Thandai is a Indian beverage made with nuts, rose water fennel and kesar/saffron. It is a cool drink for a hot spring - summer. It is also called as Shardai/sardai. Very popular in North India, especially Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
What is shardai?
The spice powder has both the goodness of milk and dry fruits or nuts. Also, has a great flavor due to a dash of spices. The cooling of fennel is a perfect match to the heat of pepper corns. Richness of nuts is balanced with rose water, cardamom and saffron.
What is the difference between thandai and bhang?
Normal thandai is non-intoxicating. It is only made with powdered nuts, fennel and saffron. You will find it across the gullies of Banaras as Bhole bhandari's Lord Shiva's prasad. People drink it with both with and without 'bhang'.
Bhang is a mix of cannabis leaves which cause mild intoxication. It is served only at legally permit shops. However, that is not for us. Here is a recipe, which you can easily make at home minus the bhang. It is better than using thandai syrup from market. This has no bhaang and yet gives you the same feel of Banaras.
When should you drink Thandai?
India is a land of festivals and each festival comes with new flavor. People love to drink it during the festival of Maha shivratri and Holi . Both these festivals are celebrated in Feb-March each year. At this time weather changes from winter to spring. Days are getting hotter, longer and nights shorter & warmer. Mahashivratri marks the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, as per Hinduism. Holi, the festival of colours in March is associated with Lord Krishna and Radha Rani. It is celebrated with grand fervor across India especially in Brindavan, Barsana and Mathura in UP. Time to eat sweets and snacks while you play with colors all day long. After all, you need to recharge the belly too. Holi can never be complete without gujiya, malpua and thandai. Ditch the commercial cola and enjoy Desi style!
Ingredients of Thandai powder
Making powder step-by-step:
Read the Thandai recipe below
Thandai-desi dry fruit beverage
Thandai spice mix:
- 1 tbsp ‘saunf’ or fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp ‘khuskhus’ or poppy seeds optional
- 1 piece ‘dalchini’ or cinnamon
- 1 tsp ‘jaiphal’ or nutmeg powder
- 8-10 white peppercorns optional
- 1 tsp elaichi powder or cardamom powder
- ½ cup almonds Soaked overnight or in hot water for 2 hours.Peeled
- ½ cup cashews
- ¼ cup pistachios
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup rose water optional
- 1½ ltr milk
- 8-10 strands of ‘kesar’ or saffron
- Sugar as per taste
- Soak almonds overnight or in hot water for 4-5 hours.Peel the skin.
- Soak the remaining dry fruits in water for 2 hours.
- Grind the dry fruits with rose water,milk/water to form a fine paste and sieve it.
- Grind the spices for the thandai mix.Add to the dry fruit mix.
- Mix all thandai ingredients.
- Boil milk and reduce it to half.
- Add saffron and sugar.
- Allow it to cool until it comes at room temperature.
- Add the thandai mix to the milk.
- Allow it to cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
- You may strain the thandai before serving it.
Click here to read more drink recipes.
Finally click here to watch more of our recipe videos.