Thandai: A cool, Refreshing, Sweet, And Satisfying Drink
The staple drink of Varanasi and high in demand is the tastier Thandai. Are you alone tourist or a group of travellers, busy exploring the mysterious lanes of this ancient city? A ‘kulhar’ full of aromatic Thandai drink will be refreshing. It will also offer instant energy to satisfy your inner core.
As the name itself suggest, this is a chilling drink soaked with the paste of almond, cashew nuts, black pepper, fennel, saffron, and pistachio.
The Continued Legacy
Thandai is a creamy, thick concoction garnished with dry fruits like cashew nuts, pistachio, almond, and cardamom. As per the makers of this drink, it is originated in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Many well-to-do Gujarati and Marwari migrated to Varanasi over a hundred years ago, and in their family gathering, they guided locals to prepare Thandai with flower extract.
From that period, the locals of Varanasi learned to prepare this delicious and excellent drink. Many older Thandai makers of Varanasi accept that they understood the art of preparing this drink at the Gujarati and Marwari households when people invited them to prepare this special drink for their families during some festive occasion during those days.
Want to have a taste of yummy Malaiyo? Please read about it in detail here.
The Preparation that Increases Craving for More
Though Thandai is a revitalizing drink with a high sale in Kashi, its sale increases manifold during Mahashivratri. It may be because Shiva devotees consider this drink as Prasad of Mahadev.
During ancient times people made Thandai recipes with extracts of flowers such as rose, hibiscus, Jasmine, and likes. These flowers were blended and mixed with various other fruit juices. Many dry fruits like almonds and seeds like fennel and watermelon were added to increase the taste of this drink. The whole mixture was ground with cardamom and saffron to make it a freshening drink.
Over time, the Thandai drink recipe has been revised and is now offered as a milk-based drink with a considerable amount of cream and dry fruits. With the Specialty of Varanasi, there is a pinch of black pepper, fennel, and watermelon seeds.
However, now the shopkeepers have started to make different flavours of Thandai. They also add a certain amount of ginger and thymol seeds to keep their customers healthy.
An Awesome Guide to The Thandai Shops
The cool drinks are pale compared to the chilling and delicious drinks rich in dry fruits. The Thandai in Varanasi has many health benefits also. It is an energy booster drink that also improves digestion and builds immunity. Rich with many nutrients and minerals, it enhances skin health, boosts memory, and detoxifies the body.
However the streets of Benaras are complete with Thandai shops, but some of the famous shops are:
- Baba Thandai- D-38/28 Houz Katora, Godowlia. Varanasi.
- Kashi Vishwanath Thandai Bhandar- CK 27/4, Godowlia Rd, Bans Phatak, Godowlia. Varanasi.
- Shiva Thandai- At Luxmanpura, Ramapura, Luxa. Varanasi.
The Drink That You Must Taste and Enjoy
Varanasi is a delight for food lovers. Every area, the locality has some of the other delicacies which will last long on your taste buds. Thandai is one such delicacy that its taste you will remember for a long. It would be prudent to mention that Thandai is good for your health and has immense benefits for your body, especially in the summer season. However, with the blend of different tastes, the shopkeepers in Varanasi have invented many flavors of Thandai masala. With the inclusion of many flavors, people of all age groups, including children, have started drinking Thandai. From rose to strawberry, chocolate to Kewada, you can find almost all flavors of lassi. These unique Thandai ingredients rustle up a different delicacy to the drink.