Holi is incomplete without Thandai (Spiced Almond Milk)! Don’t you agree with me?
As a child I hated Thandai. I thought the spice hit was too much and would get angry with the trickling sensation saying ‘my throat is hurting’ but then that was when I was a child, as I grew up and discovered the things that could be mixed with Thandai (*wink wink*) my opinion of Thandai changed and I started falling in love with it.
Thandai is a milk based drink made with dry fruits (mostly almonds) and spices like khus khus (poppy seeds) and pepper. Made mostly during Holi and Mahashivratri. it is often had mixed with bhaang. Holi marks the start of the summer and this Thandai combines the elements of both winter and summer with dry fruits and spices.
Usually nuts are soaked overnight and then ground, boiled with the milk, filtered and chilled before serving. These days most people make the Thandai masala and mix it with chilled milk to make instant Thandai. My mum has discovered a somewhat middle path of making the thandi. She microwaves the nuts for 5-6 minutes and then grinds them to a paste, reducing the overnight soaking time.
Today I will give you both the recipes and you can pick and chose what you want 🙂 My Holi gift to you guys. What you say? 😉 Holi is today, I know I know, but the parties are all in the weekend, aren’t they 🙂
For the thandai
- Grind together all the thandai masala ingredients in the jar of a mixier to a fine powder. This can be stored in an airtight container up to a week and refrigerated upto two weeks.
- To make thandai whenever required, mix 2 tsp of thandai masala powder & sugar in a glass of chilled milk and serve garnished with dry or fresh rose petals and well, may be, bhaang.
And here is the traditional Thandai recipe, a little time consuming but every bit worth it.
- Soak almonds in water for 5 hours or over night. Soak melon seeds & poppy seeds in water for 2 hours.
- Boil milk, add sugar and allow to dissolve. Let the mil simmer for 5-6 minute, switch off the gas and let it cool.
- While milk is boiling, peel almond, add the drained melon seeds, drained poppy seeds, cashew nuts, fennel seeds, pepper corns and green cardamom.
- Grind all these ingredients to a smooth paste and Add 1/4 cup of water if required.
- Add the ground paste to the milk-sugar mixture and mix well. Bring to boil together and switch off the heat. Place lid and leave aside for 15 minutes.
- Strain the liquid using a strainer which is not very fine, Chill for atleast two hours before serving. At the time of serving a little addition of bhaang is strongly recommended, though not mandatory
Here’s wishing everyone a very happy and colorful Holi !!
And while we are at Thandai, did you check out this super easy to make Thandai Mousse recipe yet?