Homemade Thandai Powder|Vodka Paan Thandai
Colour, joy, camaraderie and lots of Homemade Thandai Powder|Vodka Paan Thandai will make the festival of Holi, fun all day. The zaniest festival, Holi, is just a day away and time for bindaas revelry and celebration. Of course, the splashes of colour in high-spirits is what the day is all about, but what makes it even more exciting are the naughty pranks played on friends and family, lots of good food, and the intoxicating Holi special; THANDAI!
Thandai or Shardai
Since time immemorial we all know that the festival of colours is incomplete without drinking the traditional milk-based, spiced drink, thandai (we call it Shardai in Punjabi). Bollywood has immortalized the festival with some memorable songs and I am here to share a special boozy thandai to make your day party more sensational. Thandai is usually spiked with the classic bhang, but I bring you one with Vodka.
Living in the south I have never experienced a proper Holi but my husband who was a teetotaller used to tell me funny tales of Bhang filled episodes where his friends got intoxicated and behaved funnily.
Holi with Friends
Tomorrow is Holi and my friends and I are hosting a Holi party for about 50 ladies and it’s going to be a riot of colours, water balloons, water guns, fun and games and of course a buffet spread.(will try to share the fun later today)
In India, it is said,” Peene walon ko peene ka bahaana chahiye” (those who drink, just need an excuse to drink) and Holi is the best excuse for the lovers of Bacchus to drink till they drop, that too in the day.
The traditional thandai is a concoction of chilled milk, almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, rose petals, fennel seeds, cardamom and pepper. I have a thick betel vine growing in my patio and I decided to give the thandai powder a unique twist with betel leaves, gulkand and brown sugar added to all the other awesome ingredients. The thandai powder is available in most stores in India and if you want to make instant thandai then get a pack. I have made the thandai powder myself and it is just a blend of all the ingredients together.
This is how my mom used to make thandai every summer. In those days when there were no air conditioners, mom used to come up with her homemade natural, coolant potions and made us drink them to save us from the loo or summer heat. Early morning she would wake up and make a fresh paste of thandai masala in her mortar. There were no blenders then. I still love using my stone mortar and pestle which gives a nice grainy texture. She used to make pitcher full as we were 7 of us. People who do not use black pepper will wonder why it is added. Pepper adds a kick to the sweet recipe and has been said to improve digestion and stimulate the secretion from the taste buds. This helps in activating the digestive juices.
After the powder is ready you just have to blend cold milk, sugar, thandai powder, gulkand, vodka and loads of ice. You can garnish it with almond flakes but I used sweet basil or soaked sabja seeds and saffron strands.
What is Paan
Paan, also known as Betel is an age-old mouth-freshener in India. I love the melt-in-the-mouth Paan available in Lucknow. When I munch on some Paan, after a meal, I feel it is a complete meal. When the festival of Holi is around, thandai is much in demand these days and is available in many amazing flavours to suit your palate. In India, Holi marks the onset of summer and this Paan thandai is one of those refreshing summer drinks and when you add a shot of Vodka, it is worth drooling over.
If you are looking for summer coolers then please check out my link here
Thandai Powder Recipe
4 betel leaves
10 Almonds blanched
10 Cashewnuts soaked 20
1 tbsp Melon seeds or magaz
1 tbsp Poppy seeds or khuskhus
5 Strands Saffron or kesar
4 tbsp Brown Sugar or castor sugar
4-5 Green cardamoms
1 tsp fennel seeds or saunf
5 Rose petals
¼ inch Cinnamon or nutmeg
5-6 Black peppercorns
In a mortar or a blender grind together almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, melon seeds, and sugar, saffron, fennel, black pepper, nutmeg and poppy seeds. Tear the betel leaves and add to the rest of the ingredients.
You will get a rough paste. Keep this aside to make Thandai immediately or store it in the fridge in an airtight container and it will stay for a week. Whenever you feel thirsty just add some milk and ice and enjoy a refreshing drink.
Ingredients of Paan Thandai Cocktail
60 Ml Vodka
1 Betel leaf
1 Tbsp. Gulkand
200 Ml Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla essence
1 Tbsp. Thandai powder
2-3 tbsps. of brown sugar or castor sugar.
Blend all the ingredients. Top with lots of ice cubes.
Garnish with almond flakes the soaked sweet basil seeds and strands of saffron.
Serve cool. Get ready to celebrate Holi tomorrow with this slightly intoxicating drink and get tipsy in the colours of the season.