Thandai, a milk-based summer drink is synonymous with our Indian festival, Holi. The festival of colours is celebrated with much fanfare in North India and one of the special festive treats prepared on this day is Thandai. An exotic mix of spices, nuts and full-fat milk go into the making of this cooling summer drink. Prepared during the hot summer months, this spiced milk mixture not only has many health benefits but also has a cooling effect on the body.
Almond is the star player while aromatic spices like peppercorns, fennel and cardamom elevate the flavour of this summer drink. This drink is further infused with dried rose petals and saffron (kesaria thandai) and finished off with crushed pistachios. With an eclectic mix of fragrant ingredients, how can this exotic drink not be addictive? Rejoice the festival of colours with this refreshing drink. Happy Holi everyone!
- Prepare time: 15 min
- Cook: 20 min
- Serves: 6
- Almonds – 1/3 cup
- Cashew nuts – 2 tbsps
- Poppy seeds – 1 tbsp (khus khus/gasagasalu)
- Melon seeds – 2 tbsp (magaz)
- Fennel seeds – /2 tsps (saunf/sompu)
- Green Cardamom – 5 (elaichi)
- Black peppercorns – 3/4 tsp (kali mirch/miriyalu)
- Sugar – 8 tbsps (adjust according to taste)
- Milk – 1 1/2 lts
- Water – 3/4 cup
- Rose essence – 1/2 tsp OR Dried rose petals (1 tsp)
- Saffron – few strands (kesar/kumkum puvvu)
- Pistachios – fistful, crushed
METHOD FOR MAKING THANDAI
- Soak almonds in water for 2 hours. Soak melon seeds in water for 2 hours, Soak poppy seeds in water for 2 hours.
- Boil milk, add sugar and allow to dissolve. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn off heat and allow to cool. While milk is boiling, peel almonds and place in a bowl.
- To this bowl, add the drained melon seeds, drained poppy seeds, cashew nuts, fennel seeds, peppercorns and green cardamom.
- Grind all these ingredients into a paste. Add 1/4 cup of water and grind further to a smooth paste.
- Add the ground paste to the milk-sugar mixture and mix well. Place lid and leave aside for 15 mts.
- In a large bowl, strain the mixture. Keep the strained liquid aside. To the residue (almond-spice mixture) add 1/2 cup water and strain again into the large bowl.
- Add saffron strands and dried rose petals or rose essence to the strained liquid and mix. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
- At the time of serving, pour into serving glasses. Top with crushed pistachios, slivered almonds and one or two saffron strands.
- Serve thandai chilled.http:/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvnzSeDC-8c
- You can also serve the thandai without straining.
- Dried rose petals (a tbsp) can be added at the time of grinding the ingredients.