Thandai one of the best refreshing and healthy Indian cold drink. Made with nuts, fragrant spices like fennel, peppercorns, cardamom, and saffron it elevates the senses and rejuvenates the body during harsh Indian summer. A perfect drink to serve on your special days and festive occasions. Thandai is popularly associated with two Indian festivals. Maha Shivratri and Holi.
In my family we all love Thandai. We used to have to it in India during summers. One glass of Chilled Thandai is enough to take away all day’s stress and tiredness. Thandai flavored Lassi(Sweet Yoghurt), Kulfi(a frozen Indian dessert) and Kheer(Indian Rice Pudding) equally taste good and refreshing. Thinking of making some fusion desserts… add it to your cake batter(check my Mawa Cake recipe) or to your pudding and mousse or make thandai flavored nan-khatai or cookies. Thandai mix is made in two ways.. one is powdered form where you add it to the boiling milk and cook for few minutes and chill to enjoy it. And the other is the concentrated sugar syrup form where you add it directly to your chilled milk.
Here I am giving the recipe for concentrated sugar syrup form but you can make this in powder form also by omitting the water and sugar part. Melon seeds are also used along with Almonds and Cashewnuts for making thandai. I didn’t use it in the recipe as didn’t have it at home but you can add melon seeds if they are available to you. I have mentioned the amount of melon seeds to be used in this recipe in the ingredients section. It is a very quick recipe if you are making concentrated syrup form you need to soak the nuts and spices beforehand.For dry powder form, just grind the nuts and seeds. Sugar and water are not required in the recipe for Dry Thandi Masala. Though this was my first attempt at making Thandai, we all loved it. My daughter said it tasted just like Haldiram’s Thandai. A Plus point for this one is that it was fresh and homemade and free of food preservatives.
Let’s see the ingredients and method to make this refreshing drink!!
Soaking Time –3-4 Hrs
Preparation Time-10-15 minutes
Cashew nuts (Kaju)–25 gms
Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus)– 2- 3 Tbsp
Fennel Seeds (Saunf)–1 tbsp
Green Cardamom (Choti Eliachi)–10-15
Sugar– 1 1/2 cup
Melon Seeds–2-3 Tbsp
Rose water–1 tsp(optional)
Refer to the images at the end of the method.
Soak Almonds 3-4 hrs before making Thandai and then peel. Or you can soak almonds in warm water or microwave, this softens the peel and it comes out easily.
Soak Cashews, poppy seeds, green cardamom seeds, melon seeds in water 2-3 hrs before making Thandai.
Add water and sugar to a pan and boil, make sugar syrup to a one thread consistency. One-thread consistency is when a single thread is formed (and does not break) when your forefinger and your thumb are pulled apart gently. To check the thread formation, take little syrup in a wooden spatula or spoon and cool it a little when warm take few drops on the forefinger stick to touch it with your thumb and pull apart gently. A single thread will form that will not break.
Add saffron infused water to the syrup. For that from the boiling syrup, you can take 2-3 tbsp of water and add saffron strands to it.
While the syrup is boiling, grind all the soaked ingredients together to a fine paste. You can add the boiling syrup water for grinding the nuts and seeds.
When one thread consistency syrup is formed, take it off the heat and add the fine paste to the sugar syrup.
Once again put it back on medium flame and let the syrup come to a boil. Take the pan off the flame.
Cool the syrup completely and store in glass bottle/jar. This will stay good for 15 days as no preservatives are added to it.
To serve Thandai, take chilled milk in a glass, add 1-1 ½ Tbsp of syrup to it, mix nicely and serve!!
For making the powdered Thandai:
Grind together all the nuts and seeds and spices together to a fine powder. Store in an air-tight container or glass jar.
For making Thandai milk, boil milk as required, add Thandai powder to it. For one cup of milk add 1-1 ½ Tbsp of Thandai masala powder, add sugar as required. Mix well and let the milk come to a boil. Switch off the flame. Let it cool and chill it and serve.
You can garnish the Thandai milk with chopped nuts and rose petals.
Add Gulkand(Rose Petal Jam) and rose petals to the ingredients and make Gulkand Thandai.
Blend some Mango pieces or mango concentrate to the chilled milk, make Mango Thandai!!
If you didn’t make Thandai on Holi, make it in summers, flavor the way you like it and beat the heat!!
Check the recipe for Mawa Mini Bundts with Thandai and saffron infused White Chocolate Ganache.
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