Thandai is a refreshing milk beverage. It’s a very popular drink in North India made during Mahasivarathri and Holi Festivals. It is a chilled almond flavored milk which tasty delicious and is terrific when mercury soars up. It is made with select spices grinded with rose petals and almonds. I gurantee you, once you try this refreshing drink at home, you will make it again and again. It is sure addictive. The drink is exotic with saffron and rose flavour and the spices just elevate the flavour of this drink. There are numerous recipes and too many variations , this is one way(my way) of doing it.
Here’s how I make Thandai-
Full fat milk – 1/2 liter
Sugar – 2 tbspn
Rose water/essence – 1 tspn/2 drops
Saffron strands – 10-12 strands
To grind to paste-
Almonds -15 nos
Cashews – 3-4 nos
Fennel seeds – 1 tspn
White pepper corn – 1 tspn
Poppy seeds – 1 tspn
Cardamom seeds – from 2-3 pods
Chopped nuts(pistachios, almonds, cashews – I used a mix of all 3 nuts)
Dried/fresh rose petals – a few
Method of preparation:-
1. Take all the ingredients mentioned under ‘to grind to paste’ and soak in water for minimum 30 minutes.
2. While the spices and nuts are soaking, boil milk. Use full fat milk.
3. Once milk starts boiling, switch off flame and allow the milk to cool. Add sugar, mix well and set it aside.
4. Add 2 tbspn of warm milk to a bowl and add saffron strands to it and set it aside.
5. After half an hour, take the almonds from water and peel the skin off. Blend it along with rest of the ingredients to a smooth paste.
6. Add this paste to the milk and mix well.
7. Strain the milk and discard the residues. Add the saffaron milk and milk again.
8. Add rose water and mix.(if using rose essence add just 2-3 drops)
9. Refregerate the milk for 1-2 hours or even over night if serving the next day.
10. Always serve chilled. Transfer the milk to serving glasses and just before serving add the garnish and serve chilled.
Happy Holi to you all!