Thandai Custard

Thandai Custard | Playful Cooking

For someone who loves colors, it’s quite odd to not enjoy the festival of colors Holi! As a kid, I used to hide in my Mom’s kitchen pantry almost the entire day, terrified of those multicolor faces. Some years, Holi used to fall right on my birthday, making it double difficult for me. The fear lasted for a very long time. The very first time I stepped out to play Holi was in my 20s. It was ok. I was not as thrilled as others. Somehow, it never became my favorite festival. Although that never stopped me from celebrating the day with sweets and snacks!

Thandai Custard | Playful Cooking

Thandai is milk-based summer cooler that is infused with nuts and spices. Served chilled, it’s almost a mandatory treat during Holi festival. The spice mix is pretty easy to make at home. It’s a blend of nuts like almond, pistachio and cashew along several spices like fennel seeds, black peppercorn and poppy seeds. When combined together, the flavor is robust! I love the niftiness of this spice mixture. It can be used in several dessert preparations to boost the taste and aroma.

Thandai Custard | Playful Cooking

Thandai Custard | Playful Cooking

This Holi, instead of going for the chilled drink, I went for chilled custard. Creamy, luscious and a perfect party treat!

Hope you all had an exciting and super colorful Holi.

Thandai Custard

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Thandai Custard


    for thandai powder
  • ¼ cup whole almonds
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 6 green cardamoms
  • ½ tablespoon peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons melon seeds
  • for the custard
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons thandai powder


    to make the thandai powder
  • Grind all the ingredients to a fine dust.
  • to make the custard
  • Pour heavy cream in a saucepan along with sugar and thandai powder. Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • In a bowl, whisk egg until it’s smooth.
  • Ladle a little bit of the hot cream slowly to whisked egg while whisking simultaneously. Pour the egg yolk mixture back to the hot cream and give it a mix. Cook the mixture on a medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until the custard looks thick and coats the back of your spoon.
  • Preheat the oven to 150C/300 F.
  • Pour the mixture in a baking pan and bake it for about 30 minutes or until it’s just set.
  • Bring it to room temperature and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. However, if you want to serve it warm, you can do that too.


I didn’t strain the custard before baking but if you want to avoid any grains present in the spice mix, strain it before baking.

Thandai Custard | Playful Cooking

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dixya says:

im not a holi person either..i have never liked the idea of throwing color and getting drenched..but sweets are always welcome 🙂

What a delicious custard, the flavors sound wonderful!

Sarvani says:

Holi does not excite me either..I might play with water but not the coloured powders!! I am intrigued by the addition of thandai in the custard…

ohh this looks so delicious!! and wonderful photos <3

Mindy says:

Hi Kankana,

Lovely stories and pictures!! The recipe sounds wonderful… what is the sugar amount?

Kankana Saxena says:

Thanks Mindy 🙂 I didn’t realize the sugar amount was missing. It’s 1 cup!

Sheetal says:

What a great idea to to a thandia custard

I just love baked custard, your spiced version looks so delicious Kankana! x

I have not been able to visit my favorite sites for a while now and I see that O have mussed some gorgeous recipes from you! Going through them all now 🙂 And before I forget, this is a genius fusion!

Lovely stories and awesome pictures kankana!