Thandai is a spicy milk drink that is traditionally enjoyed during the colour festival of Holi. Addition of bhang will convert this drink into an intoxicating Bhang which is the original religious custom. Most places in India make Bhang during Holi but for anyone not into bhang can make Thandai.



6 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 tblsp almonds
1 tblsp kharbooj/tarbooj seeds skinned
1/2 tblsp khuskhus/poppy seeds
1/2 tblsp saunf/aniseed
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp rose water
1 tsp peppercorns
a few saffron strands (optional)
1/4 cup dried or fresh rose petals
Finely chopped nuts of choice to garnish

Makes about 7-8 glasses


1. Dissolve sugar in 2 cups water by boiling. Keep aside to cool completely.

2. Soak almonds, kharbooj seeds, khuskhus, saunf, peppercorns, rose petals in 2 cups water for atleast 2 hours. Keep aside.

3. Peel almonds. Grind all soaked ingredients from step 2 to a very fine paste.

4. Place a cheesecloth (which will act as a strainer) over a large deep bowl and pour ground contents through this.

5. Press through cheesecloth, extracting the liquid into the bowl. Add remaining water, a little at a time to extract more. Pour back some of the extract and press, repress. Repeat this process till the residue becomes dry and husk like.

9. Add milk, sugar water, saffron, cardamom powder and rosewater to the extracted liquid.

10. Serve chilled topped with chopped nuts.


• If you don't get kharbooj seeds, you can do without them.

• Add bhang to the above to make Bhang Thandai. But remember this has an intoxicating effect.

• You get Thandai concentrate in stores - just add cold milk and ice.

• You can make Thandai concentrate and store it in a bottle refrigerated for about 6 months. Use the ingredients mentioned below in the same manner as specified above. Milk will not be added now but will be added at the time of serving.

To make concentrate

5 cups sugar
2 cups water
3/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup saunf
1/4 cup cardamom pods
1/4 cup peppercorns whole
1 tblsp khuskhus
1/2 tsp rose water
1 tblsp kharbooj/tarbooj seeds skinned

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