Thandai is a cooling and flavorful, festive drink prepared with homemade thandai masala. It is a traditional Indian drink for the summer season, full of powdered nuts, spices and infused with the richness of saffron. Thandai or sardai means ‘cooling’. This thandai recipe will help you make super delicious thandai at home free of all artificial flavor and colors.
Traditionally, Thandai is served and relished on the festival of Holi, as a harbinger of the summer season. Apart from Holi, Thandai can be served during any time of the year whenever you feel like sipping a cool and refreshing homemade drink. Trust me; your body will thank you for this delight when the mercury soars.
As the weather changes, so do our taste buds. The craving for winter-style heavy and rich food gives way to wanting food that is lighter on your palate and tummy, foods that will leave you feeling refreshed and energized – this thandai recipe does just that and more.
There are various kinds of thandai recipe that are followed – some use almonds, or rose petals, while others suggest using highly aromatic kewra water, and some make it without milk as well. This thandai recipe has a lot of naturally cooling agents like fennel seeds, khus khus (poppy seeds), melon seeds and the goodness of dry fruits, all culminating in a delightful and refreshing drink.
Homemade Thandai Powder:
It is a dry powder prepared with a variety of nuts, spices, seeds, and aromatics. But making thandai powder at home takes not more than 10 minutes. And it can be easily stored in the fridge for weeks. The best part about the homemade thandai masala is – it is unadulterated. You are 100% assured about the quality of the drink and its medicinal benefits. Also, the leftover thandai masala, after Holi, can be used to make – kulfi, kheer or other Indian desserts of your choice.
Health Benefits Of Thandai:
- It is an excellent energy booster especially during the summer season in India.
- Thandai aids in digestion and immensely help in cooling down the body during the season change.
- Thandai is also a sort of anti-depressant and helps in improving the mood swings.
- It is a fantastic immunity booster and keeps you safe from the heat strokes.
This is a tried and tested thandai recipe of my family. I usually, prepare the thandai powder a few days before the festival of Holi and keep it in the fridge. It literally takes a few minutes to make thandai from scratch at home and the process of pretty straightforward. On the day of the festival, churn up the thandai in the morning and keep it in the fridge to get chilled. Simply serve when the guest arrives.
Other Holi Recipes You Might Like To Try:
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For Thandai Powder:
- 1/4 Cup almond (badam)
- 1/4 Cup cashew nuts (kaju)
- 1/4 Cup pistachio
- 1 teaspoon white poppy seeds (khus-khus)
- 1 teaspoon melon seeds (char magaj)
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (sabut kali mirch)
- 6 green cardamom (elaichi)
- a pinch of nutmeg (jaiphal)
- 1/4 Cup edible dry rose petals (optional)
Ingredients for Thandai
- 1 litre milk
- Sugar as per taste
- a pinch of saffron
- a fistful of pistachio, chopped
How To Make Thandai Powder:
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Grind to a coarse powder without using any water. Transfer to a bowl or airtight jar.
- At this stage thandai masala is ready and it can be stored in bottle in fridge to be used later.
How To Make Thandai:
- To make thandai, boil milk in a saucepan. Simmer the milk for next 5 - 10 minutes over low heat. Stirring occasionally in between.
- Add the thandai powder, sugar as per taste, saffron strands, pistachio and stir to combine. Simmer milk over low heat for 10 - 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- You can sieve the milk or keep it as it is in the fridge for the next 1 - 2 hours.
- At the time of serving, pour into serving glasses. Top with crushed pistachios, slivered almonds and one or two saffron strands or rose petals.
- Serve Thandai chilled.
- This quantity of ingredients would yield approximately 200 gram of thandai powder.
- If the quantity of milk is less use half of the thandai powder and store the rest in the fridge.
- If you like a smooth thandai sieve the mixture before keeping in the fridge.
- Adding garnish before serving is totally optional.
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