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A Special Holi Drink: Thandai

A Special Holi Drink: Thandai

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.

See Also

“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.

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A Special Holi Drink: Thandai

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  • Author: Anita Mokashi


Celebrate the Holi Festival with this cold, sweet drink made of almonds, spices, and milk. Adapted from Tarla


  • 4 1/2 cups full fat milk
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • a pinch of freshly ground black pepper (kalimirch)
  • a few saffron (kesar) strands

To Be Blended Into A Fine Powder

  • 1/4 cup almonds (badam)
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds (khus-khus)
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
  • 20 whole white peppercorns


  1. Boil the milk in a deep pan, allow it to cool completely.
  2. Combine the powder and milk in a deep bowl, mix well using a whisk and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. Strain the mixture through a sieve, add the sugar, pepper powder and saffron and mix well.
  4. Pour equal quantities of the thandai into 4 individual glasses and serve chilled.
  • Category: Drink
  • Cuisine: Indian


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