Happy Holi!It is the festival of colours today, celebrating it with this awesome Thandai drink which literally means cool drink! This refreshing, sweet masala drink is prepared with milk, almonds, pistachios and flavorful items like fennel seeds, khus-khus, pepper, strands of saffron and a dash of rose syrup.Holi is a no-holds-barred festival when it comes to playing pranks, splashing Colours or even having Thandai spiked with the very intoxicating cannabis or bhang. Mine was not laced with bhang of course but if you want to escalate the spirit of holi then you should down a few glasses of thandai. Bhang or cannabis has the sanction of Lord Shiva as it is known as his drink.
This sultry summer weather, topped with the festival of colours–Holi-can be made more delectable with chilled glasses of thandai! This rich, cool hails from North India, but it is now sold as a concentrate in all stores. If you do not want to drink the store-bought thandai then try this recipe which is quite easy to make at home.
Recipe for THANDAI
1 litre full-fat milk
6 tbsp sugar or according to taste
Few rose petals
Pinch of saffron strands
Few almonds silvered
Few cashews chopped
Few pistachios chopped
For the paste:
24-25 almonds soaked
1 tbsp poppy seed
1 tbsp fennel seed
1 tbsp black peppercorn
4-5 green cardamom
Soak all the ingredients for the paste overnight.
In the morning strain the water and peel the almonds and ground the soaked mixture to a smooth paste by adding a little water.
Boil the milk and leave it to simmer for 10mins
Add saffron to some hot milk and set aside.
Now add the sugar and the ground paste to the milk.The peppercorns add a strong pungent taste to the otherwise sweet drink.
The flavours and aromas of the various spices blend harmoniously with the nuts and give this drink a lot of tangible taste to the Thandai mixture.
Simmer for 4-5 mins until it slightly thickens. Add the saffron infused milk.
Allow to cool once at room temperature and then keep it in the fridge to chill.
Serve in tall glasses. Garnish with rose petals and slivers of almonds, pistachios and strands of saffron.
Remember to make more of the paste as there would be many requests for refills.
Thandai can be had to cool down in the coming months of blazing relentless summer days.
What is Holi?
Holi is a Hindu festival marking the arrival of spring. It is known as the Festival of Colour as coloured powders are splashed on each other like the La Tomatino festival.It takes place over two days and is a celebration of fertility, colour, and love, as well as the triumph of good versus evil.