3 Holi beverage recipes

1. Thandai


    • 500 ml whole milk
    • 4-5 tablespoons sugar or to taste
    • 1.5 tablespoons rose water or 2 drops of rose essence

  • 7-8 strands of saffron
  • some sliced pistachios, to garnish
  • some sliced almonds, to garnish

For the paste:

    • 15-20 almonds
    • 10-12 black peppercorns
    • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
    • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
    • 1 tablespoon watermelon seeds
    • 8 green cardamom pods


  1. In a pan on medium heat, put milk to boil.
  2. Once milk is little warm, take out teaspoons of milk from the pan in a bowl and add saffron strands to it. Set aside.
  3. Once the milk comes to a boil switch off the heat. Let it cool down.
  4. In the blender take all your ingredients – blanched almonds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorn, watermelon seeds and green cardamom pods and blend to a smooth paste.
  5. Take the cooled milk and add the crushed nuts-spice mixture to it.
  6. Add sugar, rose water and the soaked saffron strands to the milk mixture.
  7. Mix everything together in a blender till well combined.
  8. Let the milk mixture sit for around 30-60 minutes so that milk absorbs all the flavors well.
  9. Strain the milk after 30 minutes.
  10. Pour into serving glass and garnish with sliced pistachios, almonds and saffron strands.
  11. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

2. Kesar doodh


  • 5 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Few strands of saffron
  • 4 green cardamoms – powdered
  • To Garnish:
  • Pistachios-blanched & shredded
  • Almonds-blanched & shredded


1. Put milk in a pan and bring to a boil.
2. Simmer over low heat, stirring a few times till it thickens (about 1/3 should be evaporated, at least).
3. Add sugar, saffron and cardamom powder.
4. Stir till the sugar is dissolved and simmer for about 5 min.
5. Serve hot garnished with green cardamoms, pistachios and almonds.

3. Jaljeera


  • Mint Leaves – 1/2 cup
  • Coriander Leaves – 1/2 cup
  • Grated Ginger – 2 tsp
  • Roasted cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Roasted pepper corns – 3/4 tsp
  • Seedless Tamarind  –  1 lemon size ball
  • Asafoetida a pinch
  • Black salt / kala namak -1/2 tsp
  • Table Salt (adjust to taste)
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Ice cold water – 4 cups
  • Lemon Juice – 3 tbsp
  • Boondi for garnishing


  1. Wash the coriander and mint leaves thoroughly before use.
  2. Put mint Leaves, ginger, sugar, table salt, black salt, asafoetida, tamarind, cumin, pepper powder and coriander leaves in a mixer, add water and puree.
  3. Pass through strainer to remove the ginger and tamarind remaining.
  4. Add 4 cups of chilled water and lemon juice. Stir well.
  5. Garnish with boondi and few ice cubes before serving.


  • Dry roast the cumin and pepper seperately in fry pan. This adds excellent flavors.
  • If you want the drink to be really sour and tangy add more tamarind.
  • Jaljeera  easily stays good for 3-4 days, refrigerated.

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Surabhi Mahadevan

Words cannot describe my love for beauty, cats and water

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