If you're going to catch hold of an innocent friend and colour them yellow, red and green, at least make sure they won't be cursing you when they're frantically scrubbing their purple faces before a board meeting the next day! Natural, homemade colours are the perfect solution. They're easier on the environment, safe for the kids and you can play to your heart's content without worrying about looking like a joker the next day. Another plus, most of the ingredients for natural colours are great for the skin and hair. So you're literally getting a fun skin treatment that you'd be shelling thousands for at the salon! Involve the kids, they're going to love project Holi even more if they're in charge of the most intrinsic part of the celebrations. Here's how you can make all-natural colours:
Dried and crushed rose or hibiscus flower petals and red sandalwood powder serve as the perfect gulaal for Holi celebrations. And if it's wet colour you're looking for, just boil a few tablespoons of red sandalwood powder with 5 litres of water. You can also boil beetroot or peels of pomegranate in water and voila! your red water is ready for the pichkaris.
To get this Holi hue you needn't look beyond your vegetable rack. Just pick out the freshest leaves of spinach, coriander or mint and dry and crush them to get a rich green powder that is ready to use. For a wet colour you can mix henna with water to get a rich shade of green.
Drying out the jacaranda flowers that bloom in summers, the blue hibiscus flowers or even the leaves of the indigo plant are great if you want a rich blue. For the wet colour, crush indigo berries in water. You can also soak and indigo leaves in water for a beautiful shade of blue.
This is another very popular Holi colour, not least of all because it is considered an auspicious colour in the Hindu tradition. Fortunately, making this bright colour is a very simple affair. Just add a little turmeric and sandalwood powder to rose water, and your saffron coloured water will be ready to use. For a really rich shade, soak saffron strands in water for a few hours, make a paste and mix it with water. If you're looking for an excuse to justify this really expensive Holi colour, remember that saffron is great for the skin!
Just mix turmeric with gram flour (besan) to conjure up a bright yellow gulaal for Holi. Even dried marigold or yellow chrysanthemums petals can help you get the yellow powder. And if you are looking at making a yellow colour water solution, simply soak 50 marigold flowers in water (depending on the strength of the colour you want) overnight and the next day, you'll be ready to colour your friends and family yellow.
Who knew coffee and tea could have Holi benefits too! Boil tea or coffee leaves in water for a lovely shade of brown. You can also add cocoa powder to water, or even better, milk to make your kids' Holi a rather tasty one!
Forced to play Holi with someone you really dislike? Colour them black, we say! Boil amla and leave it in an iron vessel overnight. The next day, you can either crush it and use it dry or mix it with water and dilute it as per your requirement. You can also use the juice of black grapes but make sure you add lots of water so that the stickiness of the juice is diluted.
Whether you go the natural way or opt for chemical colours, we wish you a happy Holi! If you have any recipes for natural colours, do share them in the comments below.