March 9th, 2009 filed under Beverages, Gluten Free
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Thandai is a very refreshing spicy cold drink with aromatic flavors; main ingredients are almond, milk, sugar and some spices. Traditionally thandai is served during the Indian holiday “Holi”. Holi is a celebration of the harvest season.

Recipe will serve 4.


  • 1/2 cup almonds (badam)
  • 1 1/2 cup Milk
  • 4 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper (kali mirch)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 2 tablespoon poppy seeds (khuskhus)
  • 4 green cardamom (ilatchi)
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
  • 2 cup water, adjust as needed


  1. Soak almonds in water for at least 6 hours. Peel off the almond’s skin.
  2. Grind black pepper, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, and cardamom.
  3. Using a blender, blend the almonds into a paste. Add just enough water to let the almond blend into a paste.
  4. In the same blender add the grinded spices and about ½ cup of water with almond paste. Blend until creamy.
  5. Add 1 cup of water and sugar blend until sugar dissolve.
  6. Strain the mix through the fine strainer or cheesecloth.
  7. Return the left over ground paste to the blender with rest of the water.
  8. Blend again and extract the liquid once more.
  9. Discard remaining ground mash.
  10. Mix the almond liquid, milk, and rose water.
  11. Thandai is ready serve over the crush ice.
  12. Garnish with rose peddle!

If you enjoyed the recipe for Thandai, here are more great recipes you should try from Manjula's Kitchen.

46 Responses to “Thandai”

  1. The name itself is very diff thandai.Refreshers for summer .usually we add buttermilk for refreshers .Milk is a bit diff for me.

  2. Darshita says:

    Hi Manjula….
    May i add gulakand in Thandai?

  3. Wings says:

    Wonderful beverage. I just made a double batch for my family to try. It was agreed it goes on the holiday table for Pesach! So since we are vegan I simply added a bit more water not enough to equal the milk called for so it was still nice and rich. I also left out the black pepper, I do the same in my chai tea blend as most do not like the bite and I am a pitta dosha so it serves me better too.

    Thank you for this lovely recipe and all the others, which are many, you have shared and my family has enjoyed!

  4. Komal says:

    Hi Manjula,

    Can I make the mixture and store it?

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