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Vegan, Gluten-Free, Healthy-ish, Paleo Option*
A refreshing Indian cold drink that is prepared during Holi. It's made with nuts, milk, saffron, and rose water.
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Author: Nisha
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3 servings
Calories 161 kcal


for the Thandai Powder

  • 6 almonds
  • 6 pistachios
  • 6 cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp melon seeds, charmagaz
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, I like Malk Organics
  • 1/4 cinnamon stick

for Heating the Thandai

  • all of the Thandai Powder
  • pinch of saffron strands
  • 2 tbsp sugar*
  • 1/2 tsp rose water extract or 1/2 tbsp - 1 tbsp of rose water

for Garnish

  • few dried rose petals
  • few crushed nuts


Make the Thandai Powder

  • Add all the nuts and seeds to a coffee grinder.
  • Ground the nuts and seeds... this is Thandai Powder.

Make the Thandai

  • In a medium-size pot, heat up the almond milk and Thandai powder in a pot. Whisk. Note: you can use dairy milk instead if you prefer.
  • Once the almond milk warms up, add a few strands of saffron. Whisk.
  • Add sugar and whisk some more. Turn off the stove once the almond milk is hot, not boiling.
  • At this time, add rose water extract. Note: If you're using rose water extract, you need less. If you're using actual rose water, you can use 1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp - taste it and adjust flavor.
  • Transfer the Thandai to a serving jar. Note: At this time if you'd like, you can strain the Thandai. I prefer little bits in mine. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or longer.
  • After 4 hours, here is your Thandai. Enjoy!


  • Garnish with edible dried roses and chopped pistachios.


* for Paleo: replace white sugar with coconut sugar or maple syrup.


Serving: 1Vegan ThandaiCalories: 161kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 5gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 77mgPotassium: 174mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Thandai
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