Home Food & Drink Recipes Thandai – The Milk Based Summer Drink of India

Thandai – The Milk Based Summer Drink of India


Thandai is a very popular and refreshing summer drink in India. The drink is an instant energizer in hot summer days of India. Thandai is a milk based sweet drink with lots of dry fruits and flavored spices. The drink is believed to be originated during the mythological era. It was the favorite drink of Lord Shiva.

Thandai is one of the traditional drinks of India and mainly prepared on the occasion of Mahashivratri and Holi. People often mix bhaang in thandai specially on the occasion of Holi to make an intoxicating drink

Thandai Recipes

Recipe no. 1


  • 1 liter Milk
  • 2-3 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Aniseed
  • 1 tbsp Almonds
  • 10-12 Peppercorns
  • A few Saffron Strands
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp Dried watermelon seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp Poppy seeds
  • 1/4 Cup fresh rose petals


  • Boil the milk in a pan and allow it to cool.
  • Meanwhile soak aniseed, almonds, watermelon seeds, poppy seeds and rose petals in 2 cups of water.
  • Grind soaked ingredients to make a smooth paste.
  • Pour remaining water into this paste and strain through muslin strainer.
  • Extract the liquid into a vessel. Add the sugar, peppercorns, powdered cardamom, saffron and mix well.
  • Now blend the above-made mix with milk.
  • Chill for about an hour before serving.

Recipe no.2Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 liter water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. almonds
  • 1 tbsp. kharbooj / tarbooj seeds skinned (commercially available)(these are skinned dried seeds of watermelon and cantaloupes)
  • 1/2 tbsp. khuskhus (poppy seeds)
  • 1/2 tbsp. saunf (aniseed)
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder or 15 whole pods
  • 1/2 tsp. rose water (optional)
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns whole
  • 1/4 cup dried or fresh rose petals (gulkand variety)


  • Soak sugar in 1/2 litre 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.
  • 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.
  • Making time: 45 minutes
  • Makes: 8 glasses (approx.)

Recipe no. 3Ingredients:

  • 15 almonds
  • 2 tsp aniseed
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 12 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 300ml water
  • 400ml milk
  • 4 tsp crushed ice


  • Grind all the spices, with the almonds separate. Blend together in a large bowl, and add water and milk. Strain through cheesecloth until liquid is smooth. Serve cold.

Recipe no. 4Ingredients:

  • 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

Recipe no. 5Ingredients:

  • 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.