Meatless Monday: Holi Edition

The month is almost over, but we still have (well, we had it yesterday) one more holiday–Holi, which is the spring festival in India and some other Asian countries. The best-known part in the West is throwing colored powder at each other. Originally, the powders were ground from the new blossoms of the season, but now that it is so big, most of the powders like the ones above are artificial. Still, it is colorful and fun and celebrates rebirth, so it’s a good reason to recognize it with a special meal.

Holi is another holiday based on the lunar calendar and so varies from year to year. This year, it falls close to Easter and early in the year. It also happened to fall on a Meatless Monday. Fortunately, there are so many great vegetarian recipes in Indian cuisine that it is easy to make a meatless meal for Holi. In fact, while I loved and so appreciated my last week of meals by others, it was a little heavier in meals and cheese than I usually have (AND I LOVED IT!). But to regain balance, I wanted to make my Holi meal vegan.

I’m mentioned this before, but if you are lucky enough to have ethnic groceries in your area, not only do they have a lot of cooler stuff than in the generic US supermarket, they are usually cheaper. I felt I really scored with this 3.5 pound container of USDA certified organic mixed lentils for ONLY $5.99 from my local Indian grocery store. Plus, isn’t that mixture beautiful? I don’t know any of my standard grocery stores that offer such a mixture, especially when it is organic.

I made a simple dal with that, cooking the lentils with onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, and various spices. It was simple but delicious.

The other main dish was spicy greens in roti wraps. Roti are similar to crepes or tortillas but use a special Indian whole wheat flour. In honor of Holi, I wanted to use Rainbow Chard from my beloved farmer Jason at my local Farmers Market. I combined it with red onion and a yellow pepper to keep the colorful theme going.

Wow! Isn’t that beautiful?

I sautéed that with an Indian spicy pepper and garlic sauce (in which you see there was really more greens than it appears in the previous photo_.

I served them in fresh-cooked roti along with the lentil dal, which looked like this:

We also had blueberries for fruit/dessert, which adds to the color of the meal of this colorful holiday.

So that was our happy, healthy, and colorful meal in honor of a colorful celebration of Spring.

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