tandai, holi drink, refreshing drink, summer cooler, bhang, indian summer drinkThandai

Thandai is refreshing drink to beat the scorching summer heat!  This milk-based,  energy-drink is prepared from mixture of dry fruits such as - Almonds, Melon seeds, Poppy seeds, and flavored with Pepper, Rose essence, Cardamom and Fennel seeds. Finally the Saffron infuses heavenly flavor, taste and color to its perfection. 

Thandai is loaded with several health benefits, as almonds being a major ingredient in the preparation, Thandai provide cooling effect to body & mind at the same time injecting a good dose of  nutrients to keep up ones spirit high & right. Thus this energizer has also been traditionally associated with festivals like Mahashivratri and Holi, which falls in spring season.

During Mahashivratri, the Thandai is prepared and offered to Lord Shiva along with the rose petals. On this occasion traditionally, Thandai is prepared with milk adding poppy seeds and almonds but not with pepper as this is considered a hot spice. During the time of colorful Holi there are no exceptions, so Thandai is prepared with all necessary ingredients, including pepper and fennel seeds for that ultimate taste and flavor. 

The Thandai goes hand-in-hand during Holi to enjoy the festive spirit with much energy, enthusiasm and zeal while playing colors with near and dear ones. The festival of Holi is celebrated with great fervor across the country, giving it different names according to the regional influence of their rituals and traditions like - Dulandi Holi, Rangapanchami, Basant Utsav, Dol Purnima (Dol Jatra / Dol Yatra), Shimgo, Hola Mohalla, Lathmaar Holi, Phagu Purnima and so on. In many places Holi Thandai is also served as Bhang Thandai by mixing leaves of Cannabis plant in its natural form, which makes the Thandai experience exhilarating

So chill out and take a blissful sip of this mystic flavored-drink.

thandai, tandai


1. Milk - 1 1/2 litre
2. Water - 1/2 litre
3.  Sugar - 1/2 cup , Alternatively use Sugar Substitute to taste
4. Almonds / badam 1/2 cup
5. Poppy seeds / khus khus - 1/4 cup
6. Melon seeds / magaz - 1/2 cup
7. Fennel seeds / saunf - 1 tsp.
8. Black peppercorns / Kali mirch - 3/4 tsp.
9. Green cardamom / choti elaichi - 4 to 5 nos.
10. Saffron strands / kesar- few  (to garnish)
11. Rose water / kewra essence - 1 tsp.

Preparation Method:

1. Soak almonds, poppy seeds and melon seeds in water in separate cups for at least 4 hours or overnight.
how to make thandai, thandai recipe

2.  Boil milk with water adding sugar adjusted according to the taste though the quantity is been given.

2. Once the milk is boiled, cool it and then keep it in the fridge until chill.

3. Now blend the soaked ingredients like almonds, poppy reds and melon seeds long with pepper, cardamom and fennel seeds into a fine paste adding little water.

4. Take an empty jar and place the muslin cloth over it.  Now add the blended paste and pour the chill milk over so that the milk is passed through all the different flavors thoroughly.

5. The milk to pass through the flavors just collect the corners of the muslin cloths and squeeze it so that the flavored Thandai is passed through muslin cloth easily.

6. Now refrigerate the Thandai and while serving just pour them in the glass and garnish them with saffron strands. So the authentic Classic Thandai / Kesar Thandai is ready to relish chilled.


1. Instead of discarding the left over ground paste of nuts, it can be used in the preparation of any sweets provided the fennel seeds and pepper is added separately to the Thandai. Can be added to any Halwa, specially goes good with Gajar halwa, which requires the taste of poppy seeds and almonds.


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