Here’s a guide to make different types of safe, non-toxic tika/colour powder, whether for Dashain, Tihar and Holi
With Dashain’s tika day almost upon us, here is a quick guide on how to make your own tika at home! The tika made below is totally safe, without toxic ingredients. It’s made from edible ingredients, therefore you don’t need to worry about the pigeons and sparrows eating the left overs either 🙂
There are two popular methods on online posts, one using cornflour and the other using regular flour. I tried both the methods to see which one would work better. The basic ingredients for the tika mixture is:
– Corn Flour or Regular Flour,
– Red Food Colouring
You will need a mixing bowl and plates to dry the mixtures in.
For the first mixture i used around a cup of Corn Flour and 3/4 cup of food colouring. I added a little bit of water to make it into a thick paste and transferred the mixture into a plate to let it dry. The mixture was thick, sticky and messy. It made me realise that there was a reason the online tutorials told me to use gloves while mixing! (Washing hands with soap and water removed most of the colouring)
For the second mixture, i used around a cup of rice flour and 3/4 cup of food colouring. Adding a bit of water i made it into a ball and pressed in flat into a plate to dry. This mixture was easy to mix but tended to flake off a bit.
For the last mixture, i used around a cup of wheat flour and 3/4 cup of food colouring. I added some water which allowed me to mix the mixture and make it into a ball. I then pressed this ball flat into a plate. This mixture was the easiest to make and the least messy. However, perhaps because i used whole-wheat flour, the colour was not as vibrant and the texture was a little coarse.
All three mixtures were left to dry, away from direct sunlight. After two days of letting the three mixtures air-dry, none of them were fully dry. It had been raining on and off and so the air itself was full of moisture.
The corn flour mixture was still thick and sticky.
The wheat flour mixture was still malleable.
Online tutorials ask you to fully dry the mixtures and then use a grinder to grind them into fine powder. Judging by this little experiment, i feel the corn flour mixture is best suited for Dashain tika. It takes around the same time to make as regular tika and does not dry out for days. It’s also sticky, allowing it to securely stick to the forehead to receive/give blessings.
Meanwhile, if i was to make coloured powder for Holi or for Bhai tika, i would use the rice flour mixture. It has the most vibrant colour and is the most flaky of the three which would make it easy to grind into powder.
Have you ever tried making tika/coloured powder at home? Do share your experiences!
p.s. All mixtures were made using my own estimates and not accurate measuring. Feel free to adjust the amount of flour, colouring and water to suit your needs of stickiness and vibrancy of colour!