Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
Holi is a festival of fun and frolic. We play with colours, but over the last so many years our colours have changed to chemicals. These chemical colours are harmful to our skin, system as well as the environment. There has been an effort by a lot of people to create awareness and promote natural organic colours. When we were growing up in the 1960’s we used Tesu flowers for a brilliant yellow colour and the excitement began much in advance as the colours had to be prepared. The gulal was also made at home. The colours are subdued unlike the chemical colours. The making of colours at home involve the children in the festivities and also teach them about the environment.
I am posting this tutorial on how to make your own unadulterated organic colour at home with very little cost. There are some recipes for dry Gulal and two recipes for wet colour. So get hold of your Mummy and raid her kitchen or your Granny’s Puja supplies and enjoy. All the material can also be bought from your local Grocer and vegetable market.
For the colours you will need the following
Take a bowl, add 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder and 3 to 4 tablespoons of water and mix till dissolved. Add cornstarch to the mixture and keep adding till it is saturated. Remove from bowl, and spread it on sheets of paper leaving it to dry completely. Once dry, use a spoon break it into smaller pieces. It is soft so this step is very easy. Using a rolling pin, grind it further into fine powder. Sieve with a fine mesh and your dry colour powder,Gulal, is ready to use
2.DRY RED COLOUR
Take a bowl; add 2 teaspoons of roli powder and 3 tablespoons of water and mix. Roli will take some time to dissolve. Add cornstarch to the mixture till it is saturated. Then leave the mixture on paper to dry. Once dry, powder it with a spoon. Sieve and use Gulal.
3. DRY GREEN COLOUR
Take a bowl; add green Food Colour and water and mix thoroughly. Add cornstarch to the mixture till it is saturated. Then leave the mixture on paper to dry. Once dry, powder it with a spoon. Sieve and use Gulal.
4. WET LIQUID YELLOW COLOUR- 1
Buy green or raw turmeric from the vegetable market. It looks like photo below. Peel it and then shred it. Put it into a bowl and fill with water. Leave it overnight and then strain it. This can be further diluted. Please remember that turmeric colour is very strong and stains easily.
5. WET LIQUID YELLOW COLOUR-2
Another great and easy way to make yellow colour is to buy dry Tesu flowers from the market. These are also known as PALASH or DHAK and its scientific name is Butea Monosperma. This flower is also known as the flame of the forest and has medicinal properties.
They are soaked overnight. Can also be boiled for better colour. The solution is then strained and the coloured water used to play Holi. There are 2 photos below one soaked in just water and the other in boiled water.
6. WET LIQUID MAGENTA COLOUR
Buy beetroot from the vegetable market. Peel it and then shred it. Put it into a bowl and fill with water. Leave it overnight and then strain it. This can be further diluted. Please remember that beetroot colour is very strong.
7. DRY PINK COLOUR
For Dry Colour add cornstarch to the above liquid. You will create a very pretty pink Gulal.
I hope you enjoy these tutorials and if you have any questions than you can write and ask!