Thandai Recipe

Thandai Recipe or Sardai is a cool and refreshing drink prepared with dry nuts and flavored with fragrant spices. A popular drink prepared during the festive occasion of Holi.Thandai Recipe

It’s just one week short of Holi and what I can think of besides savory snacks is THAND…AI. ‘Thand’ in Hindi means cold and therefore thandai refers to’a cool and refreshing drink’. Holi, a festival of color is incomplete without Gujiya and Thandai recipe. So here I am sharing with you a heirloom recipe from my grandmother’s kitchen (biji). 

Growing up, our biji (grandmother) prepared a huge pitcher of Thandai on Holi. Her thandai recipe was a hit in the neighborhood and everyone just loved it. For kids, she used to skip some ingredients and would customize the recipe to our liking. This recipe bring backs so many childhood memories and its taste and flavor is still afresh in my mouth.
how to make thandai masala at home

Before we begin, cool facts related to this drink. Bhang is the official drink of Holi. Bhang is a thick drink prepared with flower heads of cannabis and is served during the Holi season. Thandai is the non-alcoholic version and as kids we were strictly served Thandai.

Now on to the recipe!

Thandai is quite popular in the North and is a summer coolant too! This recipe is prepared with a combination of dry nuts, rose petal paste (gulkand), safforn strands, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, charmagaz (mixed melon seeds) and spices. The use of all these nuts and spices is what makes this drink so soothing and refreshing. 

To make this drink, all the nuts, and seeds are grounded to their powdered form and later added to the boiled milk. Once the spice-mix is added to the milk, allow it to sit for a while (an hour or more) so that it can soak in all the flavors. Later sieve it through a strainer and enjoy! 

Thandai Recipe

Some tips- 

  • Soaking saffron strands in hot milk releases its color and flavor. 
  • Pour in rose water, after the thandai is cooled. You can go easy on rose water- taste and then add more.
  • No rose spread/gulkand (sweet preserve of rose petals) on hand, no worries. Flavor thandai recipe with double the quantity of rose water. Adding dried rose petal leaves to Thandai will elevate its taste and boost its flavor.
  • Thandai taste best when served chilled.

Check out other Holi recipes here.

How to make Thandai Recipe

This season discover the tastiest Thandai infused with perfect balance of aromatic Indian spices and flavor. Hope you like this simple recipe and give it a try. If you happen to make it then either drop me a line below or share your yum pictures with me on Facebook. Would love to see your creation!

Cheers!

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Thandai Recipe
Votes: 9
Rating: 4.78
You:
Rate this recipe!
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Thandai Recipe is a cool and refreshing drink prepared with dry nuts and flavored with fragrant spices. A popular drink prepared during the festive occasion of Holi.
Servings Prep Time
6 GLASSES 10 MINUTES
Cook Time
20 MINUTES
Servings Prep Time
6 GLASSES 10 MINUTES
Cook Time
20 MINUTES
Thandai Recipe
Votes: 9
Rating: 4.78
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Thandai Recipe is a cool and refreshing drink prepared with dry nuts and flavored with fragrant spices. A popular drink prepared during the festive occasion of Holi.
Servings Prep Time
6 GLASSES 10 MINUTES
Cook Time
20 MINUTES
Servings Prep Time
6 GLASSES 10 MINUTES
Cook Time
20 MINUTES
INGREDIENTS
THANDAI INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups Half and Half (use regular milk)
  • 2 cups Whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Rose water
  • 1/4 cup Sugar + 2 tablespoon (adjust according to taste)
  • 3/4 - 1 cup Water (adjust accordingly)
THANDAI MASALA INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon Cashew pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Melon Seeds (chaar magaz)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Saffron strands
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg Powder
  • 1-2 teaspoon Rose petal spread (gulkand)
  • 1 -1.5 teaspoon Saunf powder (Fennel seeds powder)
  • 1 -1.5 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Poppy Seeds
  • 10-12 pieces Almonds
  • 10-15 pieces Pistachios
  • 3-4 pieces Black Peppercorns
CHANGE SERVING SIZE: GLASSES
CHANGE UNITS:
METHOD
  1. Let's begin by soaking saffron strands in milk.
  2. Boil milk in a bowl and soak saffron strands in it.
  3. Allow it to sit for 15 - 20 minutes. Soaking saffron strands in hot milk releases its color and flavor.
  4. Stir it with a spoon and milk will have a beautiful pale yellow color. Set it aside.
  5. Let's assemble our thandai masala ingredients.
  6. Feel free to adjust spices according to taste.
  7. Add all the nuts and spices to a grinder.
  8. Grind spices to their powdered form. Set it aside.
  9. You can ground the spices in a motor and pestle too.
  10. Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pan.
  11. When it comes to a full boil, stir in the nuts and spices one by one.
  12. Whisk so that no lumps remain. Add sugar and keep stirring the liquid. Give it a good boil and take it off the flame. Allow it to cool completely.
  13. After 30 minutes stir in saffron flavored milk, rose spread and rose water. If no rose spread available add 2 tablespoon rose water.
  14. Allow it to sit for a while (an hour or more) so that it can soak in all the flavors. Later sieve it through a strainer, add water and refrigerate this drink for at least 3-4 hours or until chilled.
  15. Thandai taste best when served chilled.
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10 Responses

  1. Priyanka Agrawal says:

    Is it possible to make thandai without
    Melon seeds??

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for stopping by Priyanka! Melon seeds are the key ingredient in making thandai.
      But if you don’t have them on hand then feel free to leave them out melon seeds. Happy Holi!!

  2. Nanz says:

    Looks yummy! Will try it out for sure. Tried your noodles recipe and was perfect blend of spices and pictures were a great help.Thanks for sharing and maintaining a great website for all.

  3. Rashi says:

    Hello Ruchi,

    To begin with magnificent blog and mouth watering pictures! I live in Singapore and khus khus is banned here. Can u plz tell me the substitute of it. I would love to try this recipe of yours. its looks so yummy and healthy.

    • RK says:

      Thanks for stopping by Rashi! Khus khus can be replaced by Melon seeds, if you can find them in your local stores. If not, you can leave them out totally from the recipe. 🙂

  4. Samra says:

    Hello Ruchi. Wonderful website, easy navigation and very well explained tutorial. Your Thandai recipe was a hit at my potluck yesterday. Everyone was happy and thanks to you.
    Samra from UAE

  5. Preeti says:

    Very nicely demonstrated and and thanks for sharing all your recipes with us.

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