Ayushi Khandelwal ·

by Shanice Miranda, Cora Health. 

After a long day of frolicking about with your friends and family, covered in colours and soaked in water, there is one thing that is simply gratifying- A hearty Holi meal. You can satisfy your appetite with all the pakoras, malpuas and dahi bhalle you can eat, for which a cooling drink like thandai will be essential to wash it down. Never heard of thandai? We are here to enlighten you! ‘Thanda’ means cold in Hindi and as suggested, it makes a great refreshment. It is an essential beverage for the Holi season, made from milk, kesar, nuts like badam, rose and spices like cardamom and even bhang. This aromatic concoction is one of the things that make the holiday oh so charming!

We have some fantastic recipes for you to try out:

1. Thandai Powder

This is a great base recipe for you to use with milk, or to incorporate in your own recipes.


  • ½ cup almonds
  • 1/3rd cup cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp whole black pepper
  • 2 tbsp saumph (fennel seeds)
  • 30 whole green elaichi (cardamom)
  • 2 tbsp dry rose petals
  • ¼ tsp kesar (saffron)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a mixer-grinder and make a fine powder. Use an airtight box or jar to store it in.
  2. You may stir this into 1 cup of heated milk (with sugar, to taste).           

Serve hot or after leaving it in the fridge for some time. Voila!

2. Kesari Thandai Syrup

With the sun burning bright, we could all cool off with this chilled treat – the kesar in it has amazing benefits for your health too!


To soak:

  • 2 tablespoon badam(almonds)
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon kaju(cashew nuts)
  • ½ tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried rose petals
  • 4 elaichi, whole
  • ½ teaspoon whole pepper

To make the syrup:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon rose essence
  • 1 teaspoon kesar

For the thandai:

  • 1 cup milk

Cooking Directions:

  1. Soak all the nuts and spices for 2 hours. Grind them into a paste.
  2. Take a vessel, boil water and sugar until it dissolves.
  3. Place kesar in hot water and allow it to soak.
  4. Add the nuts and kesar water to the sugar-water syrup. Allow them to mix well.
  5. Let this cook on a low flame and thicken for 7-12 mins.
  6. Once it stays on the back of the ladle, it is done.
  7. Mix in the rose essence and turn it off.
  8. For 1 serving of thandai, in ¾ cup milk, stir in 2-3 tbsp of your syrup.

It is ready for all the Holi madness!

3. Thandai Ice Cream

This kulfi is one dessert that ties in all the best parts of Indian sweets. Creamy and absolutely delicious, it is sure to elevate your spirits.


  • 3 L milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 2 tsp elaichi powder
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 whole black pepper

Cooking Directions:

  1. Grind all the ingredients in a mixer, excluding the milk and sugar.
  2. To make condensed milk, boil milk in a saucepan.
  3. After it boils, allow it to simmer until it reaches half its original amount. Stir constantly to avoid milk sticking to the saucepan.
  4. Stir in the sugar till it gets dissolved. You may use a hand mixer or a whisk to blend in the spiced mixture.
  5. Take it off the heat and allow this to cool.
  6. Using moulds, pour the mixture till it is slightly less than full, seal and freeze for at least 15 hours.

It is ready to go - All the kids will devour this one!

4. Thandai Cookies


These crunchy cookies are full of flavour from the excellent desi ingredients. They are sure to make your guests drool!


  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 5 tbsp of thandai powder (refer to recipe 1)
  • 1 tbsp dried rose petals
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup salted butter at room temperature
  • 1 ½ tbsp milk
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • pinch of kesar

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a bowl, add the flour, baking powder and rose petals. Mix them well and keep aside.
  2. Take a pot and heat the milk. Crush the saffron and mix it in.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar.
  4. To this, add rose water and the kesar-infused milk. First add half, mix and then add the other half.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix with your hands or a kitchen aid. It will form a dough.
  6. Split the dough into two parts and roll them out into 7-inch long logs. Cover it and keep refrigerated for at least 2 hours.
  7. Cut the logs into ½ inch thick cookies and preheat your oven to 350°
  8. Place them on a lined baking tray and bake for 20-23 mins or until golden brown.

Once they cool, they are ready to dig into! (heart eyes)

5. Chai Thandai

For all our vegans out there, we have got you covered for this Holi. You never have to feel left out with this amazing recipe.


  • ½ cup cashew nuts
  • 1 ¾ cup nut milk (eg: coconut)
  • 3 tea bags of masala chai
  • ½ tsp ground
  • 1 tsp powdered saumph
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ½ tsp crushed kesar
  • 3-4 almond (chopped) pieces for garnish

Cooking Directions:

  1. Boil water and soak the cashews in it for an hour.
  2. Heat the vegan milk and dip the tea bags in it for 5 mins. (Squeeze every last bit of flavour till the milk turns brown)
  3. Blend the cashews, almonds and ½ cup of the plant milk with tea together till smooth.
  4. To this, mix in the spices, remaining tea in milk and maple syrup.
  5. Once you have blended all the components properly, put it in the fridge for at least an hour. This allows the flavours to deepen.

Serve straight from the fridge and enjoy!

We hope you have a wholesome, riveting Holi with these recipes.

Related Posts

Previous Post

Next Post

Leave a comment