I know I am little late but Happy Holi to all of you. For those readers who are interested in knowing about Holi here is wiki link.
Holi celebration begins with holika dahan, for which huge bonfires were lit on the eve of Holi followed by few rituals and fun. Next day starts with seeking blessings from elders in the morning and eventually turns into massive play with color powder and water filled balloons are the main highlights. Though ma and papa can’t be here all the way from India, I always feel their presence and blessings. Since, any festival in India is incomplete without food, Holi is also celebrated with special dishes. My ma use to make olia (maize porridge and yogurt), thandai, gulabjamun , dahi vada, gujiyas and so many other things. And I manage to make only Thandai.
Thandai is a refreshing summer drink. It helps to cool the body, give freshness and energy and have many other health benefits as well.
Almonds are rich source of vitamin E, protein and are known for their antioxidant effects.
Fennel seeds which are known for its antioxidants, anti-flatulence, cooling properties.
Cardmom is use to treat infections in teeth and gums. It also treats stomach issues, constipation, dysentery, and other digestion problems
Peppercorn is loaded with many minerals like manganese, zinc, calcium, iron and vitamin A.
Poppy seeds are excellent source of vital minerals like magnesium, zinc, calcium.
Pumpkin seeds are high in Omega 3 fatty acid, as well as iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, copper and potassium.
Saffron-is an antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-oxidant, digestive, and anti-convulsant.
Rose petals are very good for digestion problems and menstrual irregularities.
Holi in US can be a lot of fun with the right people and I am lucky to have the right people in my life. This amazing drink I prepared for couple of my friends over a potluck Holi party this weekend and I am happy to share with you guys this simple but delicious recipe.
- Whole milk – 3 cups
- Water – 1 1/2 cup
- Sugar – 3/4 cup (add less if you like less sweet)
- Saffron strands – 1/4 tsp
Thandai masala ingredients
- 1/4 cup Almonds
- 1/4 cup Cashew and pistachio mix (any dry fruit mix)
- 2 tbsp Pumpkin/Melon seeds (magaz)
- 2 tbsp Poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp Fennel seeds
- 4-5 pods Green cardamom
- 7-8 Black peppercorns
- 1/2 tbsp gulkand (rose jam)
- 2 tsp roohafza (rose sugar syrup)
- Few rose petals
- Chopped dry fruits
- Mint leaves
- Soak the almonds for 5-6 hours. Soak the melon seeds, poppy seeds, pepper corn, dry fruit mix and cardamom for 1-2 hours. Drain and strain.
- Peel the almonds and add it to the above ingredients from step 1 and gulkand. Grind in a mixer to get a smooth paste. You may add a little water.
- The paste should be of a smooth consistency.
- Chill the milk. Add the sugar, roohafza and the above paste and mix well.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Chill the thandai. Garnish with chopped dry fruits, saffron strands, few rose petal and a mint leaf. Serve chilled and enjoy.
Notes: For Vegan version, just replace the milk with drinking water or soy milk. Black peppercorns add a distinct spicy flavor to this sweet festive beverage. Please don’t omit this ingredient for the sake of authenticity. If you don’t have melon/pumpkin seeds. Just add more of almond or cashew.