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.
Anita Mokashi is based in California, but born and brought up in Mumbai, India. Her blog Crave Cook Click is mostly about Indian cooking, but occasionally she shares recipes from other cultures and cuisines too. Anita is also the publisher of a popular photography blog.