We Indians love our festivals don’t we? We love to celebrate everything!! While all our festivals have religious or mythological significance, they are also closely associated with the prevailing season and the ongoing agricultural activities in that season. Take Holi for instance; it is celebrated to mark the end of winter and usher in spring when the farmers with their fields full of crops are anticipating a good harvest. Holi is a celebration of spring, of hope, a promise of good times ahead. Any celebration is incomplete without food, and for Holi, we indulge ourselves with delicacies like puran poli and sweet gujiyas.
As a Holi-special recipe, I decided to try making Thandai, a coolant, a refreshing summer drink, perfect for this season. And the attempt was a success even if I say so myself. ;-) Try this Thandai recipe and you’ll agree with me I am sure.
About Thandai Recipe Ingredients
I found the ingredients of Thandai very interesting. Dry fruits and saffron in milk is common; rose petals and khus khus to add coolness I understand. However, what I found intriguing in Thandai recipe is inclusion of black peppercorns. In a couple of recipes I even saw cinnamon powder as an ingredient. While I love cinnamon, my husband Kalpesh is not its big fan. So I didn’t include cinnamon in mine. The traditional thandai recipe has melon seeds (magaz) but I couldn’t manage to lay my hands on them so I made mine without it. And it turned out just great. The drink really is very refreshing.
Dry fruits and kesar add the richness to taste, saunf and khus khus add the coolness, cardamoms and rose essence add flavor, and the peppercorns….what can I say about the peppercorns? They truly were the surprise element for me…they make the thandai mildly, “very mildly” spicy, making it taste oh-so-delightful. Now don’t just take my word for it; try thandai this Holi and let me know how you liked this healthy, homemade, refreshing summer drink.
Thandai Recipe | Perfect Beverage for Holi
- 4 cups whole milk/full-fat milk boiled and cooled
- 20 almonds
- 20 cashew nuts
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds saunf
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds khus khus
- 10 green cardamom pods elaichi
- 10 peppercorns
- 1 tbsp black pepper powder preferably freshly ground
- Approx 10 strands kesar
- 4 drops rose essence
- 2 tbs sugar
- Add almonds in a bowl and soak them in some water.
- Take another bowl, and add cashew nuts, saunf, khus khus, peppercorns, seeds of cardamom pods, and approx. half a cup of water.
- Soak the above mentioned ingredients in water for 2 hours.
- Peel the almonds and put them in a mixer.
- Add the contents of the second bowl (along with water) to the mixer.
- Blend to make a fine paste.
- Add the paste in milk and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
- Soak saffron strands in 2 tbsp milk and refrigerate that as well.
- Add black pepper powder to the refrigerated milk and stir.
- Strain the milk using a strainer. (Press the residue against the strainer using a spoon to squeeze out all milk.)
- Add sugar, rose essence, and the milk with saffron strands.
- Stir thandai to dissolve sugar. (You can use powdered sugar if you like. I prefer to go easy on sugar; you can add more sugar if you want.)
- Serve it cold, or you can add ice cubes if you want chilled thandai.