No Holi celebrations are complete without a chilled glass of Thandai (a milk based drink). The drink is sweet and is flavored with almonds and saffron. It is one of the most important element of Holi celebration all across India. Some people use fennel seeds, pepper, cardamom to flavor the milk. Thandai compliments the elaborated platter of mouth-watering spicy snacks server on the occasion of holi.
Most important of all the Thandai recip[es, the one which intoxicates is the Bhang ki Thandai. Bhaang is prepared by grounding the buds and leaves of Cannabis using a mortar and pestle into a green paste. It is mixed with milk, ghee, and spices to prepare a nutritious, refreshing drink known as Thandai, which is intoxicating in nature.
Bhang ki Thandai
- 2 Cups of Water
- 1 Ounce Marijuana (fresh leaves and flowers of a female plant preferred)
- 4 Cups Warm Milk
- 2 Tablespoons blanched and chopped Almonds
- 1/8 Teaspoon Garam Masala (a mixture of cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom)
- 1/4 Teaspoon powdered Ginger
- 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Rosewater
- 1 cup Sugar
- Bring the water to a rapid boil and pour into a clean teapot. Remove any seeds or twigs from the marijuana, add it to the teapot and cover. Let this brew for about 7 minutes.
- Now strain the water and marijuana through a piece of muslin cloth, collect the water and save.
- Take the leaves and flowers and squeeze between your hands to extract any liquid that remains. Add this to the water.
- Gather up the marijuana and squeeze out as much milk as you can. Repeat this process until you have used about 1/2 cup of milk (about 4 to 5 times).
- Collect all the milk that has been extracted and place in a bowl. By this time the marijuana will have turned into a pulpy mass.
- Add the chopped almonds and some more warm milk. Grind this in the mortar until a fine paste is formed. Squeeze this paste and collect the extract as before. Repeat a few more times until all that is left are some fibers and nut meal. Discard the residue.
- Combine all the liquids that have been collected, including the water the marijuana was brewed in. Add to this the garam masala, dried ginger and rosewater. Add the sugar and remaining milk.
1. Thandai Recipe
- 1 liter full fat milk
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 10 to 12 peppercorns
- a few saffron strands
To be ground into a fine powder
- ¼ cup almonds
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (khus khus)
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds (saunf)
- ½ teaspoon cardamom (elaichi) powder
- 20 nos. white peppercorns
- Boil the milk and allow it to cool completely. Keep aside.
- Add the ground powder and mix well. Refrigerate the mixture for 3 to 4 hours.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve, add the sugar, peppercorns and saffron and mix well.
- Serve chilled.
2. Thandai Recipe
- 1 1/2 liter – Water
- 1 1/2 cups – Sugar
- 1 cup – Milk
- 1 tbsp – Almonds
- 1 tbsp – Watermelon/Cantaloupe seeds (dried and skinned)
- 1/2 tbsp – Poppy seeds
- 1/2 tbsp – Aniseed
- 1/2 tsp – Cardamom powder
- 1 tsp – Peppercorns (whole)
- 1/4 cup – Dried or fresh rose petals (Gulkand variety)
- Soak sugar in 1/2 liter of water and all other dry ingredients in 2 cups of water for at least 2 hours.
- Grind all soaked ingredients (not sugar) to a very fine paste.
- Mix remaining water to the paste and strain it using a strong muslin strainer to extract the liquid into a vessel until the residue becomes dry.
- Add milk and sugar to the extracted liquid.
- Mix the cardamom powder in the milk.
- Chill for an hour of two before serving.
- Makes about 8 glasses.
3. Thandai Recipe
- 250 gm sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 liter milk
- 10 almonds, soaked in water and peeled
- 6 pepper corns
- 4 cardamoms, crushed
- 2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
- 1 tsp khus essence (poppy seeds)
- Few ice cubes, crushed
- Grind well the peeled almonds, cardamom and fennel seeds to a fine paste and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Strain the mixture well.
- Take crushed ice cubes in a glass till half and fill the rest with the above mixture.
- Serve garnished with rose petals.
- Makes for 12 glasses
- Preparation time: 5-10 minutes.