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Sweet & Seedy: Thandai

September 26, 2016

This is an Indian drink: sweet, creamy, and flavored with nuts, cardamom, fennel, rose petals, and poppy seeds. Traditionally this would be made with whole milk-- the nuts and seeds alone make a milky drink that is dairy- free and so can be combined with other foods.

⅓ C almonds3 T sunflower3 T hemp seeds3 T poppy seeds3.5 T raw cashews or other nuts4 C water1 C raw sugar1 t fennel seeds10 black peppercorns10 green cardamom pods1 - 1" stick cinnamonfew strands of saffron20 rose petals, more for garnish

Combine almonds, seeds, cashews, and pistachios with 2 cups of water; soak for 1 hour. Remove and discard skins from almonds and pistachios if needed. Drain nuts and seeds; set aside.

Bring water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan. Add sugar and saffron, stirring until sugar is dissolved; set aside. Toast the fennel, peppercorns, cardamom and cinnamon in an skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes; let cool slightly. Transfer spices to a food processor, along with the nut mixture, medicated ghee, 1 tbsp water, and rose petals. Puree to a smooth paste. Whisk paste into water, and strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on solids. Refrigerate strained mixture until chilled or serve warm. Divide between serving glasses; garnish with grated nutmeg and rose petals, if you like.

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