Thandai recipe

Thandai Recipe for Holi festival/ How to make Thandai

Thandai or Sardai is a refreshing milk based Indian Drink enjoyed during the festival of Maha shivrathri and Holi.  However it is significantly more popular as a cooling drink during the Holi festival in North India.Thandai literally means coolant in hindi , and true to its meaning, it is a healthy cool drink that has the capacity to rejuvenate and energize your senses .

A milk based traditional drink, it has a blend of healthy nuts and spices that gives the drink its thandai flavor. Almonds, cashews, poppy Seeds, melon Seeds, Black pepper, Green cardamon ,fennel Seeds, Sugar, saffron makes up for a Thandai powder that goes into the milk.

It is almost like a ritual to relish chilled thandai during Holi. Chilled and refreshing, It is supposed to lend a  cooling effect on your body, and can be served as a regular summer drink on an insouciant lazy warm day as well. Thandai has two versions.While my recipe is the healthy non alcoholic drink, the alcoholic version is Bhang based Thandai drink made with the addition of with cannabis leaves .

Different households have different variations of thandai with a slight change in the list of ingredients.However, there is an universal blend of nuts and spices that makes up for a thandai masala powder which is used to make thandai drink and any other thandai infused dish with almonds retaining its dominance over the other list of ingredients. You can read how to make this thandai masala in my post how to make thandai powder.

Kesar Thandai recipe

This bouquet of spices that make the thandai masala can be be prepared in advance and stored for future use. As a summer drink, thandai makes a great choice. And if you desire to be a little creative you could experiment with thandai cookies, thandai cheesecake, thandai pannacota, thandai kheer, and thandai muffins as well. Other wise a chilled glass of thandai on any summer day is enough to entice and energise your  mood.

You can read how to make thandai masala that is used for preparing thandai in my earlier post

Thandai Masala Mix for Holi / Instant Thandai powder


Thandai Recipe for Holi festival/ How to make Thandai
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Thandai is a milk based refreshing drink prepared during the festival of Holi in North india. It is a chilled milk drink made with a blend of Nuts and flavoured with varied pices. Almonds, cashews, Poppy seeds, melon seeds, black peppercorn, saffron, dried rose petals, fennel seeds,sugar and cardamon make up the thandai masala that goes into milk .
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 1
  • ---thandai masala
  • Almonds ¼th cup
  • Cashews ¼th cup
  • Poppy seeds 2 tbsp
  • Melon seeds 2 tbsp
  • Fennel seeds 1 tbsp
  • Black peppercorn 1 tbsp
  • Sugar ½ cup
  • few saffron stands
  • Pistacios(optional) 1 tbsp
  • Cardamon 15 to 20
  • ---thandai drink
  • 200 ml chilled milk
  • 2 tbsp of the above thandai masala
  • few drops of rose water
  • few ice cubes
  • few saffron strands if you desire for a kesar thandai.
  1. Boil the milk with a few strands of saffron and let it chill
  2. When ready to serve take a glass of chilled milk(around 200ml) and some ice cubes
  3. Add 2 tbsp of thandai masala powder and mix
  4. Add rose water
  5. Serve with additional pistacios


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