From Ghujiya to Thandai: History of Holi Special Sweets

History of Holi Special Sweets and how these sweets make this festival special

Holi is clearly, the most awaited festival of the year. It is a time where we all leave behind old memories, broken relationships and just enjoy this beautiful bonding moment with colours and joy. This year Holi will be celebrated on 29th March. A lot of things make Holi special. Not only colours and family bondings, but sweets are also a vital part of the Holi celebration. Be it Ghujiya or Thandai, here is a brief history of Holi special sweets.

Considering 2020 has been a year of staying indoors and social distancing, people are desperately waiting for a joyous occasion such as Holi to be with their loved ones and shower them with gulaalHowever, we should still maintain safety and ensure there is no harm to our health. So, keeping up with the spirit of the festival as well our protection we have curated a list of Holi special sweet dishes that you can easily prepare at home, invite friends and family and have a blast.

1. Ghujiya

It is impossible to imagine Holi without the site of these sweets at every mithai shop. The streets are filled with the sweet aroma of frying the ghujiyas in ghee which are stuffed with rich khoya or mawa. The crispy and syrupy flavour of ghujiya with fillings that taste like heaven is a must on this occasion.

History of Ghujia

The half-moon shaped sweet that guarantees delight in every bite you take has a mixed origin. The popular belief is that it came to Rajasthan from Uttar Pradesh. The area it belongs to is the Bundelkhand region in the North that compromises Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Some say that it is inspired by Baklava, a sweet pastry from Turkey as it is also sweetened with syrup and has a crusty flour covering.

However, just like every food item, the process of localisation plays an important role. The fillings, the name and the process can slightly vary in different areas, but as Shakespeare puts it “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.


Read more: Holi Wishes: 10 colourful messages that you can send to your loved ones

Here is the recipe for this mouth-watering

We went the extra mile and found out a bunch of places in Delhi that serve the best Ghujia. Here is a list-

  • Kanwarji

Located in the heart of Chandni Chowk, this 1850 shop is the best place for some sweets and snacks.

  • China Ram Sindhi Confectioners

Located in Chandni Chowk, this place in a popular choice of many as it is one of the oldest shops that has been serving some quality and yummy items.

  • Haldiram’s

Haldiram’s offers a different take on the traditional sweet by giving you the Kesar, Maida, Coconut and various varieties to choose from.

  • Gulab

Located in Pitampura, this sweet shop is probably one of the best places in East Delhi to get some good Ghujiyas and other sweets as well.

  • Tewari Sweets

In the market of Lajpat Nagar, this sweet shop attracts many due to their amazing sweets and you have to try their Ghujias.

2. Thandai

It is no surprise that the summer is already upon us. The answer to this is the sweet-spicy thandai that forms an integral part of the Holi celebration.

Thandai is a traditional drink that is made using dry fruits, some seeds and spices in milk.

History of Thandai

Thandai is one of the oldest drinks in the country. The first record of it dates back to as old as 1000 BC! Thandai mixed with Bhang has also been a popular drink that was served to Lord Shiva. The cultural significance of Bhang and thandai is important for Shivratri as well as Holi.

Here is the recipe-


3. Malpua

Malpua is a paradise for ghee lovers. It is the Indian version of pancakes- juts a lot sweeter and fried! It is usually served with rabdi or condensed milk and dry fruits on top.

History of Malpua

The mention of Malpuas dates back to Vedic times. Several Vedic scriptures have mentioned “apupa”, which is the origin of Malpua. It is popular in Northern and Eastern India. It is also a breakfast item that is served to Lord Jagannath in Odisha.

Here is the recipe for you-

Considering that Holi is a festival that is purely meant for eating, feasting and letting go- we suggest that you go wild and enjoy the fullest.

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Harshita Bajaj

Harshita has a background in Psychology and Criminology and is currently pursuing her PhD in Criminology. She can be found reading crime thrillers (or any other book for that matter) or binge-watching shows on Netflix when she is not in hibernation.
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