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Make your own colors for your Rangoli

Posted Oct 31 2010 12:49pm
Made from flowers and leaves only. Is it not beautiful?
Rangoli is an integral part of our festivals. While in North India, people generally make Rangolis only during festivals where as it is a daily routine in South. Every morning you will find ladies waking up, cleaning their porch and making a beautiful Rangoli with rice flour. Of course, they do not bother to color it every day but yes, we do love colors. Right? Diwali is almost there and of course, your designs for Rangolis would be improvising day by day. So, have you decided on how will you color your Rangoli. No, not the Holi colors please!! They are chemically processed making them unhealthy not only for the skin but also they can cause asthma and cancer. Skin allergies from Holi colors is nothing new. I stopped playing Holi because of the very reason and many of you must have too.

So, how do we go about making our own colors? I am sure many of you must already be aware of it. But, for those who do not, I'll recount certain things and your own imagination will also give you exquisite results on the D-Day. Lets start with things already available.
  • Turmeric - yellow. Mix turmeric with rice flour (off-white in color) or even maida (all purpose flour) and create different shades of yellow. Besan can be used for pale yellow too. 
  • Orange peels are already lying for your daily scrubs. Use them for orange color.
  • Sindoor can be used for maroon. The orange shade of tika is also available. It will do beautifully for orange.
  • Beetroot - shade of magenta. Dry the peel or a single beetroot cut into pieces and then grind them for a beautiful and vibrant shade of something ranging from pink to magenta. You can vary the color using the white flour.
  • Pomegranate - something between red and orange. Dry the peel and grind it. 
  • Carrot - Peel it, cut into pieces and dry and then, grind. Carrot red.
  • Rose Petals - which ever color is your rose. General colors are pink and red. Dry the petals and grind them or you can use them as they are.
  • Marigold petals - a vibrant orange. Petals can be used as they are.
  • You have a wide array of choices for green. Go for mint, spinach, fenugreek, corainder leaves or leaves from the plants from your garden or you can dry the peels of your green veggies from the gourd family and powder them. 
  • Blue is a difficult color. You can go for small blue flowers which is the best bet. Or, if you can get indigo, you can create blue color of your own. But, this would be rare. So, I am giving this a miss!! You have lavender flowers. They would do beautifully and impart fragrance too. 
  • Hibiscus flowers - would again give red. 
  • You can use cinnamon and other spices for brown. I would go for cinnamon because it has a fragrance too. 
  • Use mustard seeds (rai) for black. I know black is not used or preferred but using mustard seeds in the middle or small pockets of your Rangoli would give a different look to it.
  • Jasmine flowers, jasmine buds, rose buds can also be used (as in the pic). It is just made of all the flowers you can get at the florist shop. Why not use them? The green color is made form the ferns stems.
  • I am not able to think of any more colors but I am sure you can make out some from your own imagination and kitchen and beauty ingredients. There are some tips which I can give on your Rangoli decorations:
  •  Mix rice grains with the respective colors to make them look more appealing. My mom had made a complete Rangoli from the rice grains mixed in different colors and believe me it was fabulous. It was in a competition she participated and won the first prize!! Using rice grains makes your Rangoli stay for longer. 
  • Do not have the time to dry the ingredients and powder them. Just crush the things, make a paste and mix with rice. You will need more quantity and little patience to mix with rice because it takes time.
  • You can use essential oils in your colors to make your Rangoli smell exotic. 
  • Use the diyas for decorating and illuminating your Rangoli strategically.
  • I do not have to tell you this but make Rangoli at a strategic place where it is visible to all but not in anyone's way so that no one disturbs your hard work.
  • You can place small Ganesh ji's in your Rangoli. That looks chic and will utilize the numerous Ganesh ji's coming your way. (We do get lot of Ganesh ji's during Diwali and I love it!!)
  • Wish you all a very Happy Diwali!! May it bring you and your family all the prosperity and happiness you wish for.[Do you have any tips on Rangoli decoration or color making?]
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