Holi; celebrating the Colours of Spring with Thandai (Milk and Nut Based Fragrant Cooling Drink

9:00 AM

It’s that time of the year again when I want to reach home and soak all the festivities and the riot of colours that abides Santiniketan. Come spring and Santiniketan wears on a striking attire of greenery and colours. Amongst all those glowing new leaves with vividly clourful flower the Ashramiks beautifully welcome the spring with colour and music. You might not have ever been to a place like ours where the nature is celebrated through its seasons with song, dance and recitation from the noble laureate poet Tagore. You should once visit Santiniketan to be a part of an age old tradition of blending in the colourful nature with Abir (gulal). 

Holi or Basanta Utsav is a festival to celebrate new life and hope, to blend in with the lustrous clours of nature and to usher in the onset of spring with joy and dance. In Santiniketan students of the university celebrate this festival with immense fervor and zeal. Everyone attired in yellow clothes greet spring with the tune of Rabindra sangeet and later blend in with the colourful nature with abir or gulal. The whole function is so welcoming and exerts s so much of warmth that even visitors who come from all over the world join in the delightful atmosphere. As student I always took part in this festival and always was a part of the morning dance program. Today away from home and my very own environment I understand the meaning and importance of this place to me. The serenity and beauty of this place is very striking and once you are there you could never forget the feeling of waking up to a blissful day to the strains of the poet’s songs or enjoying yourself differently amidst the nature is something very lingering that you would like to remember all your life. Don’t trust me???Well then check these out

(courtesy Youtube.com Thanks Subrata and Rahul)

More about Santiniketan HERE.

Now back to todays recipe. The time I saw this month’s JFI theme of fennel I instantly thought of Kashmiri cuisine which this fragrant spice plays the most important role. So following this thought I googled and prepared Methia Olu Chaman and gravy dish with fresh fenugreek leaves. Potatoes and cottage cheese. The dish came out so well that we devoured the whole quantity silently for dinner without even taking a single picture. So next week I again made the same and this time was very adamant to click before set to eat….but alas again the dish was relished without touching the camera. And the fun part is I don’t even feel guilty as foods are to be enjoyed like this. So that post is sitting pretty in my draft and will come later. Today I share with you a very dear Holi recipe of mine, which is Thandai. This is meant to be a cooling drink to rejuvenate and satisfy your tired limbs from playing Holi. This is a milk based creamy drink, very fragrant with fennels and cardamoms. In Northern part of Indian they put some Bhang or Siddhi  (leaves and flowers (buds) of the female cannabis plant) goli in it which is said to have transcendental properties. Today though friends brought in Bhang ki Thandai but I made my own without Bhang and served it to Hubby after is afternoon nap. It’s a very refreshing drink and am planning to make it more often during summer.

Here is the Recipe

Thandai (serves 2)

Toned Milk: 11/2 glass
Sugar: 3 tbsp or asper your own taste
Water: ½ glass
Almond: 10 pcs
Cashewnuts: 10 pcs
Charmagaj/ melon seeds: 1 tbsp
Poppy seeds: 1 tsp
Fennel: ½ tsp
Cardamom: 2 pods

Put the almonds in hot water for 2 minutes and skin them.

Soak almonds, cashews, poppy seeds and melon seeds for min an hour and then grind these with fennel, cardamom and water to very smooth paste.

In a big bowl mix this paste with sugar and milk and stir till sugar dissolves.

Pour in tall glasses and chill for at least an hour before serving.

Sending this refreshing drink for JFI: Fennel to the soon to be bride Siri of Siri's Corner. This lovely event is a brainchild of Indira of Mahanandi.

Before I sign off Wish all of you a very Happy Holi!!!

Update: sending this to Cooking for all seasons Thanda mela.

