store-bought (or homemade) rasgullas or other white Indian sweet (I used Bikano brand from All Indian Sweets & Snacks)
various colors of liquid food coloring (I used yellow, red, blue, and green by McCormick, but Indian stores sometimes have natural food dyes that would probably work well)
clear drinkable alcohol (I used orange rum; unflavored vodka would probably be ideal)
You'll Also Need:
disposable gloves, bowls or glasses to put the food coloring in, several different spoons to stir with, a tea strainer or other sieve, cheesecloth cut into several small pieces
Servings vary, depending on how many sweets you start with -- I'd estimate two per person.
The AHH Factor: I had great visions of how I was going to dye these sweets. I Googled countless phrases like "best Easter egg designs" and "patterned Easter eggs." Visions of purple polka-dotted rasgullas and argyle ones worthy of a J. Crew catalog were dancing in my head. Was it possible to wrap rubber bands around a rasgulla and tie-dye it?
Mind you, this was before I actually opened a bottle of food coloring and attempted to dye anything. It was before I even had a bottle of food coloring to experiment with (a huge thanks to my friend Nicole for the food coloring, by the way!). Then the more I started searching and the more elaborate designs I saw, coupled with the fact that many Easter eggs aren't actually edible, I got a little shaky. Creativity may be my strong suit, but art and drawing, well, let's just say that even my polka dots would somehow end up as squares.
Then I had an epiphany: Holi isn't about perfect patterns of color. It's about the excitement of spring and flinging colors onto unsuspecting strangers in happiness. It's about smudges and smears and streaks that are without rhyme or reason. That's why I ultimately decided on simply smudging the colors on. I imagine that these rasgullas are what you look like after attending a Holi celebration, with color blobs all over your white shirt. Happy holi, everyone!
P.S. If you want to celebrate Holi in Los Angeles, there are two celebrations where you actually get to throw dye on people (on other participants, not on random people).
March 3: Association for India's Development (AID)'s Holi on the Beach 2012, Will Rogers State Beach, Pacific Palisades, Calif. More info at http://www.aidla-events.org/
March 10: Network of Indian Professional's (NETIP) Holi Re 2012: A Riot of Colors, Will Rogers State Beach, Pacific Palisades, Calif. More info at http://www.membership.netip.
saagAHH just launched Events calendar where you can find out about other upcoming events of interest to the South Asian community in Southern California. Click on the Events tab to find other fun events to go to this year.