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Thandai

Thandai is a Varanasi speciality. It is a cooling drink made of purified water, sugar, seeds of watermelon and muskmelon, almonds, lotus stem seeds, cashewnut, cardmom, saunf, rose-flower, white pepper, saffron and bhang. Bhang is the intoxicant! It is made from a leaf that grows wildly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, like opium and marijuana, but which farmers need a government licence to cultivate and sell. A spoon of bhang in the thandai makes a world of a difference. Bhang is mixed with milk, ice and cream, and added to the thandai to produce a kick!

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photo: Sephi Bergerson
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Street Food of India
Thandai is a Varanasi speciality. It is a cooling drink made of purified water, sugar, seeds of watermelon and muskmelon, almonds, lotus stem seeds, cashewnut, cardmom, saunf, rose-flower, white pepper, saffron and bhang. Bhang is the intoxicant! It is made from a leaf that grows wildly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, like opium and marijuana, but which farmers need a government licence to cultivate and sell. A spoon of bhang in the thandai makes a world of a difference. Bhang is mixed with milk, ice and cream, and added to the thandai to produce a kick!