top of page

Thandai §

Experience the refreshing delights of a Middle Eastern nesquik milk with this rose and almond milk drink called thandai. This recipe is from Indian Healthy Recipes.

Prep time: 4 hours

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Makes: 3-4 glasses


4.5 cups milk of choice

35 almonds

1 1/2 tbsp melon seeds (magaz)

1 1/2tbsp poppy seeds

1 1/2tbsp fennel seeds

12 cardamom pods

1inch of cinnamon (or 1/2tsp of cinnamon powder)

7 black peppercorns

5tbsp sugar (maybe more if you have a sweeter tooth)

1 pinch saffron

5tbsp of gulkand or rose water sliced nuts for garnish

1. Look at those nuts and seeds

Begin your thandai by soaking 35 almonds in hot water for an hour. In a separate bowl (you ceramics tsarina) soak 1 1/2tbsp poppy seeds and 1 1/2tbsp melon seeds.

Kate also soaked her spices so that they didn't feel left out

Once the skin on the outside of the almonds has become loose, peel it off (they could need longer than an hour to soak if they are not very old almonds, like mine were..).

Drain the water from the almonds and add them to a blender alongside the drained melon and poppy seeds, 1 1/2tbsp fennel seeds,12 cardamom pods, 1inch of cinnamon (or 1/2tsp of cinnamon powder), 7 black peppercorns, 1 pinch saffron and rose petals if you have some lying around or a few drops of rose water if not, or you can wait until later and add in some gulkand.

Blend so that it forms a nutty paste then add 1/2 cup milk and keep blending.

2. Boiling down the house

To a medium-large saucepan add the other 4 cups of milk, gently boil it.

Once hot add in the nut paste and 5 tbsp sugar. Taste to see if it is sweet enough and add more sugar if you aren't like Mrs Badrick and sweet enough as you are.

Stir through a few times then turn the heat off and but the drink into the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving. You can leave it in the fridge for up to a few days.

3. Serve it hunty

When you are ready for a refreshing glass of thandai, then pour the liquid through a strainer to get rid of any big nut lumps. Add a tsp of gulkand to each glass and then pour over the thandai stirring the gulkand through.

Dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "It is well known that drinks that we gasp do not often go down well. I did not expect much from this and expected it to turn out like the plaster tea. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised, the end result was so sweet and flavourful and tasted a lot like what I'd expect kulfi to taste like. Perhaps this is because I didn't use gulkand (or a few other ingredients..) but just a few drops of rose water to soften the flavour rollercoaster. I can imagine this would be really refreshing on a hot summers day. 10/10 "

Kate says: "I actually made this for Ramadan, not Holi and it wasn't entirely to my taste but my Egyptian partner liked it. It definitely has a very floral and spicy taste which I wasn't a huge fan of, but I suppose I could include less of the gulkand and that wouldn't be such a problem. The process for this was quite long*, especially soaking all of the different nuts and like the good gasper I am, I sourced authentic ingredients(magaz and gulkand) which were not easy to find, I think that tainted my experience a bit. I can see this being super refreshing on a summers day or after a fast, but it's not for me 3/10 *Plus, I have lost my nut milk bag somewhere along the line which made filtering this difficult. Top tip, use something bigger than a tea strainer when filtering!"

6.5/10 Gasps


bottom of page