Sunday, October 5, 2014


Thandai ( Thaadal in Sindhi ) is a very refreshing drink made with almonds, poppy seeds, cardamoms and many other ingredients which are soaked overnight and ground adding water and milk the next day. It is then strained and taken chilled.. Traditionally in olden days we had special thick earthen containers with rough surface ( like sand paper ) and a heavy wooden pestle to grind this ( just like a pestle and mortar) In Sindhi we call it " Dando - Kundo."  (see the image at the end of the post)
I have memories from my childhood helping my mom and grandma in doing this and it required a lot of time and patience. In my moms place we never added milk but added more almonds to get the richness. This drink is specially made in summers and on the festivals of Maha Shivratri &  Holi.

Almonds .. 12 - 15
Pistachios .. 10 (optional ) Not in the recipe but I add them.
Green cardamoms .. 6-7
Musk Melon seeds .. 1 tbsp (peeled)
Poppy seeds (khus khus) ... 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds .. 1 tsp
Fennel seeds (saunf) . 1 tsp
Black pepper corns .. 1 tsp
Saffron .... few strands
Rose petals .. handful (use desi pink rose with fragrance. If you don't have you may use a tsp of rose syrup or a drop of rose essence)
Sugar .... 1/4 cup (or as you like it)
Milk ... 1 cup (can add more if you like)
Water .. as needed for grinding, straining and diluting)

The colour of the soaked ingredients is due to the saffron. If you want to keep it white then don't add it while soaking.Just add to the drink after it is ready just for flavour and garnishing.

1. Soak all the dry ingredients together in a bowl (except milk and sugar) with enough water to cover them.
2. Grind them in a mixer adding water. Strain in a jar using a muslin cloth or a strainer.
3. After straining you may grind the residue second time adding more water to extract everything properly.
4. Now add the sugar and the required quantity of milk ( and water if needed) and mix well with a spoon. Alternately you may also add the sugar while grinding.
5. The consistency of the drink depends on your liking and preference.
Refrigerate and serve it chilled or add some ice cubes.
This quantity should make about 8-10 glasses.

Note: You can grind the ingredients with water and store in a refrigerator for 2-3 days. Add milk and more water before serving as shown in the above picture.

You can see the Sindhi Dando Kundo that was  used for grinding Thaadal in this picture above.
Dando Kundo Image Source - Google.