Thandai also known as shardai, is a milk based, intoxicating (for special occasions), refreshing and instant thirst quencher Indian drink. Vegans can use almond/coconut milk instead.
Thandai is a key festival drink served during festivals like Holi and Mahashivratri.
Besides its association with the festivals, thandai is also consumed during summers for its cooling, energising and other numerous health benefits its various ingredients offer. We strongly recommend the non poppy thandai to maximise its benefits.
One cup of thandai contains 245 calories, 24.7 gms carbohydrates, 10.9 gms proteins, 12.2 gms fats, and 2.1 gms fibre.
Possible health benefits of thandai…
1/9. Enhances Digestion
Thandai contains rose petals and fennel seeds which cool the body down and also enhances digestion. The anti-inflammatory properties possessed by fennel helps in enhancing digestion.
2/9. Treats constipation
The tiny poppy seeds present in thandai help in preventing constipation and in alleviating gastrointestinal irritation.
3/9. Treats flatulence
The fennel seeds or saunf that is present in thandai helps cure flatulence.
4/9. Treats respiratory infections
The mishri crystals present in thandai restrict and cures cold, cough, and throat infections.
5/9. Accelerates energy
1. Thandai acts as a natural energiser due to the presence of pumpkin seeds and watermelon.
2. The almonds and pistachios content accelerate energy and further promote the feeling of fullness.
6/9. Enhances immunity
Spices such as cloves and peppercorn that are added to thandai boost immunity during summers.
7/9. Natural detoxifier
1. The cardamom used in thandai is an effective natural detoxifier.
2. Cardamon fights against infections, detoxifies the body and is also effective for nausea and vomiting.
8/9. Great for the skin
1. The almond and pistachios content of thandai is good for the skin.
2. Almonds and pistachio both are rich in Vitamin E hence; they are good for the skin and hair.
9/9. Other possible health benefits…
Benefits of Thandai are directly derived from its ingredients. Mishri, peppercorn, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg can cure cough and throat infection. Saffron has anti-oxidant and anti-depressant properties. Nuts present in it make it more filling and satisfying. Melon seeds and pumpkin seeds are known energy boosters. Poppy seeds, fennel seeds and rose petals help in gastrointestinal issues.
Consumed mostly around a few festivals in India, mostly made using poppy seeds, thandai offers amazing health benefits.
How to Make Thandai?
Take 1 tsp almonds, 1tsp melon seeds, 2tsp poppy seeds (for special occasions), 1 tsp whole peppercorns, and 2tsp aniseed, wash them and clean dry the ingredients. Later soak then in 2 cups of water and keep it aside.
Soak 1½ cup of sugar in half a litre of water. (Sugar is a personal choice).
Soak all the ingredients for minimum two hours.
Except for the sugar, grind all the soaked ingredients to a fine paste.
Strain the mixture through a fine strainer or a muslin cloth.
Now, add 1 cup milk (almond/coconut milk, if you are a vegan), ½ tsp cardamom powder, sugar water, and rosewater to the extracted liquid.
Mix well and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hrs. Serve chilled.