Kesariya Thandaai

Velvety Bliss !

Holi heralds the arrival of spring, cool evenings and my favourite drink, the thandaai. A brimming glassful of Kesari Thandaai is a perfect blend of wholesome milk, infused with sugar, zingy spices and nuts. Why confine it to just Holi ? It is delicious any time during the summer months. I use Verka Whole Milk to make it even more smooth and velvety. Cheers to the goodness of Thandaai. Cheers to happiness !

Kesariya Thandaai

• ¾ cup almonds
• 1/3 cup pistachios (unsalted)
• 1½ ltr. Verka Full Cream Milk
• 4-5 strands saffron, soaked in a little hot milk
• 1 cup sugar (or to taste)
• 2 tbsp whole fennel (saunf)
• 2 tbsp peppercorns
• 1 tsp seeds from green elaichi
• 1 tbsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
• 1 tbsp ‘gulkand’


• Soak the pistachios, almonds, poppy seeds, peppercorns, elaichi seeds and fennel in minimal water for 2 hours.

• Grind them to a fine paste.

• Using a heavy bottomed vessel, boilthe milk, sugar and the saffron infusion.

• dd the paste of nuts and spices and cook for another 10 minutes.

• Switch off the heat, cool the liquid and strain through a fine mesh.

• Stir in the gulkand and serve chilled with a few rose petals on top of each glassful.

Note: Infusing the saffron in hot milk brings out it’s fragrance and lends a lovely hue to the drink. You can substitute the nuts with any others of your choice. Cashews and ‘magaz’ lend a great taste too. Don’t have ‘gulkand’ handy ? Use rose water in the chilled drink.