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Blue Blood Thandai

Tomorrow is Holi which means it's also the time for the original Indian milkshake - the thandai. The drink marks our transition from spring to summer. With poppy seeds and melon seeds and a whole lot of nuts and spices, the end result is meant to have a cooling effect. There are many fans of the original thandai but I've never been a fan - mostly, the colour and flavour of saffron never sits right with me.

So this year for holi, I'm shaking things up a bit. This version has most of the traditional thandai ingredients except I got rid of saffron. And I added two blue ingredients: blue poppy seeds instead of the white ones, and butterfly pea flower instead of the traditional rose petals.

The end result is smoother than your regular thandai and while it didn't turn out to be blue, it's a very pretty shade of white. The recipe is easy enough for you to make in time for Holi tomorrow. Enjoy the festival of colours, and the drink. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients
1 tbsp blue poppy seeds
2 tbsp melon seeds
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
10-15 peppercorns
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup sugar
4-5 butterfly pea flowers

Soak all ingredients except the sugar in 1 cup warm water for about an hour. Remove the flowers, add sugar and blend everything to a smooth paste. Pop this into a glass jar and keep it aside until you are ready to drink thandai. This paste would keep in the fridge for a week.

When you are ready to serve thandai, add 2 tbsp of the thandai paste to the blender with a cup of milk and 2-3 ice cubes. If you are feeling particularly festive, add a splash of rum.  Blend for a minute and serve topped with a sprinkle of crushed dried butterfly pea flowers.


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