Can you believe Holi and St. Patrick’s Day fall on the same day this year? Two festivals, associated with religious celebrations as well as raucous merry-making, albeit in different parts of the world, promise to make this a very special day.
For the uninitiated, Holi is the Indian festival of colors. It signifies the arrival of spring, as well as the victory of good over evil (I know, this is a recurring theme in many Hindu festivals).
Holi is a day when everyone, men, women, children, come on to the streets to celebrate the carnival of colors. It starts mildly with friends and family applying dry color on each others cheeks. As the day progresses, spray guns (pichkari) and water-filled balloons come out and everyone is fair game.
Buckets of water are thrown down from balconies and terraces on the revelers on the street. People are dunked into fountains… all is forgiven on this day.
The merriment continues at least up to lunch time. Then, people start making their way home, their faces barely recognizable even by their loved ones and try their best to clean all the color from their bodies, hair and facial orifices…
And then everyone sits down to a sumptuous feast, generally vegetarian. Malpua, Rabdi, Gujiya, Puri, and of course Thandai!
Thandai is a chilled, gorgeously spiced drink made from milk and almonds flavored with saffron, peppercorns, fennel seeds and cardamom. Wonderfully flavored with the slight heat of peppercorns, the fragrance of roses and the cool anise flavor from the fennel seeds, it is like nothing you have ever tasted before. And it is nutritious and cooling to boot.
That is the G-rated version of Thandai, though. The R-rated version is made by spiking the regular Thandai with ‘Bhang’ . Bhang is a beverage made from cannabis; it is simply weed in liquid form. You can imagine how intoxicating such a drink can be.
It helps in getting rid of your inhibitions while participating in such a public festival I guess. Me, I stick to the regular version, thank you.
This year is a bit different though, with St. Paddy’s also being on Holi day. So, I am spicing things up a bit by adding an Irish twist to Indian Thandai. It couldn’t have been easier. I just added a dash of Baileys Irish Cream to regular Thandai (after keeping aside a portion for the munchkin, of course). And we had Baileys Thandai!
It tasted delicious. The creaminess of the Thandai gets further enhanced by the Baileys and the alcoholic ‘kick’ is not bad either. The flavors of the two beverages blend beautifully together to create a drink fit for both Holi and St. Paddy’s day. Try it and enjoy two diverse festivals with each sip of this fabulous Baileys Thandai!
I am taking this wonderful drink to Angie’s Friday Fiesta. Come check out the party!
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Celebrate both Holi & St Patrick's Day with each sip of this wonderfully spiced chilled drink, Baileys Thandai, with Indian & Irish flavors!
- 1/8 cup whole Almonds
- 1 tablespoon Poppy Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Fennel Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
- 10 Black Peppercorns
- 2 cups Milk
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- A few strands of Saffron
- 2 teaspoons slivered Pistachios for garnish
- 1 tablespoon Rose Water
- 1 teaspoon dried Rose Petals optional
- 4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream optional
Using a coffee grinder or mixer, grind the ingredients of the almond mix to a fine dust.
Boil the milk with sugar and few strands of saffron .
Add the ground powder and mix it well.
Let the liquid refrigerate for at least 4 hours, so as to infuse all the flavors.
Strain the drink, add rose water and Baileys (if usinand mix.
Garnish it with some slivered pistachio, few threads of saffron and dried crushed rose petals.
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