Thandai Recipe or Sardai is a cool and refreshing drink prepared with dry nuts and flavored with fragrant spices. A popular drink prepared for the festive occasion of Holi.
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 an heirloom recipe from my grandmother’s kitchen (biji). Thandai Recipe
Growing up, our biji (grandmother) prepared a considerable 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 brings backs so many childhood memories, and its taste and flavor are still afresh in my mouth.
What is Thandai?
Before we begin, here are some cool facts related to this drink. Thandai is quite popular in the North and is a summer coolant too! it is also referred to as ‘Bhang.’ 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. On the other hand, Thandai is the non-alcoholic version, and as kids, we were strictly served Thandai.
How to make Thandai recipe?
This recipe is prepared with a combination of dry nuts, rose petal paste (gulkand), saffron 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, combine all the nuts in a blender and grind for a gritty texture. Later added this gritty mix 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 serve cold!
Some tips to consider!
- 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 the 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 tastes best when served chilled.
This season, discover the tastiest Thandai infused with a perfect balance of aromatic Indian spices and flavor. I encourage you to give this recipe a try 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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- 2 cups Half and Half (use regular milk)
- 2 cups Whole milk
- 1 tablespoon Rose water
- 1/4 cup Sugar + 2 tablespoons (adjust according to taste)
- 3/4 cup Water (adjust accordingly)
THANDAI MASALA INGREDIENTS
- 1 tablespoon Cashews
- 1 tablespoon Melon Seeds (chaar magaz)
- 1/2 teaspoon Saffron strands
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg Powder
- 1-2 teaspoon Rose petal spread (gulkand)
- 1.5 teaspoon Fennel seeds powder
- 1.5 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Poppy Seeds
- 12 pieces Almonds
- 15 pieces Pistachios
- 3/4 teaspoon Black Peppercorns (adjust according to taste)
- Boil milk in a bowl and soak saffron strands in it. Allow it to sit for 15 - 20 minutes. Soaking saffron strands in hot milk releases its color and flavor.
- Stir it with a spoon and milk will have a beautiful pale yellow color. Set it aside.
- Let's assemble our thandai masala ingredients. Feel free to adjust spices according to taste.
- Add all the nuts and spices to a grinder.
- Grind spices to their powdered form. Set it aside.
- You can ground the spices in a motor and pestle too.
- Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pan.
- When it comes to a full boil, stir in the nuts and spices one by one.
- 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.
- Stir in saffron flavored milk, rose spread and rose water. If no rose spread available add 2 tablespoons of rose water.
- 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.
- Thandai tastes best when served chilled.