Indian Superfood – Thandai
Fight Indigestion, Loss of Energy & Common Cold with Thandai
We drink Thandai for its amazing health benefits on Holi because it marks the beginning of summer in India. Thandai has every spice and ingredient that is required by our body to maintain good health during the season change. Our body is prone to loss of energy, indigestion and catching a cold around Holi.
Nuts and dry fruits in Thandai give us energy, spices like blackpepper and clove increase immunity and help us fight infections while rose petals, fennel and saffron prevent indigestion. A combination of richness, the heat from spices and the cooling effect of rose and fennel make up the perfect balance of flavours in this perfect cold beverage for the hot summer.
Richness to the Thandai – Energy to you
A mixture of ground almonds, pistachios and melon or pumpkin seeds are added to give body and richness to the drink. These mixed nuts and seeds also give you instant energy when your body feels drained by the summer heat.
Almonds are full of good fats and protein. It is also rich in vitamin E making it great for your skin and hair. Almonds are good for the heart. Being rich in fiber they also help in weight loss.
Pistachios help in haemoglobin production because they are rich in vitamin B6. This vitamin also boosts the immunity, so you are less likely to catch a cold when the season changes. Like almonds, they are rich in fiber and Vitamin E, so they make you look good!
#3 Watermelon Seeds (Magaz) or Pumpkin Seeds
While watermelon and pumpkin seeds, both, are a great source of energy and a good source of protein and fiber, these seeds are very rich in vitamins and minerals. Watermelon seeds for instance, are rich in iron while pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc.
Cooling Effect and Better Digestion in the Summer
The beginning of summer along with all those fried snacks during Holi can often lead to indigestion and over heating of the body. Apart from playing with water and colours to cool the body, we must drink thandai to cool our body temperature from the inside. Special cooling ingredients are therefore added to thandai to regulate and balance the body heat.
#4 Poppy Seeds (khus-khus)
Poppy seeds are frequently used in Indian cooking as well as medicine for their cooling effect on the body. They are rich in minerals like iron, phosphorus and zinc. In the summer, they are very helpful in quenching thirst and also help during constipation and irritation of the abdomen.
#5 Fennel (Saunf)
Fennel seeds helps in cooling the body from the inside. Even fennel soaked in water can be sipped in the summer to keep the body cool. Fennel keeps the body internally cool and also is anti-flatulence. Fennel is also good for digestion.
#6 Rose Petals/ Rose Water
Not only are rose petals extremely fragrant and add to the flavor of the thandai, they are also good during indigestion. Rose petals too have a cooling effect on the body and prevent the body temperature from rising during the summer.
#7 Mishri (unprocessed rock sugar)
Mishri not only sweetens the drink but also prevents and cures cough, cold and throat infection. During the beginning of summer, you and I are most likely to catch a cold. Mishri in thandai will prevent and cure this.
#8 Cow’s Milk
Milk from Desi cows, grass fed and hormone free organic milk is actually good for us. It is rich in calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K. It has good quality protein and is also rich in vitamin B12. If you are unable to get pure, desi cow’s milk then you can use almond milk or coconut milk to make your thandai.
Substitute Coconut Milk or Almond Milk for Vegans.
Spicy flavor Boosts Immunity During Season Change
Pepper boosts our immunity and help us fight cold. It has antibacterial properties and helps fight infections. It is also good for digestion. When pepper is added along with other herbs and spices such as turmeric, it also helps increase the absorption and benefits from the other spices. Along with medicinal properties, it is rich in zinc, iron, calcium and vitamin A.
Cloves like peppercorns have medicinal properties that make them a great addition to thandai. Cloves also boost immunity and aid in better digestion during the summer. Apart from this, they are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Cloves are specially good for bones and teeth.
#11 Green Cardamom (Choti Elaichi)
Cardamom helps fight infection, detoxifies the body and is specially good for nausea and vomiting. It is also useful as a mouth freshener.
#12 Saffron (Kesar)
Saffron is also considered to be a powerful anti-septic and therapeutic spice. Not only does it give a rich flavor to the thandai but also helps in better digestion during the summertime.
You can also add turmeric along with saffron to your thandai to boost its health benefits even more.
Power Up your Summer with Thandai
Homemade thandai is a golden drink for your health. You can use almond milk or coconut milk in place of cow’s milk to make it more therapeutic. It is full of nuts, seeds and medicinal spices balanced together in the form of a tasty summertime beverage. Drink it like a milkshake, shake it like frappe or add it to flavor your lassi!
Do try out this recipe below and let me know how it turns out!