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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.
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.
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 Recipe, Majige/ Tak / Chaach/Buttermilk, Shahi Shikanji~Indian State Madhya Pradesh, Panha -Raw Mango Drink.
- 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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