thandai recipe
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4.5 from 4 votes

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.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: beverages & drinks
Cuisine: north indian
Servings: 8 glasses
Author: Dassana Amit


  • 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


preparation for thandai recipe

  • in a bowl, pour 1 cup warm water.
  • then add almonds, pistachios, poppy seeds (khus khus), melon seeds, dried rose petals, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds and ½ teaspoon black pepper. 
  • 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

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

  • 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.
  • mix very well.
  • add a few ice cubes.
  • garnish with rose petals. you can also garnish thandai with some chopped almonds or pistachios.
  • serve thandai immediately. alternatively, you can prepare the thandai drink in a large mug or jug. refrigerate and then serve.



  • 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.