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One glass of thandai in the forefront and 3 in a golden color plate in the back.


A sweet and spicy milk based drink loaded with nuts, seeds and spices. A Holi special.
Course Beverage
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 316kcal
Author Usha Rao


  • Saucepan
  • Grinder or a Blender


  • 4 cups or 1 quart Whole Milk I used 2 cups whole milk and 2 cups 1% milk
  • 12 Cashews soaked
  • 2 tbsp Melon Seeds soaked (I substituted with 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tbsp Poppy Seeds soaked
  • 16 Whole Almonds blanched
  • 20 Shelled Pistachios blanched (I used roasted pistachios)
  • ⅛ – ¼ tsp Saffron
  • ⅔ - 1 cup Sugar I used one cup and was a bit too sweet
  • 6 Green Cardamoms
  • ½ inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 6 Black Peppercorns
  • 14 - 16 Rose Petals I didn’t use


  • Soak cashews, melon seeds and poppy seeds for at least 1 – 2 hours, preferably 2 hours.
  • Blanch almonds and pistachios by dropping the nuts in boiling water and cooking for a minute. Drain, run under cold water and peel the skin. For pistachios, rub the nuts between fingers and if there is a thin skin, it will peel off. If not, use it as is.
  • Grind together almonds, pistachios, cashews, melon seeds and poppy seeds to a fine paste using some milk. Keep it aside.
  • Grind green cardamom, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and rose petals (if using) to a fine powder and keep aside.
  • Bring remaining milk to a boil and add saffron.
  • When milk boils, add sugar and mix well. Start with about ⅔ cup of sugar, taste and adjust to taste.
  • Add nuts paste to milk and mix well to incorporate. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add ground spice powder and continue simmering for a couple of minutes.
  • Taste thandai and adjust sugar.
  • Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before serving. I served it as is but if one wishes, strain and then serve.


  • Everyday Drink - Though this s a Holi special, you can easily incorporate this drink  into your daily diet. Cut back or skip cashews as these are the only nuts that are rich in  calories and you do not want to consume so many on a daily basis.
  • Nutrition - listed are approximate values.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 582mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 419IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 419mg | Iron: 3mg