Happy Holi and here is some Thandai to celebrate it with! 🙂 That’s how I started this post in March 2014. I am updating it today with much better pics and accurate measures for the recipe.    

Homemade Thandai (Spiced Milk) to Celebrate Holi
Homemade Thandai to Celebrate Holi

In the North India, Holi heralds in spring and is also known as Basant Utsav or Basant Panchami. Known famously the world over as the Indian festival of colours, Holi 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, the spiced milk from North India containing spices, dry fruits and rose petals. Traditionally served in North India for festivals like Holi and Maha Shivaratri, Thandai (as its name suggests) has a cooling effect on the body, and one that is much needed in the scorching heat of the North Indian plains.

What I will remember after making Thandai at home for the first time (apart from the fact that it was delicious) is how fragrant it is!

How to Make Thandai

  1. Making A Paste of the Dry Fruits
    1. The first thing to do is soak 6 Almonds, 3 Cashews, 10 Pistachios, and 1/2 tbsp Poppy Seeds in 1/4 cup of water for about 1 hour.
    2. Grind the soaked ingredients along with the water they were soaked in and 1 tbsp Gulkand (or 10-12 rose petals) into a smooth paste. If you wish for a lighter coloured Thandai, you can peel the soaked almonds. I used them with the skin.

  2. Making the Spice Powder 
    1. Grind 1/4 tsp cardamom seeds, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, 1/4 tsp pepper corns, 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder and 1/2″ piece of cinnamon to a coarse powder.
  3. Soaking the Saffron
    1. Soak 2 large pinches of saffron strands in 1 tbsp warm milk for about 10 minutes.
  4. Making Thandai
    1. Over medium heat, bring 2 cups of milk (400 ml) to a boil.
    2. Now, lower heat and let the milk simmer.
    3. Add the cardamom-pepper-cinnamon-nutmeg-fennel powder to the milk, and simmer for 5 minutes.
    4. Next, add the almond-cashew-pistachio-poppy seeds paste to the simmering milk and mix well.
    5. Turn off the heat.
    6. Finally add the soaked saffron strands and 3 tbsp sugar to the milk.
    7. Mix well.
    8. Cover and set aside to cool.
  5. Serving Suggestions
    1. Refrigerate the Thandai for at least 3 hours. I prefer to leave this drink in the fridge overnight so that the flavours and aromas of the various spices are truly absorbed by it.
    2. Serve chilled Thandai with Gujjiya or Ghevar.
Thandai: Milk Simmered with Spices and a Dry-Fruit Paste
Thandai

Recipe for Thandai

Thandai: Spiced Milk for Holi and Maha Shivaratri

Aruna
Making Thandai at home is so very easy and the result of so delicious that you will not go back to readymade Thandai. The best part of that you can very easily customise the spice mix to suit your palate.
As the name suggest, this drink has a cooling effect on the body, and one that is much needed in the scorching heat of the North Indian plains.
Serve Thandai with some Ghevar and Gujjiyas to have a wonderful Holi!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Soaking Time 1 hr
Course Drinks, Snacks
Cuisine Indian, Vegetarian
Servings 4 People
Calories 147 kcal
Equipment
  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 heavy-bottomed vessel (1 litre capacity)
  • Small Grinder
  • Spatula
  • Glasses to Serve Thandai
Ingredients
  
  • 2 Cups Milk 400 ml
  • 2 Pinches Saffron
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
To Soak and Grind to a Paste
  • 6 Almonds
  • 3 Cashews
  • 8 Pistachios
  • 1/2 tbsp Poppy Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Gulkand 0r 10 to 12 Rose Petals
To Grind to a Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 ” Stick of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper Corns
Instructions
 
Making A Paste of the Dry Fruits
  • Soak 6 Almonds, 3 Cashews, 10 Pistachios, and 1/2 tbsp Poppy Seeds in 1/4 cup of water for about 1 hour.
  • Grind the soaked ingredients along with the water they were soaked in and 1 tbsp Gulkand (or 10-12 rose petals) into a smooth paste. If you wish for a lighter coloured Thandai, you can peel the soaked almonds. I used them with the skin.
Making the Spice Powder
  • Grind 1/4 tsp cardamom seeds, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, 1/4 tsp pepper corns, 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder and 1/2″ piece of cinnamon to a coarse powder.
  • Soaking the Saffron
  • Soak 2 large pinches of saffron strands in 1 tbsp warm milk for about 10 minutes.
Making Thandai
  • Over medium heat, bring 2 cups of milk (400 ml) to a boil.
  • Lower heat and let the milk simmer.
  • Add the cardamom-pepper-cinnamon-nutmeg-fennel powder to the milk, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the almond-cashew-pistachio-poppy seeds paste to the simmering milk and mix well.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Add the soaked saffron strands and 3 tbsp sugar to the milk.
  • Mix well.
  • Cover and set aside to cool.
Serving Suggestions
  • Refrigerate the Thandai for at least 3 hours. I prefer to refrigerate Thandai overnight.
  • Serve chilled Thandai with Gujjiya or Ghevar.
Nutrition Facts
Thandai: Spiced Milk for Holi and Maha Shivaratri
Amount Per Serving
Calories 147 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 12mg4%
Sodium 55mg2%
Potassium 228mg7%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 212IU4%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 170mg17%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Thandai
Tried this recipe?Do let me know how you liked it @aahaaram or tag #aahaaram!

I would love to hear from you!

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