Tuesday, March 26, 2013


"Thandai" is a special beverage, that is offered to Lord Shiva during Mahashivratri. This is a speciality of Banars. But there is another occasion, which is incomplete without "thandai". Yeah..it's Holi!!!
I always had a secret desire to have that "bhangwala thandai" (thandai with cannabis) which never happened! However it's a wonderful drink without the "bhang" also. 

Holi is one of the most popular festival in India. The word Holi originated from "Holika". According to Hindu mythology, Holika was sister of the devil king  Hiranyakashipu, who had been granted a boon by Lord Brahma. It made him almost immortal. He grew arrogant and started demanding people to worship him as God. By the time he attacked heaven and earth and won. According to the belief, Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada, was a devotee of Vishnu. Prahlada didn't stop worshiping Vishnu, despite of several threats and tortures by Hiranyakashipu. Holika was Hiranyakashipu's demoness sister, had a boon to protect her from being burned by fire. So Hiranyakashipu ordered Prahlada to sit on a pyre in the lap of Holika. But to everybody's surprise, when the fire started, Holika burnt to death, while Prahlada survived unharmed. So the triumph of good over evil is celebrated as Holi.
Also it is a celebration of love and spring. It is celebrated as a tribute to the divine love of Radha-Krishna. And it is celebrated as spring-festival "(Basanto-utsab) at Shantiniketan.
This festival is celebrated with colors (abir-gulal-pichkari) in all the regions of India.
Wish all my friends a very colorful Holi!! Enjoy a lot and stay safe.

Any festival in India is not complete without food. And there are some special food for every festival. For Holi, it's gujia, chaat or thandai and many more. I made thandai (a cooling beverage) this year for Holi. It's a milk and nuts based flavourful beverage, served cold. Here is the recipe :

Ingredients for "thandai":
  1. Full cream milk 1 ltr
  2. Sugar 6-7 table spoon (or according to your taste)
  3. Almond  25-27 pieces (blanched and peeled)
  4. Cashew nuts 20 pieces (blanched)
  5. Pistachio 10+10 pieces (blanched and peeled...chop 10 pieces finely)
  6. Melon seed 2 table spoon (soaked in water)
  7. Poppy 1 and 1/2 table spoon (soaked in water)
  8. Dry rose petal 1 table spoon
  9. Black peppercorn 5-6
  10. Green cardamom 4-5
  11. Fennel seed 1 tea spoon
  12. Saffron/ kesar few threads
  13. Rose water 1/2 tea spoon
How to prepare "thandai":
  • Bring milk to boil and dissolve sugar in to it. Add 2-3 saffron strands. Turn off the heat and let the milk come to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold.
  • Make a powder with dry rose petal, green cardamom, peppercorn and fennel seed. Keep aside.
  • Now make a paste with almond, cashew, pistachio (except chopped ones), melon seed, poppy seed. Add some milk (that you kept in fridge) to make a smooth paste.

  • Mix powdered spices, nuts paste and milk together really well. Add rose water.
  • Pour into serving glasses. garnish with chopped pistachio, saffron and dried rose petal before you serve.

Happy Holi to all :)

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