Thandai

My quest for authentic (or close to authentic) Thandai has finally come to an end. Over the past few years, I have tried many methods of making Thandai. They have come from various known and unknown sources. But they all left me disappointed.

This recipe comes from my M.I.L. Why am I sold for this one? Simple, it tastes every bit how Thandai should.

Thandai is essentially a milk based summer drink and has a soothing effect on body. The ingredients that go into it are all gentle. This is the reason I have excluded Saffron (Kesar) and dry fruits.

In fact you can make a winter version of Thandai with a bit of Saffron and powdered Almonds and Pistachio.

Here we go;

Ingredients;

100 grams of Fennel Seeds (Saunf)

1 tbsp of freshly ground Black Pepper powder – (It won’t make the Thandai spicy at all.  Trust me this gives an amazing twist. If u like to add a spicy tinge to the flavor, add a little more)

25 grams of ground Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus)

1 tbsp of peeled and ground Cardamom (Elachi)

25 grams dried Cucumber seeds (Magaj Tari) – You can replace them with Muskmelon seeds in case Cucumber seeds are hard to find.

40 grams of dried Rose petals

Cold Milk

Sugar

 Preparation;

  • If dried Rose petals are not available, you can make them at home. Get 5-6 Roses from a flower vendor, remove petals and dry them in the shade for 3-4 days. Don’t dry directly under the Sun to fast forward the process. The petals will burn and the essence will be lost.
  • Grind the following ingredients separately one after the other into a fine powder.

Fennel seeds

Dried Rose Petals

Cardamom seeds

Poppy seeds (these are very tiny. Add a bit of water when u grind, else the seeds will be all over in the grinder)

  • Have some cold milk ready if you wish to make it right away.

 Procedure;

  1. Add ground Fennel seeds, ground Rose petals, ground Cardamom and ground Poppy seeds to the grinder.
  2. Add Cucumber seeds and Black pepper powder to it. Grind all this to make a fine powder.
  3. That’s it. Your Thandai powder is ready!

It can stay good for around 12 months if stored in a refrigerator.

 Serving proportions;

2 tsp of Thandai powder and 1 tbsp of sugar (add more sugar if you like it more sweet) for a glass of cold milk. Mix well. Let it cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. If you can keep it overnight or for 6-8 hours, nothing like it!

Strain and serve.

Thandai is known for having bhang mixed in it. I have never made or sipped one. If you do, do tell me how you make it.

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Dark Chocolate Cookie

Dark chocolate cookies are baked exactly the same way as Chocó chip cookies, with a slight change to the ingredients.

Ingredients;

200 grams unsalted butter

150 grams granulated Sugar

150 grams brown sugar

2 cups of plain flour

½ cup of dark cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt (skip this if you use salted butter)

2 eggs

1 cup  Belgian Chocó chips (or any other  with 70% cocoa)

Approximate yield = 3-4 dozens of cookies.

Refer ‘Chocó chip cookie’ recipe for the procedure.

As a variation, you can try chips of milk chocolate.  White chips on a dark cookie make a great contrast. They are like a quick sweet punch in the middle of a bitter chocolaty taste.

The classic Chocolate Chip Cookie

This crunchy, buttery and sweet classic cookie is almost forgotten. I am not a cookie person. Never been one. But once in a while, after meals, I love to snack on the leftover crumbs from the jar.

Cookies are quite simple to make. The same set of ingredients as cake. Change the proportion of ingredients. Bake at different temperature. And you get cookies.

Ingredients;

200 grams unsalted butter

150 grams Granulated Sugar

150 grams Brown sugar

2 and ¼ cups (230 grams roughly) plain flour

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt (skip this if you use salted butter)

2 eggs

1 cup Chocó chips (of your choice, I use the ones with 50% cocoa)

Approximate yield = 3-4 dozens of cookies.

Before you start;

Take all your ingredients at room temperature. If butter is refrigerated, microwave it for 30 secs before use. Store Chocó chips in cool temperature, refrigerate in summers.

You can use a whisker/ manual beater to prepare the batter for cookies. Electric beater is absolutely optional.

The Cookie dough has a tendency to spread while baking. Try baking one cookie first, if you feel that the dough is runny; refrigerate it for 30-40 mins before using it.

Cookie dough can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. Bake fresh cookies as and when you feel like having some.

Preheat the oven at around 150 Degree Celsius.

Procedure;

  1. In a small bowl sieve flour, baking soda and salt. Mix together with a spoon.
  2. In a large bowl add butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Beat till all the ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time. Gently beat after adding each egg.
  4. Fold in dry ingredients, little at a time in to the large bowl. The batter will be thicker than the one we make for cake.
  5. Mix Chocó chips with the batter. Save a handful for later use.
Line up the baking tray with butter paper. On the butter paper, drop a spoon full of cookie dough (batter spreads to double the size. The amount of batter will decide the size of the cookie). Leave enough space (an inch minimum) between two cookies.  Dot the cookies with the remaining Chocó chips.

To have standard size cookies, you can use an ice-cream scoop instead of a spoon.

Bake the cookie dough for 12-15 mins. Let stand for a few minutes.

Remove the cookies on the wire rack to cool.

Those with a taste for high amount of coco in chocolate, you can check out the darker and bitter variant of chocolate chip cookie –‘Dark chocolate cookie’ produced as a separate recipe.

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