Celebrate the Holi Festival with this cold, sweet drink made of almonds, spices, and milk.
By Anita Mokashi
Thandai, also known as “Sardai”, is a cold drink prepared with a mixture of almonds, fennel seeds, magaztari seeds (watermelon kernel), rose petals, pepper, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar. This drink is common in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan – mostly in Peshawar, Banaras / Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
It is native to India and is often associated with the Maha Shivaratri and Holi festival.
“Bhang Ki Thandai” is a mildly intoxicating drink popular in many parts of the Indian sub-continent, which is made by mixing a small amount of bhang (cannabis leaves and buds) with thandai (with whole milk being used). The fat content of the ground-up nuts and milk solubilize the fat-soluble cannabinoids.
- 4½ cups full fat milk
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- a pinch of freshly ground black pepper (kalimirch)
- a few saffron (kesar) strands
- ¼ cup almonds (badam)
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds (khus-khus)
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
- ½ tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
- 20 whole white peppercorns
- Boil the milk in a deep pan, allow it to cool completely.
- Combine the powder and milk in a deep bowl, mix well using a whisk and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve, add the sugar, pepper powder and saffron and mix well.
- Pour equal quantities of the thandai into 4 individual glasses and serve chilled.