HomeBachelor Recipes Thandai, How to make Sardai, Thandai for Holi #CookoutWeek

Thandai, How to make Sardai, Thandai for Holi #CookoutWeek

Comments : 30 Posted in : Bachelor Recipes, Drinks, Festive Cooking, Indian Cuisine, Kid Friendly, North Indian Cuisine, Shakes or Smoothies on by : ArchanaPotdar Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Thandai (pronounced as tan’d^I) also called sardai cools you in the hot sweltering Indian Summers.  What more we use all the goodness that nature has in her bounty to make thandai.  

Aerated cold drinks, juices are popular now but they are harmful to health and empty calories. Have a glass of thandai, an Indian cold drink and sweet milk-based drink that is great for your health.  

Sardai, Thandai


The original recipe calls for a mixture of almonds, fennel seeds, magaztari seeds (watermelon kernel), rose petals, pepper, vetiver or khus seeds, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar.  You can leave out what you do not have it will have to be the vetiver or khus seeds not all of us have access to them.:D The main ingredients will be milk, cardamom, almonds, sugar, and saffron and fennel.

Sardai is associated with the Maha Shivaratri and Holi festival and is mostly consumed in Northern India and Rajasthan.

The other variations are Badam Thandai which uses almonds, Rose Thandai use dried rose petals and essence, Mango Thandai make using mango puree, Badam Kesar Thandai where almonds and saffron are used to make this drink, and then there is Bhang Thandai.

Bhang thandai is a is made by mixing a small amount of bhang (cannabis leaves and buds) with thandai (with whole milk being used). A mildly intoxicating drink isn’t it? This used to be popular during Holi when we were kids and my parents had warned us strictly not to eat or drink when we went to play Holi. The stories we heard were like for 7 days you will repeat your action laugh and you will laugh for 7 days! Ah! the innocence of childhood!

You can make Thandai powder at home it’s simple and it tastes much better than the store bought ready-mix. Thandai is a very easy recipe you can use full milk or thicken it. The almonds and the spices fennel, cardamom and saffron, pepper make it a perfect cooling drink and it can be served on festive occasions.

I have here used a ready mix that I picked up in Delhi with Vaishali but have included the recipe.

Sardai, Thandai


Relax and enjoy while you check out the other natural coolants that we have every Summer to beat the sweltering Indian heat like Jal Jeera ~Drinks That Cool RecipeMajige/ Tak / Chaach/ButtermilkShahi Shikanji~Indian State Madhya PradeshPanha -Raw Mango Drink.


A delicious Indian Milkshake blended and made from milk, nuts and spices.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Bachelor Recipes, Drink, Festival Cooking, Kid-Friendly
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Servings: 4 glasses


The Milk:

  • 6 cups Milk 6%
  • cup ¼sugar
  • a few strands of saffron

For the Thandai Mixture:

  • ¼ cup almonds
  • 2 tbsp khus khus/poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp saunf/fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp elaichi/ green cardamom powder


  • In a thick bottomed pan heat the milk stirring occasionally. Take care the milk should not burn. You can drop a small ceramic plate this helps in preventing the burnt smell to the milk. Now that does not mean you should stop occasionally stirring the milk.
  • As the milk is thickening make a fine powder of the almonds, khus khus, fennel seeds and cardamom. Set aside.
  • Once the milk thickens and reduces to about 4 cups tip in the sugar and stir well. The milk will become a bit watery but that is okay, continue heating it to reduce to 4 cups.
  • Add the saffron. Mix well.
  • Add the Thandai powder blend it.
  • Cool and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours.
  • You can strain the milk if you wish but I prefer not to.
  • Pour into glasses and serve.

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30 thoughts

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  • October 5, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Just as holi approaches, thandai recipe rule my mind and invariably I will never be able to make it. now that you have reminded, i will try this offseason.

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 5, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      :D. Do try I am sure you will enjoy it.

  • October 5, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Homemade thandai tastes best in comparison to ready-made ones. I always make this in small quantities when required.
    Lovely share.

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 5, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks, Lata.

  • October 5, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    This is my favourite drink.. can’t wait for summer so that I make and enjoy it. But we add very little milk and more almonds as no one in our house likes milk.

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 5, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      😀 Sounds like I have company! I love milk in any form unlike some in my family.

  • October 5, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    This is such a cooling and soothing drink to enjoy holi festivities with a bang, loved the easy and simple recipe.

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 5, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks, Soma.

  • October 5, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Thanks for the easy and well explained recipe. Thandai looks so delicious flavourful and refreshing. Superb share.

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 6, 2018 at 5:59 pm


  • October 6, 2018 at 2:58 am

    Wow, you have used 6% milk in this recipe, must be so rich and creamy 🙂 Beautiful and delicious thandai,!

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 6, 2018 at 5:59 pm


  • October 6, 2018 at 10:34 am

    My favorite drink. I can have this any time of the day or month or year. And yours one is so simple.. Love it. And also I love that bhang wala story. Parents are kind of so similar..????????

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 6, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      :D. I am same with mine.

  • code2cook
    October 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Home made thandai masala surely add flavors to thandai.

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 6, 2018 at 5:58 pm


  • October 6, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    This is a flavoursome drink and a few ingredients minus will not change the taste.

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 6, 2018 at 5:58 pm


  • October 6, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Such a cooling and soothing drink to enjoy particularly during holi ….. So easy and simple recipe.

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 6, 2018 at 5:57 pm


  • October 6, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    We love thandai to the core. But I always prefer to make it at home and in small quantities whenever required.. lovely share !

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 6, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      Thank you.

  • October 6, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    I love to have thandai any time. It is simply superb .Thanks for the recipe.

  • Malini
    October 7, 2018 at 12:53 am

    Amazing drink with awesome flavors. I love this drink, First time I tasted this drink in Bangalore, that was the first time I ever played Holi. Sadly, In Tamil Nadu, we don’t celebrate this festival, like other places do. But love to try this recipe. Thanks for the share!

  • Nisha Ramesh
    October 7, 2018 at 1:27 am

    This is one dish that I haven’t yet tried. Bookmarking it Arch. Love the colour. 🙂

  • October 7, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    That looks inviting arch! I m yet to taste thandai , Every time I see thandai posts during holi, I think I should make it atleast this time, but alas
    It skips me!! Hopefully somebody soon, will try this yummilicious drink!

    • ArchanaPotdar
      October 8, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      You will love it Priya and I want to see the twist and presentation that you will give it.

  • March 5, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Welcome nice Thandai.

    • ArchanaPotdar
      March 6, 2019 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks Pranita.

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