A refreshing and energizing milk drink , Thandai is very popular in North India and is traditionally associated with festivals like Mahashivratri and Holi. A chilled beverage in which milk is first boiled with nuts like Almonds and Pistachios and flavored with spices like Saffron , green Cardamom , Fennel Seeds , Poppy Seeds , Pepper corn , Mellon seeds and Rose petals.
Generally the recipe of Thandai calls for overnight soaking of ingredients and then peeling , grinding and boiling the paste with milk and further cooling. This is time consuming and i personally feel , instead of enjoying the festival with our family , we are always busy in the kitchen making goodies. So i prepare the Thandai masala at home which can be stored and used as per need. I have not used any artificial flavouring or colors.
Ingredients for Thandai Masala
- 1/2 cup Almonds / Badam (100 grams)
- 1/4 cup Pistachio / Pista (50 grams)
- 3 tbsp Mellon Seeds / Magaz ( 40 grams)
- 3 tbsp Fennel Seeds / Saunf ( 40 grams)
- 1 tbsp Poppy seeds / Khus Khus
- 10-15 Black pepper corns / Sabut kali Mirch
- 10-15 Green Cardamom / hari Elaichi
- Few Saffron Strands / Kesar
- 2 tbsp dried Rose Petals / Sukhi Gulab ki pankhudiya
- 2 cups Milk
- 2-3 tbsp of Sugar or as required
- 3-4 tbsp of Thandai Masala
- Few Saffron strands
- Few Rose Petals
- Dry roast all the ingredients one by one on a skillet or in a pan on low flame until fragrant. This step not only ensures that the Thandai masala stays good for longer time , but roasting the spices and nuts , helps to release their volatile oils and thus enhance their flavor.
2. I have even roasted the Saffron strands and rose petals for few seconds. Allow the ingredients to cool down and then grind them to powder using a grinder. I have not peeled the green Cardamom after roasting. Add them to the grinder with their skins, This gives more strong flavor and aroma to the Thandai.
3. Sieve the Thandai masala and refrigerate in a dry and air tight container. Whenever one wishes to make Thandai , just boil milk , add sugar as per taste and add this Thandai masala to the boiling milk.
4. Stir well and boil again for 2-3 minutes. Put off the flame. If you wish , you may strain the milk. Garnish with few more Saffron strands and Rose petals and let the Thandai completely cool down and then keep in the refrigerator. Serve chilled.
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