Holi Recipe – How To Make Thandai

Holi Recipe - How To Make Thandai

Thandai is a refreshing milk-based drink, accented with bold flavors. It is traditionally consumed in Northern India during the festival of Holi. You can find many variations of this recipe and nothing is quite set in stone so feel free to experiment with spices and proportions.


  • 1 1/2 liter Water
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Almonds
  • 1 tbsp Watermelon Seeds, skinned
  • 1/2 tbsp Khuskhus (Poppy seeds)
  • 1/2 tbsp Saunf (Aniseed)
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Rosewater
  • 1 tsp Whole Peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup Dried or fresh Rose Petals


  • Soak sugar in 1/2 liter of the water used. Keep aside.
  • Wash clean all other dry ingredients, except cardamom if using powder.
  • Soak in 2 cups of remaining water. Keep aside.
  • Allow all soaked items to stand for at least 2 hours.
  • Grind all soaked ingredients to a very fine paste. (not sugar)
  • Use a stone grinder (manual or electric) if possible.
  • When the paste is very fine, mix remaining water.
  • Place a strong muslin strainer over a large deep vessel. Or tie a strong muslin cloth over rim of vessel and use to strain.
  • Press through muslin with back of palms, extracting the liquid into vessel.
  • Add remaining water, a little at a time to extract more.
  • Pour back some of the extract and press, repress.
  • Repeat this process till the residue becomes dry and husk like.
  • Add milk, sugar and rosewater to the extracted liquid.
  • If using cardamom powder mix it in with the milk.

Mix well. Chill for a hour of two before serving.