thandai recipe, how to make thandai recipe for holi | easy recipe of thandai

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thandai recipe

thandai is a traditional cooling drink, popular in the northern parts of india. thandai is made with a mix of dry fruits, seeds and a few spices.

4.67 from 6 votes
total time:
90minutes

thandai recipe with step by step photos and video – easy recipe of refreshing thandai drink for the holi festival. thandai is a traditional drink, popular in the northern parts of india. its made with a mix of dry fruits, seeds and a few spices.

thandai, thandai recipe

the word “thandai” means that which is cooling or cools and is derived from the word “thanda” which means “cool” in hindi language.

so as the name is, this beverage is cooling for the body. thandai is one of those drinks that is made during holi festival and mahashivratri. bhang (cannabis) thandai is also consumed during both these festivals. since bhang is banned in maharashtra, i cannot make bhaang thandai, but we have had bhaang thandai during one mahashivratri festival while on a spiritual tour in banaras and rishikesh.

apart from thandai, few more popular recipes which are made during holi festival like:

  1. gujiya
  2. malpua
  3. phirni
  4. puran poli
  5. dahi bhalla
  6. sweet lassi
  7. khasta kachori recipe.

the thandai recipe i am sharing is very easy – soak, grind and mix with milk or water. the thandai paste stays good for a week. you can easily make 8 to 9 glasses of thandai with this recipe.

thandai recipe card below:

thandai recipe
4.67 from 6 votes
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thandai recipe

thandai is a traditional cooling drink, popular in the northern parts of india. thandai is made with a mix of dry fruits, seeds and a few spices.
course beverages & drinks
cuisine north indian
prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
total time 1 hour 30 minutes
servings 8 glasses
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons almonds (badam) OR 30 grams
  • 2 heaped tablespoons pistachios (pista) OR 20 grams pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (khus khus)
  • ¼ cup melon seeds OR 30 grams melon seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dried rose petals OR 2 tablespoons rose water OR 1 to 2 tablespoons gulkand
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • ½ teaspoon whole black pepper (sabut kali mirch)
  • 3 to 4 green cardamoms (choti elaichi) - husks removed and seeds kept
  • 1 pinch saffron (kesar) - optional
  • ½ cup sugar OR 100 grams sugar
  • 1 glass chilled milk
  • ice cubes as required
  • few rose petals or chopped almonds or pistachios for garnish

how to make thandai recipe

preparation for thandai recipe

  1. in a bowl, pour 1 cup warm water.

  2. then add almonds, pistachios, poppy seeds (khus khus), melon seeds, dried rose petals, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds and ½ teaspoon black pepper. 

  3. mix very well. cover and keep aside for minimum one hour or 2 hours. if you use water at room temperature, then you can also keep overnight or for 4 to 5 hours.

making thandai paste

  1. after 1 to 2 hours, pour the whole mixture including the soaking water in a grinder or blender jar. do make sure to use a good grinder or blender.

  2. add ½ cup sugar, seeds from 3 to 4 green cardamoms and 1 pinch of saffron. 

  3. blend the mixture to a very smooth and fine paste. remove in a bowl and keep aside. you can cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.

making thandai recipe

  1. to prepare thandai, take about 4 tablespoons of the thandai paste in a glass. add chilled milk. you can also use half-half combination of milk and water.

  2. mix very well.

  3. add a few ice cubes.

  4. garnish with rose petals. you can also garnish thandai with some chopped almonds or pistachios.

  5. serve thandai immediately. alternatively, you can prepare the thandai drink in a large mug or jug. refrigerate and then serve.

recipe video

recipe notes

tips for making thandai recipe:
  • if using gulkand, then reduce the sugar to ⅓ cup. 
  • grind the paste very finely, especially if preparing for kids. 
  • you can even strain the thandai paste if you want. 
  • you can use peeled almonds if you want. just blanch the almonds separately and then peel them.
  • instead of milk, vegans can use almond milk to make thandai. 
  • the thandai paste keeps well for about a week. 
  • skip poppy seeds if its not available in your country. 

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how to make thandai recipe:

1. in a bowl, pour 1 cup warm water.

water to make thandai recipe

2. then add 3 tablespoons almonds.

almonds to make thandai recipe

3. next add 2 heaped tablespoons pistachios (pista). instead of pistachios, you can also use cashews (kaju).

pista to make thandai recipe

4. then add 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (khus khus).

making thandai recipe

5. next add ¼ cup melon seeds (magaz or kharbuja beej).

making thandai recipe

6. the next ingredient to be added is 2 tablespoons dried rose petals. if you do not have dried rose petals, then add 2 tablespoons rose water or 2 tablespoons gulkand. if you add gulkand, then reduce the sugar to ⅓ cup.

making thandai recipe

7. now add 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (saunf).

making thandai recipe

8. then add ½ teaspoon whole black pepper (sabut kali mirch).

making thandai recipe

9. mix very well. cover and keep aside for minimum one hour or 2 hours. if you use water at room temperature, then you can also keep overnight or for 4 to 5 hours.

making thandai recipe

10. the thandai mixture after 90 minutes.

making thandai recipe

11. now pour the whole mixture including the soaking water in a grinder or blender jar. do make sure to use a good grinder or blender.

preparing thandai recipe

12. add ½ cup sugar.

preparing thandai recipe

13. then add seeds from 3 to 4 green cardamoms.

preparing thandai recipe

14. next add 1 pinch saffron. saffron is optional and you can skip it.

preparing thandai recipe

15. grind the mixture to a very smooth and fine paste. remove in a bowl and keep aside. you can cover and refrigerate if not using immediately. no need to add extra water while grinding.

preparing thandai recipe

17. to prepare thandai, take 4 tablespoons of the thandai paste in a glass. you can add less or more as per your requirements.

preparing thandai recipe

18. add chilled milk. you can also use half-half combination of milk and water. you can even use almond milk instead of milk.

preparing thandai recipe

19. mix very well.

preparing thandai recipe

20. add a few ice cubes.

thandai recipe

21. garnish with rose petals. you can also garnish thandai with some chopped almonds or pistachios.

thandai recipe

22. serve thandai immediately. alternatively, you can prepare the thandai drink in a large mug or jug. refrigerate and then serve. while serving later, stir the mixture well and then serve the thandai.

thandai recipe

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree surely enhanced my cooking & baking skills which i now share as fool proof recipes on the blog. i am trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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6 comments/reviews

  1. Hi Dasssna,
    Am a very big fan of Ur blog. Love all your recipes. Have tried lot many. Looking forward to surprise my husband with the thandai tommorw.
    Please tell me if there is substitute for melon seeds?? If not can I skip it
    I couldn’t get it in the stores here😔

    • thank you ashwini. there is no substitute for melon seeds. so you can skip them. a close relative is pumpkin seeds, but it will give a different taste, so i would not suggest to add them.

  2. Very nice recipe. Should the milk be heated before and then cooled?
    Or can we use the milk directly from the tetra packs?

    Thank You.

    • Welcome Shiva. If the milk is pasteurized then you don’t need to boil it. If the milk is raw then you will have to boil it and cool it.

  3. Really Yummy

    • Thanks Trupti

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