Thandai: A Holi tradition
Thandai: A Holi tradition
Snigdha Banerjee
Thandai: A Holi tradition
Photo: Snigdha Banerjee

Thandai: A Holi tradition

New Delhi: Holi exhaustion just cannot go away without a glass of thandai. The traditional thandai has been a savouring ritual at every holi party. This drink is healthy, refreshing and offers instant energy.

Besides, when mixed with the intoxicating bhang, the drink can make one sing, dance and go wild. It is considered to be the mood setter for the festival of Holi.

Traditionally, thandai is said to be green in colour, but we also see a different type of thandai called sardai, that's orangish in colour and it is so because of the saffron strands.

This drink is considered to be a seasonal one and is rarely made any other time of the year which makes it as an object of affection during Maha Shivratri and Holi.

Bhang-infused thandai was first offered to Lord Shiva. The first mentions of thandai date back to 1000 BC, making it one of the oldest drinks.

The tradition of thandai is particularly prevalent in North India. Banarasis are said to have a passion for milk-based drinks and of all the drinks, thandai is said to be their specialty.

Holi falls in the month of Phalgun. It celebrates end of the winter season and the arrival of the spring. In the northern states of the country, the temperature gets quite high hence, to soothe the body temperature while playing in March heat, bhang is sometimes added in drinks like thandai.

During such periods of seasonal transition, the human immune system is believed to get weaken.
Most of the ingredients used to make Thandai are known for their health properties.

For example, fennel seeds are known for its antioxidants, anti-flatulence and cooling properties; rose petals have digestive properties; almonds are known as a rich source of Vitamin E and have cholesterol regulating effects.

Thandai is prepared with a mixture of condensed milk and milk, along with peeled almonds, cardamom, cashew nuts, watermelon and muskmelon seeds, fennel seeds and poppy seeds and bhang for fun. It is grinded into a fine paste.

It's best relished with crushed ice cubes and served with saffron and red rose petals on the top. Some people also like to add dates, pistachio and some cream as well. It takes just 5-10 minutes to prepare a glass of thandai.

Thandai have fewer calories than regular milkshakes, it's also considered to be a healthier option to alcohol. It helps cool the body and improves gut health in general.

This Indian cold drink, is as healthy as lip-smacking, don't miss out on thandai fun this Holi.

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