3 thandai recipes with a twist for a refreshingly delicious Holi

Why limit yourself to traditional thandai this Holi? With these three refreshing takes on bhaang and thandai by chefs, this year’s festival is about to get turnt!

Holi in India is incomplete without glassfulls of thandai. The variety of flavours and assorted colours make it a wonderful extension of the festival’s colourful spirit. Not to mention the addition of some good old bhang for a truly intoxicating day of fun! 

That being said, why should thandai have all the fun? This Holi, get a little creative with these innovative recipes. Be it wellness focused or simply something different you’re looking for, we’ve got it all covered. And don’t forget to have an extra glass on us!  

Avocado and Mix Nuts Thandai by Chef Vivek Tamhane, Senior Executive Chef, BLVD Club, Bangalore 

Thandai gets a healthy makeover this holi with this recipe by chef vivek.
Thandai gets a healthy makeover this Holi with this recipe by Chef Vivek.


  • 1 fresh medium avocado (puree)
  • 25 gm almonds
  • 25 gm cashew nuts
  • 5 gm white poppy seeds/khus khus
  • 5 gm pistachio, chopped
  • 5 gm fennel seeds
  • 5 gm black peppercorn
  • 2-3 green cardamom seeds powder
  • 5-6 rose petals, dried
  • 1 ltr milk
  • 75 gm sugar
  • Saffron


  • Dry roast all the nuts separately.
  • Soak cashew nuts, white poppy seeds, pistachio, fennel seeds, black peppercorn, and cardamom seeds powder in 1 cup of milk. Keep it aside for 2-3 hours. Grind it into a thandai paste. Add the avocado puree. Mix well.
  • Heat 1 litre of milk. Add sugar, saffron strands and bring it to a boil.
  • Mix the thandai avocado mixture into the milk and stir well. Let it cool down, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to chill.
  • Once it is chilled, serve in a glass. Garnish with chopped pistachios, and dried rose petals.

Bhaang Cocktail by Barbank

This holi, bhaang thandai meets cocktails with this interesting new take by barbank.
This Holi, Bhaang Thandai meets cocktails with this interesting new take by Barbank.


For thandai

  • 1 ltr milk
  • A sprinkle of saffron
  • 3 cups of sugar

For the bhaang thandai masala

  • 3 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds 
  • 30 – 40 bleached and skinless almonds
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 4 cardamom pods, powdered
  • 1 tablespoon bhang paste


  • To begin making the Bhang Thandai, first get all the ingredients ready. Keep the almonds rinsed and ground, ready for use.
  • Use a mixer and powder all the ingredients listed under the bhang thandai masala – poppy seeds, fennel seeds, blanched almonds, whole black peppercorns, cardamom seeds and bhang paste in a mixer into a smooth paste.
  • In a deep vessel, boil the milk and saffron. Once the milk comes to a boil, stir in the bhang thandai masala, sugar and stir. Stir well and whisk the thandai well.
  • After boiling and preparing the thandai milk, allow the thandai to cool. Once cooled, refrigerate the Bhang Thandai for a few hours to preserve it.
  • Serve the Bhang Thandai in a tumbler and garnish with almond flakes! Enjoy!

Suggested read: India@75: Gujiya’s sweet pact with Holi, the festival of colours

Rasbhari by Dushyant Tanwar, Mixologist, Monika Enterprises 

Staying true to its name, rasbhari is an innovative and flavourful departure from traditional holi beverages!
Staying true to its name, Rasbhari is an innovative and flavourful departure from traditional Holi beverages!


  • 60 ml Belenkaya vodka
  • 45 ml rasmalai liquid
  • 30 ml mildly sweetened strong black coffee


  • Mix it all in a shaker. Pour in a glass over ice. 
  • Garnish with some almond flakes and enjoy.

Read more. 

One chef, one recipe: Holi special Mawa Gujiya by Executive Sous Chef Mohammed Eliyaz