Thandai (Anise milk with raisins and pistachios)

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Average: 4.5 (6 votes)
Prep Time: 
25 min.

This refreshing drink is a favorite in India and is traditionally associated with Holi. It is also especially served on the night of worship in honor of the Lord's greatest devotee: Lord Siva(Shivaratri).

Vegan variation: You don't have to make thandai with milk. You can use water instead, as it is often done, though the milk mellows the taste of the spices.


  • 2/3 cup (100 grams) raisins
  • 2 tablespoons anise seeds
  • 1 3/4 cups (425 milliliters) water
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) pistachio nuts
  • 2 1/2 cups (600 milliliters) whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
  • 4 tablespoons honey or 5 tablespoons sugar


  1. Cover the raisins with warm water and soak them for 10 minutes. In a saucepan, boil the anise seeds in the water for 5 minutes. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes more.
  2. Blend the pistachio nuts, drained raisins, ground cardamom, and milk in an electric blender and set aside. Strain the anise water and stir the honey into it. Then add it to the mixture, stir well, and chill.
  3. Serve each glass of thandai garnished with a sprig of mint leaves.

You can find this recipe and more in The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking.

Vegan Variation: Substitute the 2 1/2 cups milk for an additional 2 1/2 to 3 cups water. The milk mellows the spices, so using only water will produce a stronger drink.

Other traditional recipes call for 1/2 teaspoon rose water, 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds, or 1 teaspoon peppercorns for additional flavoring. Some recipes suggest almonds instead of pistachios. And other recipes call for fennel seeds, saffron, or magaztari (watermelon) seeds. We suggest trying this recipe, and then experimenting with variations on flavor once you have tried it.


sounds yummy .must try

sounds yummy .must try this.all yr recipes sound simple yet delicious .will come bk with further comments.thank u

preparation doubt.

where and when to use the 425ml water mentioned in ingredients. please provide the correct preparation method.
I was ready with all ingredients but where and how to use the 425ml water.

The water is used in step 1

The water is used in step 1 of the preparation instructions and is then combined with other ingredients in further steps. Good luck with your preparation!

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