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Thandai - a refreshing Indian drink made with milk, almonds and spices, perfect to cool you down on a hot summer day and traditionally prepared during Holi.

Course Drinks
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 day 5 minutes
Servings 4
Author Manuela Zangara


  • 1 lt. – 4 cups full fat milk
  • ½ cup almonds whole and peeled
  • 2 ½ tbsp melon seeds char magaz
  • 1 tbsp white poppy seeds khuskhus
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • 6-8 peppercorns
  • 1 ½ tbsp rose water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Saffron strands a pinch
  • Pistachios a few to decorate
  • Edible rose petals a handful (optional)


  1. Soak the almonds in water overnight.Then drain and set aside.
  2. Soak the melon seeds, poppy seeds and fennel seeds in water for 2 hours.Then drain and keep aside.
  3. Put the milk and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. Once the sugar dissolves turn off the heat and allow it to cool.
  4. In the meantime, grind the almonds, peppercorns and all the seeds and make a fine paste using 1 cup of water.
  5. Add this paste to the milk and mix well. Then cover and keep aside for at least 1 hour.
  6. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing down the solids.
  7. Add the saffron strands, rose water and cardamom powder and mix well. Refrigerate until chilled.
  8. When ready to serve, stir the thandai, pour it into glasses and garnish with some chopped pistachios, saffron and edible rose petals (optional).  Serve chilled.