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  1. Dear Sayantani
    Basonto utsab er video , amake 1970 r 1st basanto utsab e niye gyalo..ekhon anek bod-le gechhe...
    ekhan-e thanda-e pran jachhe...ar tumi darun thandai niye ese hajir..ha ha Banabo BaDi giye...
    phir-e Bangalore Maa-ke ar santiniketan e MIL, FIL der sang-e dekha korte jete hob-e
    Dekhi Kab-e pherot jai
    bhalo theko ar Holi-r subhechha

  2. khub bhalo likhechhish re...feeling so nostalgic and missing all the colours and glory like any thing. and off course like all other delectable dishes this one is great too..SHUBHO BASONTOTSHOB AND HAPPY HOLI..

  3. Main too sachmuch thandi ho gayi Dubai ke garmi main.Missing my mother and sisters in Holi.My in laws,they don celebrate this festival.Any way thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. Hi Sayantani, Wish you and your loved ones a very happy and colorful holi as well.
    Of course, holi seems incomplete without thandai. And yours looks just perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wishing you n your family a very happy holi! I too have made thandai, will be posting up soon on my blog! Its such a refreshing drink!

  6. Happy holi to you too, the thandai looks so refreshing and cool.Beautiful exotic click too.

  7. Happy holi to you too..Thandai is the perfect drink to beat the heat..

  8. Such a refreshing drink.Brings alive the day of Holi.Amazing clicks in day light.

  9. Dol purnimar onek shubheccha Sayantani! Thandai amar husband khub bhalobashe ... ami kokhono banate try korini. Tomar recipe peye gechi ... ebar oke surprise kore debo. :-)

  10. Happy Holi....Nice refreshing drink and yummy click..

  11. Happy Holi to you and our family! Beautiful clicks!

  12. I love the thandai! it is indeed a refreshing drink!

  13. Happy Holi..Perfect drink to celebrate Holi..Thandai Looks inviting. During Holi I do miss India , here you do not get the feel of Holi. LOved ur youtube videos..Bengali sounds so sweet...just like ur sweets..lol

  14. excellent clicks.new receipe to me.Happy holi to u

  15. A very happy holi wishes to you and your family, Sayantani! This cool and refreshing thandai seems like the perfect way to celebrate this rich festival. Loved reading about Santiniketan.

  16. Happy Holi to u and ur family. Thandai looks perfect and relishing too.


  17. Happy Holi to you too !!! Nicely written post...really miss the Holi celebs in India...great clicks and good recipe :-)

  18. well written...Happy holi to you and your family and thandai looks so good and so refeshing...i have never made it at home...thanks for sharing

  19. Thandai looks so yummy and refreshing!

  20. We make thandai every year on shivratri and holi, it yumm!! I am waiting for your methia aloo chaman eagerly now :)
    Wishing you and your family happy and colorful holi :)

  21. Happy holi to u & ur family Sayantani...Thandai looks fantastic, rich and marvellous, prefect drink to celebrate holi..

  22. Thandai looks creamy and delicious. Love your photo especially the tray...

  23. Wish you a very happy holi! The drink looks lovely!

  24. Link gulo pore dekhbo, ami kono Shantiniketan er Basanta Utsab dekhini.

    Happy Holi ar Perfect Thandai for the occasion

  25. Just wanted to let you know that the My Legume Love Affair 20 roundup is now live. Thank you for submitting your awesome recipe.

  26. Sayantani, I saw ur comment about water bottle and maids, but got a grown up sick (baby) at home-nope, not what you think- read as hubby hit by flu, been busy making chai and soups.

    Thandai looks yummy, coming from the south, we never celebrated Holi like they do in North India. But I am learning how to make all these regional dishes :)

    Do send in your entries to the home remedies event..as many as you can..

  27. Wish you and your family a very Happy Holi.
    Wonderful presentation. Thandai is perfect for summer season and good for health.

  28. I love that drink. Those rich and creamy.

    PS: I loved the yellow dress in the header of your blog. Great creation!

