Thandai: A Refreshing Summer Beverage

Thandai which literally means “cold drink” in Hindi is a refreshing beverage that is usually made by North Indians for the festival of Holi. But I usually make the syrup and store it for the whole of summer and have it instead of tea or coffee. It is a wonderful blend of spices like cardamom, saffron, etc and the pepper corns lends it a spicy aftertaste as a surprise.  Here’s how I make it.


  • 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


  • 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
  • Mix 1 part of the Thandai syrup and 3 portions of chilled, per-boiled milk and relish it.

Preparation time: ½ hour

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