the above Thandai mixture.

Mix in the soaked chia seeds, garnish with rose petals and saffron and serve chilled.


Wholewheat gujiya


120 gms whole wheat flour

125 gms all-purpose flour

5 gms salt

25 gms ghee

Water as requited

100 gms khoya

25 gms almond

25 gms cashewnut

25 gms pistachio

15 gms raisin

25 gms raisin

25 gms jaggery

5 gms cinnamon powder

100 ml oil


Take the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt in a bowl.

Heat ghee in a small pan or bowl until it melts and becomes warm. Pour the ghee into the flour mixture.

First mix the ghee with a spoon. Then mix with your hands to form a bread crumb like texture.

Add water in parts and begin to knead well. The amount of water needed will depend on the quality and texture of the flour.

Knead the dough till firm and tight. Cover the dough with a moist cloth and set aside for 30 minutes.

Crumble or grate the khoya. Chop the nuts, raisins and set aside.

Melt ghee in a pan on a low heat. Add the crumbled or grated khoya. Stir the khoya continuously on a low heat. Cook the khoya, till it begins to gather around itself. Switch off the heat and place the pan on the kitchen countertop. Let the khoya stuffing cool completely.

Now, add powdered sugar, the chopped nuts, raisins and cardamom powder. Sieve the powdered sugar if there are lumps. Mix everything well and keep the stuffing aside. Check the taste and add more sugar if you prefer.

Divide the dough into two parts. Make a medium log of each part and slice it into equal parts. Roll each part in your palms to make balls and place all the balls in the same bowl. Cover with a moist kitchen towel.

Dust the rolling board lightly with some flour. Roll each ball with the rolling pin to form a small circle with a diameter of 4 to 5 inches. With your fingertips or a pastry brush, apply water all over the circumference edge.

Place about 1 to 1.5 tablespoon of the prepared khoya filling on one side of the circle, keeping the edges empty.

Use a small gujiya cutter or pizza cutter to trim the extra edges. When doing this, it is very important that the gujiya is pressed and sealed well. However, it is best to make pleats with your fingertips the edges if you plan to fry. This way the stuffing does not leak while frying and the Gujiya look good too.

In a wok, heat the oil, and fry the gujiyas till they are golden brown. Serve warm.

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