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Monday, February 28th, 2011

Holi Recipe: Thandai (Delicious Almond-Spiced Milk)

thandai_recipe/ raising_global_citizens/AgathaLemon -

Thandai is a refreshing milk-based drink, accented with bold flavors. It is traditionally consumed in Northern India during the festival of Holi. You can find many variations of this recipe and nothing is quite set in stone so feel free to experiment with spices and proportions.




4 cups of milk (whole milk is best but you can substitute for low fat or soy)
½ cup almonds
1 T poppy seeds
1 t black peppercorns
4 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 T cinnamon
1 T fennel seeds (or aniseeds)
½ t rosewater
2-3T honey, to taste
2 T unsalted sunflower seeds (hulled) (optional)
2 T melon seeds (hulled), available in any Indian grocery store (optional)
Pinch of saffron (optional)
Toasted pistachio pieces for garnish (optional)
Crushed ice, optional




Grind the almonds together with the poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, melon seeds, black peppercorns, cardamom pods and fennel seeds into a fine powder.


In a blender, combine the milk with the freshly made powder. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Return the leftover ground paste to the blender with a little bit of the milk. Strain the mixture once more and discard the remaining paste.


Add the rosewater, saffron and sugar. Blend until creamy and frothy.


You can serve the thandai over ice or add some crushed ice to the blender and blend into a creamy shake. Garnish with a toasted pistachio piece, cinnamon or rose petal and serve chilled.


Adapted from

© 2011 – 2013, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

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Stephanie is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of InCultureParent. She has two Moroccan-American daughters (ages 5 and 6), whom she is raising, together with her husband, bilingual in Arabic and English at home, while also introducing Spanish. After many moves worldwide, she currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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1 Comment
  1. CommentsAkshara Garde   |  Monday, 09 July 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are
    a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a
    community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on.

    You have done a wonderful job!

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