Thứ Bảy, 3 tháng 3, 2012

Thandai/Spicy Nutty Almond Milk



oli is this Thursday. This Festival of Colors is undoubtedly one of the most fun filled of all the festivals in India. The celebration of the advent of spring, this festival is tied to a lot of religious significance as are all the other festivals in India and also signifies the triumph of good over evil. Huge bonfires are burnt on the eve of Holi to commemorate this spirit.
As with any festivities, there are loads of fond memories with Holi as well. For those not aware, the tradition might seem a little odd but here is how it was done - and boy was it fun. The morning of the festival, you would wake up and go out on the streets armed with all your washable paints, colors and gulal. Any person you find young or old, whether you know them or not, you make sure you get them painted beyond recognition. Of course you get the brunt of it too, so much so you would not recognize if you saw yourself in the mirror... no kidding. While you did all that, you would sneak an occasional peek in the house and pick a taste of all the goodies mom was busy cooking up. I remember how my mom and aunts used to cook up a storm and how all of us children would huddle up in the kitchen and be curious and all excited, waiting for the treat. The sweet aroma of festivity, sounds of laughter, the deep frying, chit-chat, gossip.
On this occasion it is customary to drink thandai - a cold refreshing beverage made with milk that is infused with almond and few exotic spices often traditionally mixed with ground hemp paste or bhaang. Bhaang  is prepared with ground leaves and flowers buds of the cannabis plant which works like a relaxant and gives a intoxicating kick :) You guessed it, as kids, we weren't allowed. This  version here is of-course the non-intoxicating version and perfect for the upcoming hot summers and not to mention very nutritious as well.
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