Beloved Holi Flavor

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might already be familiar with my passion for Thandai, the quintessential flavor of the Indian festival of colors. I’ve experimented with this delightful spice blend to craft a range of festive desserts and sweet treats. And this year, I’m adding another playful twist to this beloved Holi flavor by incorporating it into the creation of Thandai Sugar Donut Holes! Join me in celebrating the joyous spirit of Holi with these irresistible treats that are sure to brighten up your festivities.

Thandai Sugar Donut Holes

Inspired by NYC: Thandai Sugar Donut Holes

Yes! These aren’t laddoos, but rather mini donuts, also known as donut holes, coated with a mixture of sugar and my special Thandai Masala. My inspiration for this delicious creation came from Doughnuttery in NYC. Whenever I’m in the city, I make it a point to visit Chelsea Market and stop by their store. They offer over 20 incredible flavors of mini sugar donuts, and I’ve had the pleasure of trying quite a few – Paris Time and Speckled Strawberry being my all-time favorites. I even brought jars of my two favorite sugar mixes home as souvenirs!

Thandai Sugar Donut Holes

The burst of flavors and the playful twist on traditional donuts at Doughnuttery sparked my creativity, leading me to experiment with incorporating Thandai Masala into sugar creating my own flavor of sugar mix for donuts. The result is a delightful fusion of Indian tradition and American indulgence that never fails to impress at Holi celebrations or any festive gathering.

Thandai Sugar Donut Holes

Store-bought Shortcut

I’m excited to share this unique treat with you all and hope you enjoy it as much as I do! To keep the recipe simple, I’m using a popular store-bought shortcut for making the donut holes – ready-made pizza dough! Most grocery stores and even local pizzerias offer freshly made pizza dough for you to take home and use in your own recipes. While I made the sugar mix from scratch, I used this shortcut to make the donut holes. I simply divided the large dough ball into smaller ones and deep-fried them in hot oil before rolling them in the prepared sugar mix.

I’ve found that using ready-made pizza dough is not only convenient but also a great time saver, yielding delicious results. Don’t hesitate to give it a try for a quick and easy way to whip up these delightful mini donuts!

Thandai Sugar Donut Holes

I ended up using the recipe to demonstrate at all of my virtual cookbook tour events that were happening throughout this past week, timed with the festival of Holi. Many attendees from those events made the donuts along with me or tried the recipe afterward and sent me rave reviews. So, if you’re looking for something different to make for your Holi celebrations this year, give my super easy recipe a try and find out why everyone at the events loved it!

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Thandai Sugar Donut Holes

  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 24 1.5-inch diameter donut holes 1x


A playful twist on the classic flavor of Holi, featuring donut holes made with pizza dough & rolled in Thandai Masala flavored sugar.


Units Scale
  • 1 lb (16 oz) store-bought pizza dough (see FAQs & Notes + Variations)
  • 1/2 cup homemade Thandai Masala (see FAQs & Notes + Variations)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • oil for deep frying (grapeseed, vegetable, peanut, etc.)


  • Pour the oil into a deep pot or saucepan to reach a depth of about 2 inches.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F (175 °C) (see FAQs & Notes).
  • While the oil preheats, prepare the flavored sugar mix. In a paper bag or a wide bowl, combine the sugar and the Thandai Masala
  • Rub a little oil on your palms and pull out a small piece of dough from the larger ball of store-bought pizza dough and roll it to form a ball, about 1.5-2 inches in diameter. You can also flatten the pizza dough to about 1/2 inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface and cut out rounds using a small cookie cutter, a lid or a shot glass.
  • Using wire skimmer (spider) or metal slotted spoon, gently lower the dough balls into hot oil, about 4 at a time and fry them, in batches, till they turn golden brown, for about a minute on each side.
  • Transfer the fried donuts onto a paper towel lined plate.
  • While the next batch of dough is getting fried in the hot oil, transfer the previous batch from the plate to the paper bag with the Thandai-sugar mix. Fold top of bag over; shake until donuts are coated.
  • Transfer them to a serving platter using a pair of tongs to take them out of the paper bag, one by one. Similarly follow the same process till all the dough balls are fried.
  • Serve immediately or at room temperature (see FAQs & Notes for more information).

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Can't find fresh pizza dough?

You can also use canned of Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust to make these sweet treats!

Don't have time or ingredients to make Thandai Masala?

Some Indian grocery stores might carry this brand that might work. I recommend this brand on Amazon.

You will need to adjust the amount of store-bought masala according to the taste to mix with the sugar.

Don't have a deep-fry thermometer?

No worries! Let the oil preheat for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat and then drop a tiny ball of dough in it to check to see if its ready. If the dough sinks to the bottom, but doesn’t stick, and then rises to the middle before rising to the top, the oil is ready. If the oil is too hot, the dough will rise too quickly and brown too fast.

Can I air-fry instead of deep frying?

Yes, you can air-fry the donut holes. Preheat to 350°F (175 °C) and air fry the donut holes for 3-4 minutes. Dip in melted butter or spray with butter/ghee before rolling into the Thandai flavored sugar.

How long will the donuts stay fresh?

The donuts will stay fresh for up to 24 hours, stored at room temperature in an air tight container.

Recipe Variations

Instead of pizza dough, you can use canned  Pillsbury refrigerated original biscuits dough to make these delicious treats. The mini-biscuits work perfect well or you can use 1/2 of the regular size for each donut hole.

Make regular donuts and dust them with the Thandai Masala flavored sugar.

Make Doodh Masala flavored sugar or create your own flavored sugar mix to roll the donuts in!

Happy cooking

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.


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