This thandai powder recipe makes a delightful glass of creamy thandai quick to make! While store-bought thandai powder is available, this homemade blend is easy to make AND gives a much better flavor. You’ll never go back!
Thandai masala adds a beautiful taste of fennel, cardamom, rose, and saffron (to name a few) to make delicious milk. It’s like Saffron Milk (Kesar Milk) with even more flavor!
Thandai, an Indian drink from North India, can be enjoyed year-round, but it is popularly served during the Holi festival and Maha Shivratri. Holi is the festival of colors which is in the month of March.
It is a refreshing, cooling drink that includes ingredients that provide a cooling effect so it is great for the summer season.
The thandai powder recipe is made primarily with 3 types of ingredients: nuts, seeds, and spices. This blend is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.
I love making and keeping homemade Indian spice blends on hand. Making your own blends with fresh spices will elevate most Indian recipes, including Thandai! It also ensures you are using a pure blend with no additives, fillers, preservatives, or artificial colors.
See how easy it is to make in below quick video!
Note, the traditional way thandai is made by making a paste of these ingredients. This paste is then soaked in water overnight. The paste is then used to make Thandai. It is much quicker and handier to use thandai powder.
Why you will love this recipe
- Simple ingredients | Wholesome ingredients for a homemade blend
- Quick to prepare |Ready in just 10 minutes
- Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free
Below are ingredient notes. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post.
Nuts: I used almonds, cashews, and pistachios in equal proportions. Feel free to change up the type of nuts used while keeping the total quantity the same. Make sure you are using fresh nuts.
Seeds: Fennel seeds, white poppy seeds (khus khus), and watermelon seeds are in this powder blend.
Fennel seeds have a cooling property and give a really great taste to this drink. Suggest not to skip it.
Watermelon seeds are packed with nutrients and according to Ayurvedic experts, they provide a cooling effect. You can find these sold in an Indian grocery store. I found it sold by the Swad brand and titled Char Magaz.
White poppy seeds are used in Indian cooking and are also found easily in an Indian store.
Black peppercorns, green cardamom seeds, and saffron: add a delicious depth of flavor
Edible rose petals: These are optional. I love the smell and hint of floral added by the rose. You can also use a little bit of rose water or rose petal jam. But make sure it is a very small amount, you don’t want it to take over the taste of the cold drink.
If you’d like you can add sugar to this mix. Ground sugar will be quicker to dissolve in the milk. I like to vary the amount of sugar being used dependent on if it is for a party or for use at home so I don’t add any to the mix.
Gather and measure out ingredients. Grab a mixing bowl and a spice or nut grinder.
Add cardamom seeds, black peppercorns, and fennel seeds to a grinder. Grind into a fine powder.
Add white poppy seeds and grind. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Add nuts and watermelon seeds to grind. Pulse to grind. Do not over grind as this will result in the nuts releasing oil and becoming pasty. Depending on the size of your grinder, I suggest grinding in 3-4 small batches.
Transfer mixture to mixing bowl. Add crushed rose petals and saffron strands. Note, I crushed these in a mortar pestle but you can also just crush them with your fingers or add them to the spice grinder. My preference is to have varying sizes of these so I wanted more control.
Mix thandai powder well. If you prefer a very fine powder you can sieve the mixture and grind any bigger pieces again. The mixture is ready for use.
Two tablespoons of spice powder to every 1 cup of cold milk is a good standard for strong flavors.
Sugar should also be added per your preference. Personally, if it is for a party I do 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons for every 1 cup. I tend to use it less if I am just having it at home.
Traditionally full-fat milk is used. Adjust to your preferences. It tastes great in plant-based or vegan milk, too.
If you don’t want any chunks you can strain the drink prior to serving.
Top glasses of thandai with rose petals, saffron strands, and crushed pistachios. It looks pretty and gives a beautiful aroma just prior to taking a sip!
Tips for the best taste:
If you have some time: Make the drink in a pitcher and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours. For a party, I would make it at minimum the night before. The longer you give it time to drink, the better flavor you will get.
If you don’t have time: Blend with ice cubes and used sugar that is ground into a fine powder so it melts more quickly. (Powdered sugar sold in stores is mixed with corn starch).
You can also have this drink warm. Simply heat a glass of milk in a pan stove-top and add the powder and sugar to the milk.
Making Indian Desserts
This can be easily used to make an endless list of Indian fusion sweets! I’ve used it to make Thandai Baklava.
Other ideas include Thandai Mousse, cheesecake, Thandai Ice Cream, chocolate barks, shrikhand, cakes, etc.
Store in an airtight container in a cool spot. This should keep well for approximately 3 months.
Have you tried this easy thandai masala powder recipe? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to leave a comment and rate it with stars. It would mean a lot to me to hear how it turned out. If you’re on Instagram, feel free to tag me so I can see your creation. Thank you for your support!
10 Minute Instant Thandai Powder (Thandai Masala)
- 1 spice and nut grinder
- 1 set measuring spoons/cups
- ⅓ cup almonds
- ⅓ cup cashews
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 1½ tbsp fennel
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp watermelon seeds
- ¼ tsp saffron strands
- 2 tbsp white poppy seeds khus khus
- 1 tbsp cardamom seeds
- 2 tbsp rose petals dried
- Add cardamom seeds, black peppercorns, and fennel seeds to a grinder. Grind into a fine powder.
- Add white poppy seeds and grind. Transfer mixture to a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Add nuts and water melon seeds to grind. Pulse to grind. Do not over grind as this will result in the nuts releasing oil and becoming pasty. Depending on the size of your grinder, I suggest grinding in 3-4 parts.
- Transfer mixture to mixing bowl. Add crushed rose petals ( I used hand to crush) and saffron strands.
- Mix thandai powder well. If you prefer a very fine powder you can sieve the mixture and grind any bigger pieces again. Mixture is ready for use.