Thandai Recipe | Traditional Holi Special Drink


Table of contents:

Thandai is a traditional Indian beverage with a special place in the heart of Holi celebrations. Its origins can be traced back centuries, originating from the northern parts of India, particularly in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This flavorful beverage is synonymous with the essence of Holi and offers a refreshing respite after playing Holi.

About Thandai

At its core, Thandai is a cooling drink crafted from rich ingredients such as milk, nuts, fragrant spices, and a hint of sweetness. The hallmark of Thandai lies in its complexity of flavors, which excite the taste buds with each sip. Its composition often includes almonds, cashews, pistachios, poppy seeds, cardamom, saffron, black peppercorns, and fennel seeds, all meticulously ground to create a luscious paste. This mixture is then infused into chilled milk, imparting a creamy texture and a burst of flavor.

Health Benefits of Thandai

It has always been the most demanded drink in my house even when it isn’t Holi. This is because Thandai is very healthy! Here are a few benefits of Thandai:

  • Nutrient-Rich Ingredients: It contains nuts, seeds, and milk rich in proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Hydration: Milk base provides hydration and essential nutrients like calcium and protein.
  • Cooling Properties: Spices like fennel seeds, cardamom, and saffron help cool the body during hot weather.
  • Digestive Aid: Ingredients like fennel seeds, and poppy seeds aid digestion and reduce bloating.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Contains saffron, almonds, and spices with antioxidants to combat oxidative stress.
  • Energy Boost: Provides a quick energy boost due to its nutritious ingredients.
  • Stress Reduction: Saffron-infused Thandai may help reduce stress and promote well-being.
  • Medicinal Benefits: Includes medicinal herbs like rose petals and black peppercorns with potential therapeutic effects.

Pro Tips:

  1. Always make sure to use fresh Dry fruits and Nuts
  2. Remember to peel the almonds before you soak them with other nuts


Fun fact: Thandai comes from the hindi word ‘Thand’ that means cold as Thandai helps cool down your body and beat the heat!


  • Bowl
  • Blender
  • Serving glasses


  • 10-15 strands Saffron
  • tbsp Milk (warm milk or water for saffron water)
  • Cup Sugar 1/3 Cup

Ingredients to be soaked

  • Cup Almonds 1/3 Cup
  • Cup Cashews 1/3 Cup
  • tbsp Melon Seeds 1.5 tbsp
  • tbsp Rose Petals 2 tbsp
  • Cup Pistachios 1/3 Cup
  • tbsp Poppy Seeds 1 tbsp
  • 8-10 pieces Green Cardamom
  • 15-20 kennels Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Saunf
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • Water to soak


Soaking nuts and seeds

  • In a bowl, add all the nuts and seeds - Almonds, Cashews, Melon Seeds, Rose Petals, Pistachios, Poppy Seeds, Green Cardamom, Black Pepper, Saunf, Cinnamon Stick.
  • Add warm water and let these nuts and seeds soak for about 2-3 hours.

Making the Thandai Paste

  • Dissolve the saffron strands in water/ milk and add that to the soaked ingredients
  • Mix well
  • Now add sugar to the mixture
  • Blend this mixture in a blender to create a paste
  • The thandai paste is ready! You can either store it in a container or serve it fresh.


  • Add one large spoon (2 tbsp) of the thandai paste to a glass
  • Pour chilled milk into the glass and mix well.
  • You may add a few ice cubes and also garnish with rose petals.
  • The amazing Thandai is ready to relish!


‼️My special tip:
Always use chilled milk for the best taste of Thandai. Avoid using ice to it!

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