Today’s recipe is a fresh spin on the traditional Thandai that is layered with cookie crumbs, mousse, and Gulab Jamuns. A yummy and delicious treat that is just perfect for the festive season!
Holi – the colorful festival of India is famous for its drink: Thandai and lip-smacking dessert recipes. No Holi party or get-together is complete without Thandai; therefore, this year I intend to surprise my guests with a delicious twist on the classic thandai that I love to call as Thandai Mousse Cups!
This recipe is the perfect fusion of two sweets: thandai + Mousse, where the evergreen thandai powder is infused into a creamy and fluffy mousse. The goodness doesn’t end here, I have elevated this dessert to a whole new level with the addition of Gulab Jamuns, creating a decadent sweet that screams Indian flavors and is perfect for any occasion!
What is Thandai?
Before advancing further into the recipe, allow me to provide you a summary here: as the name suggests Thandai is a milk-based refreshing drink that is a:
- natural coolant,
- helps control acidity,
- aids digestion, and
- cools you down on a hot summer day.
It is prepared with the combination of spices and nuts like cashews, saffron, nutmeg powder, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, cardamom, almonds, pistachios, Rose petal jam, and black peppercorns. When mixed, it creates an extremely flavorsome drink that is just perfect for Holi! In short, Holi and Thandai are like a match made in heaven ~ Holi without Thandai is incomplete. 😊😊
How to make Thandai Gulab Jamun Mousse Cups?
The idea of merging thandai powder with mousse and gulab jamun was floating on my mind for quite some time. The initial plan was to make a mousse pie but then switched to individual serving cups as they are portion-controlled and easy-to-serve.
The star ingredient for this recipe is Thandai powder. This powder is readily available in your nearby Indian stores. If you still can’t find one, you can make thandai powder at home. The recipe is provided below.
Start the recipe by preparing the base. The base for these mousse cups is made up of cookie crumbs, butter, and flavored with thandai powder. Cool the cups in the fridge while we prepare the thandai mousse. For a more luxurious and creamier mousse, I have used cream cheese + heavy whipping cream and flavored with cardamom essence and thandai powder.
To assemble – top the cookie crumb with a layer of gulab jamuns followed by a generous swirl of thandai mousse and repeat until you reach the top. Wrap the mousse cups with a plastic wrap and chill for 1-2 hours. Once chilled, decorate the chilled cups with dried rose petals, gulab jamun, slivered nuts, and serve!
A word about Mousse!
Most mousse recipe uses a stabilizing agent to set like agar-agar-cornflour or gelatin, but this one is different. This recipe is somewhere between a whipped cream consistency – thick, yet light and fluffy, and once chilled it becomes more firm and steady.
Celebrate Holi with this delicious mousse cups that are:
- Extremely easy to make,
- Amazingly addictive, and
- A flavorsome recipe that will melt in your mouth with every bite.
I encourage you to treat your guests this Holi with these Thandai Gulab Jamun Mousse Cups and share your feedback! If you have questions related to this recipe, send me an email, and I would be happy to answer them. We’d love to hear from you. 🙂
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Thandai Gulab Jamun Mousse Cups
FOR THE CRUST
- 3/4 cup Eggless Cookies
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1.5 tablespoons Thandai Powder
- 8 pieces of Gulab Jamun (rinse the syrup from the gulab jamuns)
- 8 oz Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
- 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream ( use cold and straight out of the fridge)
- 1 teaspoon Saffron (dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon Cardamom Essence
- 3 tablespoons Thandai powder
- - - Gulab Jamun
- - - Dried Rose Petals
- - - Slivered Almonds and Pistachios
- .5 tablespoons Cashews
- .5 tablespoons Melon Seeds
- .25 teaspoon Saffron Strands
- .25 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
- .25 teaspoon Nutmeg Powder
- 1 teaspoon Rose petal spread
- .75 teaspoon Fennel seeds powder
- .75 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
- .25 teaspoon Poppy Seeds
- 6 pieces of Almonds
- 7 pieces of Pistachios
- 1.5 teaspoons Black Peppercorns (adjust according to taste)
- Combine all the ingredients listed under thandai mix in a blender/grinder.
- Grind the ingredients into a powder. Set it aside.
- Crush cookies using your food processor until you get fine crumbs. Another way is to put the cookies in a ziplock bag and crush using a rolling pin.
- Transfer the crushed cookies to a bowl. Add thandai mix to it and mix.
- Add melted butter and mix until the crushed cookies feel like gritty sand.
- Take your serving glass or bowl and spoon an equal amount of crumbs at the bottom of each cup. Using a spoon or a small glass, press the crumbs to the bottom and place the cups in the refrigerator to chill.
- Pour 1 tablespoon warm milk in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon crushed saffron to it. Mix it well. Let it rest for a minute.
- Assemble cream cheese, saffron mix, and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat for 5-6 minutes or until smooth and lump-free.TIP - Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before you start mixing it with other ingredients.
- Pour in whipping cream.
- Beat for 3-4 minutes until it forms soft peaks.
- Add Thandai mix and carefully fold in the cream cheese mixture.
- Remove the glasses from the fridge. Cut gulab jamuns in halves or add the whole on top of the cookie crumb layer.
- Pipe the thandai mousse layer on top. Again layer with gulab jamuns followed by Thandai mousse. Repeat until you reach the top.
- Cover with a plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerate for at least an hour. Once chilled, decorate the cups with gulab jamuns, dried rose petals and slivered nuts and serve!
- Cream cheese can be swapped with thick hung yogurt.
- This recipe is alcohol-free, but if you wish, feel free to add a few drops your favorite alcohol to the thandai mousse.
- This recipe is perfectly sweetened but if it's too sweet for you then try swapping gulab-jamuns for fresh fruits.
- Thinking of serving it to a large group, buy small cocktail cups. Layer with cookie crumbs, one gulab jamun, thandai mousse and serve. Individual servings are the best.
- Chilled mousse tastes good. Therefore, I recommend keeping the cups in the fridge for an hour.
- Store-bought gulab jamuns will work great too. Just make sure to rinse the extra syrup off the jamuns.