Thandai – Holi and Maha Shivaratri Special

Thandai - Holi or Maha Sivaratri Special Drink
Thandai – Holi or Maha Sivaratri Special Drink

Happy Holi and here is some Thandai to celebrate it with! 🙂

In the North of India, Holi heralds in spring and is also known as Basant Utsav or Basant Panchami. Holi is famously known as the festival of colours, and is celebrated by smearing friends and family with an assortment of colours and then of course, sharing yummy food and drink.

Two famous dishes associated with Holi are Gujjiya and Thandai. Gujjiya is the North Indian version of the Maharashtrian Karanji or the Andhra Kajjikayalu. While the latter use coconut, Gujjiya uses Mava/Khoya or Milk Solids.

While I have not gotten around to make Gujjiya, I made Thandai.

Thandai is a cooling milk-based drink containing spices, dry fruits and rose petals that is traditionally served in North India for festivals like Holi and Maha Shivaratri. What I will remember after making Thandai for the first time (apart from the fact that it was delicious) was how fragrant it is!

The Recipe for Thandai

Preparation Time: 1 hour

Cooking Time: 10 Minutes

Serves: 4


  1. Milk – 4 Cups
  2. Almonds – 12
  3. Cashew Nuts – 6
  4. Pistachios – 6
  5. Poppy Seeds – 1 tbsp
  6. Green Cardamom – 6
  7. Fennel Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  8. Pepper Corns – 10
  9. Cinnamon – 1″ Stick
  10. Dried Rose Petals – 10
    Gulkhand – 1 tbsp
  11. Sugar – 4 tbsp or to Taste
  12. Saffron – A Large Pinch


  1. Soak the Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, Poppy Seeds in 1/3 cup of water for 1 hour.
  2. Grind the soaked dry fruits and poppy seeds along with the water they were soaked in into a smooth paste.
  3. Add Gulkhand to the paste and grind again to a smooth paste.
  4. Grind cardamom seeds, fennel seeds, pepper corns, and cinnamon to a fine powder.
  5. Add saffron and the cardamom-pepper-cinnamon-fennel powder to the milk.
  6. Bring to a boil.
  7. Add the ground dry fruit paste and simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat and let cool.
  9. Chill for 3 hours.
  10. Serve chilled along with Gujjiyas!
Thandai - Holi and Maha Sivaratri Special
Thandai – Holi and Maha Sivaratri Special


I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.