Holi has passed but the sweltering heat is reason enough for you to stock up on all the thandai that you can. The drink has been in regular use by a lot of North Indian households (especially in Rajasthan) as an effective remedy to the negative effects of the heat. A lot of people prefer to buy packaged flavoured or organic thandai drinks, but if you’re a thandai purist, you don’t need to go through a ton of trouble to enjoy your refreshing glass of the milky drink. It’s easy to brew and has a lot of health benefits as well.

But more importantly, you can add it to most any drink, cocktail, dessert or home made sweet, to amp up their nutrition game or simply to mix things up. If you like the flavour of thandai powder and want to add it to your sweets as well, you can prepare the powder at home and add it to the sweet preparation and voila! you have your favourite flavoured sweet ready for you. ALSO READ: Traditional Thandai Recipe: How to make refreshing kesar thandai for Holi

Here are three different ways to enjoy the refreshing flavour of the thandai this summer:

 1. Gulkand Thandai Recipe


Thandai Mix :
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
3/4 cup melon seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
4 green caramom
1 tsp black pepper corns
2 tbsp poppy seeds

Thandai :

1 liter milk
1 tsp saffron soaked in 2 tbsp milk
sugar as needed
2 tbsp gulkand
rose petals for garnish
2 tbsp almonds and pistachios fine chopped for garnish


Thandai Mix :
1. Dry roast the almonds and cashew nuts. Set aside to cool completely.
2. Collect all ingredients in blender jar and grind until powdered.
3. Store in an air tight jar and keep in a cool dry place.

Thandai Drink :
1. Boil milk and cool down completely.
2. Add 4-5 tbsp of Thandai Mix (1 tbsp per glass) and saffron infused milk. Soak for few hours or over night.
3. Strain through muslin or a strainer (optional : only if you don’t like grainy texture in milk) .Keep chilled until required. ALSO READ: Easy Holi Cocktail Recipe: Here’s how to make Bombay to Benares thandai cocktail
4. Add sugar according to desired sweetness and gulkand for aroma and rose flavor. Stir well.
5. Pour the cold thandai into serving glasses and garnish with chopped pistachios and almonds.

(Recipe Courtesy: The Bombay Havelli)

2. Vodka Thandai Recipe


30 ml Vodka
10 green cardamoms – seeds only
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 coriander seeds
1 tsp melon/sunflower seeds
50 gm skinned almonds
5 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp rose petals
2 Tbsp rose water
750 ml milk


1. Roast spices lightly on a tawa.
2. Soak all ingredients except milk and vodka in enough water to cover.
3. Set aside for 2 hours.
4. Grind into a fine paste.
5. Mix with milk and vodka.
6. Strain liquid through muslin.
7. Decorate with rose petals and serve chilled.

(Recipe Courtesy: Door No. 1)

3. Thandai Phirni Recipe


For Phirni:

1 liter milk, full cream
¼ cup rice
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 tablespoons thandai powder
For garnishing
Pistachios, as required
Almonds, as required
Saffron strands

For thandai powder (dry roast and grind all the ingredients into a fine powder):

1/3 cup almonds
2 tablespoons cashew nuts
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon melon seeds
½ tablespoon black pepper powder
4-5 cardamom pods, green


1. To begin with Thandai Phirni, wash and soak the rice for about 1 hour.
2. Drain and pat dry the rice on an absorbent cloth. Once dry, blend the rice into a coarse powder.
3. In a heavy bottomed pan, add the milk and bring it to a boil. Once it begins to boil, turn the heat to low and add the ground rice to milk. You will notice that the milk will get thick after sometime. ALSO READ: Easy Holi Sweet Recipe: Here’s how to make thandai rasmalai in simple steps
4. Keep stirring the milk while it is simmering. Once it starts thickening, add the sugar and cardamom powder.
5. Add the Thandai powder and keep stirring for another 5 to 10 minutes till the mixture attains its full flavour and has an almost pudding-like consistency.
6. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely. Pour this mixture into small earthen pots and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
7. Garnish Thandai Phirni with chopped pistachios, almonds, rose petals and saffron.

Recipe Courtesy: Four Points by Sheraton, Navi Mumbai

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