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Thandai’ as the name suggests is a classic summer coolant from the North of India, a very prevalent beverage to celebrate the festival of colours “Holi”.

A concoction of nuts , various spices  and saffron that are soaked and ground and added to milk and served chilled garnished with slivered almonds, pistachio nuts, cashew nuts, rose petals and laced with saffron.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes excluding time for soaking the ingredients for Thandai Paste i.e. 8 hours /overnight.

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients and Quantity:

Full Cream milk- 1 ½ litres

Sugar-2 tbsp. / as required

Vetiver water- 05 ml.

For the Thandai Paste:

Almonds- 30 gm.

Pistachio nuts-15 gm.

Cashew nuts-20 gm.

Poppy seeds- 1 ½ tbsp.

Melon seeds-1 tbsp.

Fennel seeds- ½ tbsp.

Black peppercorns-8-10 nos.

Saffron, broiled-1/2 gm.

Rose Petals, edible and dried- 2 tsp.

Green Cardamom Powder- 1 tsp

Cinnamon powder-1/2 tsp

For the Garnishing:

Pistachio nuts, blanched, peeled and slivered-08 gm.

Almonds, blanched, peeled and slivered-08 gm.

Cashew nuts, chopped- 08 gm.

Saffron, broiled- a few strands

Rose petals, edible and dried- 2 tsp.


Soak the ingredients mentioned from almonds to saffron in the Thandai paste overnight in water.

Strain the mixture and peel almonds and pistachio nuts, now prepare a silk smooth paste of the entire mixture by adding a little water.

In a heavy bottomed pan add milk and boil add saffron strands, now add sugar and stir till it dissolves. Add ground paste, stir to mix thoroughly. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Switch off the flame. Add green cardamom powder and cinnamon powder. Mix well

Cool it completely add Vetiver water and chill in the refrigerator.

For the Serving:

Stir and serve in glasses or traditional Kulhad garnished with slivered pistachio nuts, almonds, chopped cashew nuts, broiled saffron strands and dried rose petals.

Chef Tips:

  1. You may strain the Chilled Thandai and serve or it may be consumed as it is i.e. without straining.
  2. I personally suggest, not adding bhang to the thandai.. Bhang-free.
  3. You may add ½ tbsp. of Gulkand to the chilled Thandai to further enhance its flavour.

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