June 19, 2014

Thandai / Thadal

            Summer time reminds us about our Swim suits, Sunscreen, pools and lots of outdoor play, party time but what makes it more special is lots of cool drinks and Ice creams. To cool us down completely, nothing works like a sweet sip of cold Juices. Well, fresh juices are simply delicious and healthy but how about something healthy, tasty, creamy and cool with milk and the richness of almonds and flavoring spices.

          Try this wonderful drink famous all over India and Pakistan. This rich drink just boosts you when you are tired, refreshes you completely and also lets your tummy fill. Thandai is very popular in Northern part of India during our colourful festival of Holi and Lord Shiva's birthday that is "Shivarathiri". Its something healthy, delicious and tummy filling.

Ingredients: (Serves 6 people)
  • Whole Milk - 5 Cups + 1/2 Cup
  • Sugar - 5 heaped tablespoons
  • Rose Essence - 6 drops
  • Hot Water - Enough to soak almonds
To grind to a paste:
  • Almonds - 1 Cup
  • Pumpkin Seeds - 1 tablespoon
  • Black Peppercorns - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fennel Seeds - 1-1/2tablespoon
  • Poppy Seeds - 1 tablespoon
  • Green Cardamom - 8 pods 
(Almond milk can be substituted for regular milk if so avoid almonds process in the menu. Poppy seeds are not consumed by many in the USA but in India or Indian Cuisine we do use poppy seeds regularly. This is a unique ingredient for this recipe and am not sure of substitute. Increase/Decrease sugar as per your need)

  • Soak Pumpkin Seeds, Black Peppercorns, Fennel seeds, Poppy Seeds, Green Cardamom in 1/2 cup milk inside refrigerator for 2 hours. 

  • Blanch Almonds (i.e. Soak almonds in hot water until their skin looks shrinked or easy to peel and peel it). Boil the remaining milk (5 cups) and cool down completely. 

  • Add sugar to this cooled milk and stir until it dissolves. Add Blanched almonds along with spices soaked in 1/2 cup milk to a food processor or mixer. Grind to make a fine paste. Add little sweetened milk if grinding is difficult. 

  • Add the paste to remaining sweetened milk and stir well. Add Rose essence to this Thandai, stir well. Let prepared Thandai refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours (minimum of 1 hour is needed so that the milk extracts all flavors, the more the better). 

  • Strain  using a muslin cloth. Squeeze well until every last drop comes out. Serve with Ice cubes and chopped nuts on top.

  • Perfectly delighted drink with aromatic flavors are ready for your tummy :).

My Notes:
  • Whole milk gives a great taste as it makes the drink creamy but you can also use low fat milk with a little compromise.
  • Sugar can be increased or decreased according to your need.
  • Rose Essence can also be substituted with Rose water (1/3 cup) or Dry Rose petals (1 tablespoon) can be added while making the paste.
  • Saffron is another ingredient that can be added to increase the taste and flavor. I did not have that in stock and so I avoided. If you use saffron then add that while cooling down milk after boiling. This might change color of the drink to mild yellow.
  • Pistachios and Cashewnuts are some other nuts added in this for making this drink thicker, flavorful and rich.
  • Serve cold as that enhances flavor and taste.
  • Use the strained waste as body scrub :).

Need more ideas? 
Check out links below for more cooling drinks from other Food Network's Summer Soiree friends.

Feed Me PhoebeHealthy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie with Cacao Nibs
Poet in the PantryStrawberry Lemonade (Sweetened with Pure Maple Syrup)
Dishin & DishesSummertime Basil Lemonade
Jeanette's Healthy LivingFrozen Mango Lemonade Mocktail
Dishing With DivyaThandai
Virtually HomemadeStrawberry Soda with Lime
The Lemon BowlBanana Licuado (Mexican Smoothie)
WeeliciousMermaid Deep Sea Punch
Elephants and the Coconut TreesMango Lassi
Cooking With EliseBlack Cherry Sweet Tea
Devour5 Booze-Free Picnic Sips
Taste With The EyesRoasted Barley-Corn Tea
Domesticate MeVegan "Orange Julius" Smoothie
Daily*DishinSweet Balsamic Spritzers
FN DishRefreshing Summer Drinks for the Whole Family

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