Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Thandai ( Thaadal in Sindhi ) is a very refreshing drink made with almonds, poppy seeds, cardamoms, rose petals  and many other ingredients which are soaked overnight and ground adding water and milk the next day. It is then strained and taken chilled.. Traditionally in olden days we had special thick earthen containers with rough surface ( like sand paper ) and a heavy wooden pestle to grind this ( just like a pestle and mortar) In Sindhi we call it " Dando - Kundo."  (see the image at the end of the post)
I have memories from my childhood helping my mom and grandma in doing this and it required a lot of time and patience. In my moms place we never added milk but added more almonds to get the richness. This drink is specially made in summers and on the festivals of Maha Shivratri &  Holi.

Almonds .. 12 - 15
Pistachios .. 10 (optional ) Not in the recipe but I add them.
Green cardamoms .. 6-7
Musk Melon seeds .. 1 tbsp (peeled)
Poppy seeds (khus khus) ... 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds .. 1 tsp
Fennel seeds (saunf) . 1 tsp
Black pepper corns .. 1 tsp
Saffron .... few strands
Rose petals .. handful (use desi pink rose with fragrance. If you don't have you may use a tsp of rose syrup or a drop of rose essence)
Sugar .... 1/4 cup (or as you like it)
Milk ... 1 cup (can add more if you like)
Water .. as needed for grinding, straining and diluting)

The colour of the soaked ingredients is due to the saffron. If you want to keep it white then don't add it while soaking.Just add to the drink after it is ready just for flavour and garnishing.

1. Soak all the dry ingredients together in a bowl (except milk and sugar) with enough water to cover them.
2. Grind them in a mixer adding water. Strain in a jar using a muslin cloth or a strainer.
3. After straining you may grind the residue second time adding more water to extract everything properly.
4. Now add the sugar and the required quantity of milk ( and water if needed) and mix well with a spoon. Alternately you may also add the sugar while grinding.
5. The consistency of the drink depends on your liking and preference.
Refrigerate and serve it chilled or add some ice cubes.
This quantity should make about 8-10 glasses.

Note: You can grind the ingredients with water and store in a refrigerator for 2-3 days. Add milk and more water before serving as shown in the above picture.

You can see the Sindhi Dando Kundo that was  used for grinding Thaadal in this picture above.
Dando Kundo Image Source - Google.

Watch the video 

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Rafeeda.. yes rich and refreshing drink

  2. Refreshing and delicious thandai..

  3. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop.

  4. It's been ages that I had thandai. Now I can make at home :). Beautiful recipe.

  5. What a wonderful preparation , i love the authentic way the drink is prepared in the picture below.

    1. Yes Nayna.. even mom used to make it that way only.. so much fun.. we used to enjoy watching and helping her

  6. wow!excellent...And the presentation simply superb..felt like culture is in front of me..
    I will definetely try this drink!

  7. Super duper drink for this summer

  8. Fabulous recipe Shobha. Refreshing and flavourful. Now no need of store bought Thandai. Superb share.

    1. True Sujata. Nothing better than home made one.

  9. My parents used to do this every Holi and special on the big mortar and pestle flat ones and we use love watching then. Your thanks masala ingredients looks very similar to what they use to make. The thandai looks delicious and love your beautiful plates

    1. Thanks Renu. These recipes are for keeps. All that we learn from our elders is really precious.

  10. Its been a long time since I've made the thandai paste the traditional way. I make the powder and store it for use throughout the year. Old memories of preparing recipes traditionally stay with us forever as cherished memories.

    1. You are right Mayuri. Traditional recipes are so precious

  11. I made this a few years back and it is so good. It's interesting to see how many different ways there is to make it. Yours is an extraction. I have seen versions where a masala powder is created from the ingredients and my version (given to me by a friend) I made a syrup with the extraction after soaking the ingredients. No matter the methodology, it is such a delicious concoction of ingredients!

    1. Thanks Mireille. This is the traditional way of making. In fact when we were kids we used to help mom grind in the traditional pestle and mortar meant for Thandai only. The one I have shown in the image above.

  12. I always wondered what ingredients were in Thandai. Your post has solved the mystery. The drink is full of healthy ingredients.

    1. I am glad you liked it and you will enjoy this when you make.


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