Indian Festival Specials - Thandai (Spiced Chilled Milk) for Holi

Author : Michelle Peters - Jones at The Tiffin Box
Recipe with pictures and further instructions:

Almond Paste

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional)


2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup, or to taste, sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried rose petals
5 green cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon
A generous pinch of saffron
2 tablespoons warm milk
Small handful pistachio nuts, to garnish


Blend together the ground almonds, 1/2 cup milk and poppy seeds, if using, to a fine creamy, paste. Chill this mixture.

Place the remaining 2 cups milk and sugar in a heavy based pot. Place the fennel seeds, rose petals, cardamom pods and black peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and crush. Add the crushed spices and cinnamon stick, and turn on the heat.

Bring to boil, then turn the heat down to a low simmer and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the spices infuse into the milk, at least an hour.

Once the milk mixture is cool, strain it through a sieve. Discard spices.

Whisk the saffron into the warm milk, and add this to the spiced milk. Stir in the almond paste, and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with chopped pistachio nuts sprinkled over.


  • Dried rose petals are available in all Indian groceries.
  • You can use cashew nut paste instead of almonds.