Thandai is a traditional milk-based Indian drink served on the festival of Holi. It is a cooler to the bone that rules the hot North Indian summers as well as acts to tone down the rambunctious frolics of people on this exciting festival of colors. And what a coincidence…..Holi is on 11th March while the Foodbuzz submission for rosewater recipes is on 9th March which makes Thandai the perfect choice to keep ready for the celebrations.
1 cup milk
1½ cups sugar
1½ liters water
1 tbsp rose water
1 tbsp almonds
1 tbsp kharbooj/tarbooj seeds, skinned (commercially available) These are skinned dried seeds of watermelon/cantaloupe used in dried form
½ tbsp khuskhus (poppy seeds)
½ tbsp saunf (aniseed)
½ tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp peppercorns, whole
¼ cup dried or fresh rose petals
Soak almonds, kharbooj/tarbooj seeds, khuskhus, saunf and peppercorns in 2 cups of water for atleast 2 hours. Grind the ingredients to make a fine paste. Meanwhile, soak sugar in ½ liter water separately and keep aside till sugar dissolves completely. Mix the paste with the remaining water. Strain this mixture through a fine muslin cloth extracting the liquid into the vessel. Press the paste residue with spoon/finger and add little water to extract more. Continue pressing till the paste residue becomes dry and husk like. It can now be discarded.
Take the extracted liquid and add milk, sugared water, cardamom powder and rosewater. Chill for an hour or two. Garnish with rose petals before serving.
Thandai has a shelf life of 2-3 days.