Thandai is a refreshing Indian drink made of nuts, spices and dry fruits specially for Holi festival & Maha Shivratri. It has a wonderful cooling effect to the body, it is hydrating and soothing too, which makes it an excellent summer drink for you.
It is easy to make thandai recipe at home and homemade one is so much better than store-bought syrup or powder. In this post I am sharing the traditional method from scratch as well easy thandai powder too.
Holi is almost here and that means many delicious treats like gujiya, mawa kachori will make an appearance along with this tasty and cooling thandai. If you have never made this drink at home, my recipe will help you to make the best one.
Thandai drink is a good body coolant that you can drink throughout harsh summers. In this post I have covered
- traditional thandai recipe with step by step photos.
- Easy thandai syrup
- Quick instant thandai powder
Do try this easy and healthy recipe, stay cool this summer 🙂
What Is Shardai or Thandai?
Thandai is a cooling, refreshing and delicious Indian drink made with milk, sugar, nuts and spices. Thanda means cold in hindi and this drink literally means “cooling”. It also goes by the name shardai or sardai.
In places while making thandai for maha shivratri and Holi, a small amount of bhang (weed) would be added for a slight intoxicating effect.
I love it so much that I always have either powder or syrup handy for sudden cravings 🙂
In homemade thandai recipe, you can easily avoid it and make it a clean, healthy treat suitable for toddlers and kids too.
The base of this drink is milk. To the milk we add a very delicious, heady and rich paste of soaked almonds, pistachios, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, black peppercorns etc. The drink is flavored with saffron, sweetened with sugar and finally garnished with more nuts, rose petals and saffron strands.
One could only imagine how rich, delicious and satiating this drink would be with all these wonderful ingredients right. Homemade thandai is clean, made with quality ingredients with controlled sugar. It is also much more economical to make at home than buy bottles of thandai syrup from stores.
One thing I especially do not like in the store bought syrup is the deep color it imparts to milk. The authentic and traditional thandai is in pale cream color or even white and it is mildly sweetened.
If are new to this drink or have tried it before and want to make it at home, this recipe is your best bet. I hope you will try it out and enjoy. This thandai is
a traditional Indian drink for Holi, Shivratri
cooling drink for summers
very delicious and flavorful
quick and easy to make
homemade from scratch
How To Make Thandai Recipe
First of all boil 3 cups full fat milk and set aside to cool down a bit. Add 1/2 cup warm milk in a mixing bowl and refrigerate the rest to chill.
To the warm milk add 1/4 cup almonds, 2 tablespoons pistachios, 12 black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon melon seeds (magaz), 1 teaspoon dried rose petals. Set aside for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, transfer all the soaked thandai ingredients along with milk to a mixer jar. Grind once. Add 1/4 cup sugar and blend to a smooth paste.
Now add the chilled milk to this thandai paste. Also add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder. Mix very well.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Always serve thandai chilled.
How To Make Thandai Syrup
It is a concentrate of all the thandai ingredients mixed in reduced sugar syrup. You can make store and it will come handy when you have sudden guests.
To make thandai concentrate, Soak 200 grams almonds, 100 grams pistachios, 2 tablespoons each poppy seeds, fennel seeds and black peppercorns. Also soak 2 tablespoons melon seeds, 20 green cardamoms for 4 hours. Drain and grind to a very smooth paste.
Take 750 grams sugar in a pan and water to just cover it. Mix well and cook till the syrup reaches one string consistency. Add lemon juice and mix well . Cool the sugar syrup to room temperature. Add the dry fruits paste and mix very well. Store in clean bottle.
To make thandai just mix 2-3 tablespoons of this syrup with 3/4 cup boiled and cooled milk.
Instant Thandai Powder
If you don’t want to go through the long process of making the above mentioned concentrate then you can make instant thandai masala powder with or without sugar. Just dry roast the nuts and spices. Cool down and grind to fine powder with or without sugar. When needed mix 2-3 teaspoons in 3/4 milk and serve 🙂 You can even serve this hot similar to milk masala powder.
Milk– Try to use full fat milk or whole milk for rich and creamy thandai. You can even simmer the milk and reduce it a bit for thicker drink. On the other hand if you want a light version of thandai just use low fat or skimmed mik.
Nuts– Traditionally thandai is made with only almonds. I sometimes add pistachios for taste and flavor. You can soak almonds in warm water and peel them if needed. I usually just soak and grind with skin. You can also 12 cashew nuts.
Spices– The spices usually added in this drink are fennel seeds, black peppercorns, cardamom and saffron. They not only added taste and flavor but also have their own health benefits making thandai are very healthy drink.
Flavors-apart from cardamom and saffron, I like to add a generous pinch of dried rose petals in thandai recipe. They add a wonderful cooling floral note to this drink. If you do not have dried rose petals you can add 1teaspoon rose water or 1 tablespoon rose syrup or gulkand in thandai.
Sweetener– I always make thandai with raw sugar or organic sugar. You can even use coconut sugar, palm sugar or honey. Taste, flavor and color will vary accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to make vegan thandai?
Just use any vegan milk like cashew milk, almond milk or oat milk instead of dairy milk.
Can I make this drink without sugar?
Yes just leave it out or add 3-4 deseeded dates while grinding nuts. You can also add 2 tablespoons date syrup to prepared thandai.
I do not have poppy seeds, can I leave it out?
Yes, just skip it.
Is thandai good for health?
Yes is wonderful body coolant and keeps you refreshed.
How long can I store thandai?
2 days in refrigerator.
More Drink Recipes
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- 3 cups full fat milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 10-12 black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon dried rose petals
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron strands
- 3-4 cardomons or powder
- First of all boil 3 cups full fat milk and set aside to cool down a bit. Add 1/2 cup warm milk in a mixing bowl and refrigerate the rest to chill.
- To the warm milk add 1/4 cup almonds, 2 tablespoons pistachios, 12 black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon melon seeds (magaz), 1 teaspoon dried rose petals. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, transfer all the soaked thandai ingredients along with milk to a mixer jar. Add 1/4 cup sugar and blend to a smooth paste.
- Now add the chilled milk to this thandai paste. Also add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder. Mix very well.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Always serve thandai chilled.