Bura Na Mano Holi Hai!
Life isn’t all black and white. It has innumerable shades of grey and Holi is one festival that fills our world with colors – fuschia, yellow, green, purple and orange. It reminds us that our lives don’t need to be dull and dreary. It welcomes the spring and the flowers bloom in gaiety everywhere. The throw of colors, meeting of friends and relatives, the fun and play with water and gulal and the intoxicating glass of Bhang; Yeah! Yeah! Holi is such a happy festival.
Holi is as incomplete without Gujiya as it would be without color. On this day, in many kitchens, the sheer half moon puffed pastries stuffed with a mixture of mawa, dry coconut, chironji, almond slivers, and cardamoms are fried to a golden brown before they take a dip into the sugar syrup. Finally, garnished with almond and pistachios and the final delicate sheet of chandi ka varq completes the look. They’re ready to be served.
This is the age of innovation and of late, I have been reading a lot on the varieties of Gujiya the sweets shops are offering. In our growing up years we had just one type – The traditional Gujiya – made with maida and stuffed with desiccated coconut, khoya, and dry fruits. The sweets shops today have let their imaginations run wild and we have Almond Gujiya, Pista Gujiya, Chocolate Gujiya, Kesar Gujiya, only with Suji filling, one without a sugar coating and more. This year I went on a Gujiya shopping spree, tasting and devouring every morsel of the crispy and flaky sweet bought from the stores. By next week I would probably have gained a couple of pounds but I know what my reflection in the mirror will say…. “Bura na mano! Holi hai!’
My Top Five Sweet Shops In Delhi for Gujiya
Evergreen Sweets, Green Park– More than fifty years old, the Evergreen Sweets Shop has been a landmark in Green Park since 1963. Initially, they served a wide array of sweets only but have now expanded into a multi-cuisine restaurant serving chole bhature, papdi chaat, Chinese and North Indian dishes. It’s good food served at reasonable prices in a casual dining set up.
Location: S-29 & 30, Green Park Main Market, New Delhi, Delhi 110016
Haldiram’s – They have different outlets in various parts of the country and offer more than ten varieties of Gujiya. Haldiram’s is a brand that has earned trust since it was established in 1937 in Bikaner. They have expanded enough to know the tastes, festival, and occasions of people in different parts of the city and are now an inseparable part of any occasion. They have readymade gift hampers that can be picked up according to varying budgets.
Location: Different locations in the city
Chaina Ram Sweets, Chandni Chowk is the ultimate destination for traditional Indian sweets. It is more than a hundred years old and highly popular for its Karachi Halwa, Jalebi, Balu Shahi and Poori Bhaji. Dhodha and their variety in Burfi make it a popular sweet shop. Kaju Barfi, Moong Dal Barfi, Khajoor Barfi barely reach the counter and they are bought. The Gujiya is plump, nicely filled with mawa and dry fruits.
Location: 6499, Ground Floor, Fateh Puri Chowk, Chandni Chowk, Near Axis Bank, Delhi, 11000
Nathu Sweets, Bengali Market– Nathus Sweets as a brand was first set up in 1936. Over the years, the quality has remained consistent and they continue to keep their customers happy with good customer service. They specialize in serving mouth-watering fast food like pizzas and burgers, Chinese, North Indian, South Indian and my favorite street food. Do not miss their Chole Bhature and golgappas. Even though they operate from eight other locations in Delhi for me, the one in Bengali market is the one I highly recommend.
Location: Shop No 23, 24, Bengali Market, Tansen Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Kaleva Sweets, Gole market – A trusted name in Sweets, Kaleva is a perfect place to satiate your sweet buds. The name has become synonymous with good quality, fresh and mithai made in desi ghee. Moreover, like most other sweet shops it offers a variety of North Indian, South Indian and Chinese dishes with some lip-smacking finger-licking chaat. Though I’m not a Dhokla fan but each time I’m here I have my share happily. Their Kachori Sabzi, Shah Rasgulla, Rasmalai, Dahi Bhalle and Raj Kachori. Location: 109 Gole Market, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
If I have to think of five things that come to my mind if I think of Holi I would say instantly – Paani, Rang, Safed Kapde, Rang Barse aur Gujiya. Do you also associate Holi with water, color, White Clothes, The song ‘Rang Barse’ from Silsila and the sweet Gujiya? What’s your answer?