Thandai, also known as Sardai, is a chilled almond flavoured milk beverage. It is a refreshing drink that has a cooling effect and gives instant energy in scorching Indian summers.
It contains various cooling nuts and spices like almonds, fennel seeds, magaz (kernel of Watermelon seeds), cardamom, khus khus (poppy seeds) etc. A generous pinch of Saffron threads provides it a distinctive taste & colour. Rose petals, pepper, cashew nuts are other items that are many times added to it. It is also rich in calcium & vitamins.
Thandai is also made during various Hindu festivals of Holi & Maha Shivaratri. Indian holy city of Banaras is famous for Thandai and during festivasl many people and devotees drink Bhang waali Thandai, which is made by addition of fresh/dried leaves of bhang(cannabis).
It is common for people to make this drink from a concentrate or powder available off shelf in the market. But this homemade version of Thandai not only tastes much better but is good for health as it contains no added preservatives.
To make Thandai at home follow the detailed step by step recipe with photos posted below.
Ingredients For Thandai Recipe
- 1 Litre Full Cream Milk
- 3 Tablespoon Sugar
- 25-30 Almonds
- 20 Cashew Nuts
- 20 Pistachios
- 2 Tablespoons Magaz (Melon Seeds)
- 2 Tablespoons Khus Khus (Poppy Seeds)
- 1 Teaspoon Saunf (Fennel Seeds)
- 15-20 Rose Petals or 1 Teaspoon Rosewater
- 10 Black Peppercorns
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dalchini / Cinnamon Powder
- 5-6 Elaichi / Cardamoms, crushed
- 8-10 Strands of Kesar / Saffron
Step By Step Instructions With Photos for Thandai Recipe
Separately soak almonds, pistachios and cashew nuts, Magaz (Melon Seeds), Khus Khus (Poppy Seeds) and saunf (Fennel Seeds) in water overnight.
To make the thandai, peel the almonds and pistachios. Drain all the soaked ingredients and add them to a food processor. Grind them to make a fine wet paste using milk (not water).
Separately, grind Black Peppercorns, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Rose Petals and Saffron Strands to make a fine dry powder
Boil the milk and add sugar when it starts boiling. Add the wet paste to the milk and stir for 4-5 minutes as it boils.
Add the dry powder prepared earlier to the milk. Take the milk of the heat and let it come to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator.
Garnish with pistachios, almonds, saffron strands and rose petals. Serve chilled.