“Tikka is the Hindi(Indian) word for the mark put by wives on the foreheads of their husbands before they leave home for an auspicious job/event/on a festival. Likewise, on the festival of Raksha Bhandan, sisters put a tikka or red mark on the forehead of their brother mixed with few grains of uncooked white rice, and then respect him with an aarti, feed him sweets and offer him flowers. The brother takes blessings from his sister if she is older and showers her with hugs and gifts if she is younger. This year for this lovely festival, I ran out of tikka colour. Usually, I buy it from the shop that sells the festival items, but this year I made the colour at home and it is cheaper and more fun doing this:) Enjoy!”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a small bowl mix together baking soda and turmeric powder.
  2. Add a few drops of water and keep stirring.
  3. The mixture should be smooth and no lumps should be present.
  4. You may add more baking soda if you prefer that the tikka colour be a lighter shade of red(more like an orange) or you may add more turmeric powder if you want it to be a darker red.
  5. Leave uncovered on the kitchen countertop overnight.
  6. The next morning you will find that this mixture has turned red and is ready to use.
  7. If it has dried up by morning, you may add a few drops of water and stir it vigorously.
  8. It should not be too dry nor too wet. Just right. Right means that when you apply it on the forehead it should not drip down but stay put.
  9. You may also use this recipe when you need to get the colour of gravy to turn red and you don't have the box of red food colour on hand.
  10. This colour is washable and turmeric is good for the skin, so you are safe with this recipe.
  11. You may also use this to enjoy the Indian festival of Holi!

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