Easiest and quickest recipe to make your own Thandai Powder or Thandai spice mix for Holi!Jump to Recipe
I have to admit, up until now I had no idea how easy it was to make your own Thandai Powder or Thandai Spice mix. As a family that consumed copious amounts of Thandai on the pretext of Holi, I was used to seeing bottles of Guruji Thandai syrup at our place around the festival and assumed it was the only way that people made Thandai at home.
When my online students from around the country and in countries abroad started pointing out the unavailability of the Thandai syrup to them, I started to only then question and ask around to discover that traditionally, most Indian homes made their own Thandai spice (no surprise here!) for Holi.
An aunt of mine whose chilled glasses of Thandai milk have been as famous as her Holi soirees was kind enough to share her prized recipe with me. It turned out just perfect when I tried it and we loved it with chilled milk. However, I felt that the spice notes maybe a bit strong for some folks and thus with very few tweaks, I present to you this treasured and passed-along recipe for Thandai Powder.
Thandai Powder Ingredients
The recipe uses commonly available nuts and seeds that combine to create a beautiful powder that’s cooling and refreshing! While I have found the proportion of ingredients mentioned in the recipe here to create the best mix, you can play around to add more or less of any ingredient to accommodate for allergies or personal preferences.
For eg., many thandai recipes do not include pistachios while many have a lot more peppercorn, etc.
How to Make the Thandai Powder
Most of the work involved in making of the Thandai powder is actually in just collecting the ingredients. Once you have those ready, it’s a simple task of grinding/mixing to make a fine powder. No roasting of nuts, no beating or whipping or any additional steps. Simply put all the ingredients together and grind.
However it’s important to not grind for too long since nuts have a lot of natural oils, and if churned for too long, they start to release the oil – which means you’ll end up with a nut butter instead of a dry powder.
The Thandai powder stores well for upto 45 days in an airtight container. While refrigeration is not required, I recommend to do it anyway since nuts and seeds start to release oil and smell different in hot weather. To use, you can easily just remove as much Thandai mix as you require and close and store the container back in its place. Just use a clean spoon to remove the powder from the jar each time.
To make Thandai Milk
Thandai milk is said to have been the preferred drink of Lord Shiva, dating back to 1000 BC, making it one of the oldest drinks in the country, if not the world.
It’s well known for its cooling properties which is perhaps why it came to be associated with the festival of Holi that signals seasonal transition from winter to spring and thus warmer climate.
To make Thandai milk, you need to start with warm milk and add about 1-2 tbsp (as per preference) of the Thandai spice mix to it. You could also add 2-3 tsp of sugar (as traditionally it is added.)
Mix well and refrigerate the milk, then serve chilled.
(While you could also just add the powder to cold milk, it dissolved and mixed better with warm milk.)
Thandai Powder can be used in a variety of ways and not just to make Thandai Milk. Think of it as a spice mix and you can come up with several applications for it such as –
- Panna Cotta
- Cake Frosting
- Indian Mithais
Check out some recipes using Thandai that I have shared here –
If you try this recipe for home-made Thandai Powder do give me a shout out in the comments or on Instagram
- 50 g Almonds
- 50 g Cashews
- 30 g Pistachios
- 1 tsp Whole Peppercorns
- 1 tbsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 tbsp Poppy Seeds
- 1 tbsp Melon Seeds
- 10-12 Cardamom Pods
- 1 tbsp Edible Rose Petals
- Saffron (few strands)
- Add all the ingredients to a spice grinder or a mixer. Grind till you have a fine powder but don’t continue to grind beyond that or the nuts will start to release oil.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store upto 30 days at room temperature.