  29. Happy Holi hope u had a blast!
    Perfect drink!

  30. Very nice drink...looks so refreshing and nice props for the picture !!

  31. This drink so sounds refreshing! I can almost feel its milky smoothness slipping down my throat. Delicious!

  32. Never tried this drink before.Looks yumm yaar!!

  33. Been ages since I had thandai - it's not quite holi without the thandai. Looks absolutely refreshing.

    I know I have visited your blog before, somehow, never quite managed to leave a comment, I think. It is really a lovely space you have here, some of your posts are really unique and new - well, at least to me.

  34. Thandai looks awesome, Sayantani..I love this drink and prepare quite often in summer...hope you had a wonderful holi

  35. Hope you had a fab Holi. The thandai is such a fab cooler, loved the read about Shantiniketan, I do want to visit it once.

  36. Dear Sayantani,

    Wish you and ur family happy holi, enjoy:)

    Thankdai looks incredible...what a presentation...brethtaking, lovely flowers.:)

  37. Happy Holi to you too. Thandai looks awesome...great pixs!!

  38. Thanks a Ton to everyone and wish you all a very Happy Holi!!!
    @Ushnishda, Thanks next year Doler nimontron roilo. samay kore cholo khub anaondo kara jabe Santiniketan e.

    @SS, same here...every dol and poush mela I miss home like anuthing.

    @Subhashini, Anjum, Daisy, aquadaze thanks for visiting. welcome to my space.

    @Parita, will soon Methiya chaman soon.

    @Dolly, Thanks and yes Bengali sounds very sweet. my North Indian friends used to tease me that I speak swwetly because I keep a rasgulla in my mouth while speaking.

    @Sandeepa, next year come to Santiniketan its an invitation from my side. and I promise you a very colourful holi too.

    @Ruchika, Oh I wish a speedy recovery to your Husband. take care of him.

    @Aquadaze, thanks for your appreciation and liking my recipes.

    @VS, thanks a ton dear. thats my fav creation too.

    @PAri, come next year to Santiniketan. will enjoy all together.

    @Turmeric n spice,Welcome

    @Malar. Oh am so glad that you liked my click.

  39. Happy Holi to you too, it feels so liberating to usher in spring after the dark and dreary winter we had. Your drink looks like it would be a real refesher in our hot summers too!

  40. choto bela theke boro obdhi we used to go to shantiniketan for dol. amar ma er mama thakten (his family is still there, he passed away last year). it used to be our yearly ritual to be there for the utsav... at his place inside the Shantiniketan, and then later just outside. Thanks for invoking beautiful memories. Baba ekhono jaye praye prottek bochor. I want to visit once with my family, kintu kono din shombhobh hobe kina janina.

  41. happy holi Sayantani... nice writeup.. and to celebrate the festival of colors u have put a very interesting recipe too

  42. beautiful pics and what a refreshing drink to cool off in the summers.

  43. Dear Sayantani,
    Ami ei Dol Purnima r din Kolkata e chilam and I was planning to celebrate Holi in Shantiniketan. But things didn't materialize .....But for the time being your Basonto utsab video has compensated partly my missing of the ceremony.
    Coming back to your post it is indeed a refreshing drink. And I simply can't imagine Holi without Thandai :-)
    You have a lovely blog. Keep it up !! Glad to add you in my blogroll.
    Drop in sometime at http://hamareerasoi.blogspot.com/


  44. Thank you for the lovely entry

  45. Holi Recipes of this site is amazing. The incredients and process of making Cake is fantastic.There are lots of Holi Recipes in Indianrecipes.co.in which is nice.

  46. Thanks a dozen to you my dear! Tmi ekebare nostalgic baniye diyecho. Chotobelay schoole ar dance schoole Bosonto utsobe Robindronrityo korechi. Akhuno oi gan gulo mone pod...fagun legeche bone, bone...I just enjoyed watching the videos. God bless you.

  47. Awww dear, these images are so great, showing the celebration of Holi. Thanks for sharing.My warmest happy holi wishes to you and everyone!

    Anne xxxx


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