Monday, March 25, 2013

Thandai (Spice) Cake

Happy Holi ~ 1 

If wishes come in rainbow colors then 
I would send the brightest one to say Happy Holi ....

India is a land of colors and flavors and the festival of colors or Holi
 truly justifies it . The tradition that started ages back as a festival of 
harvest  took a turn during the epic period and became a  symbolic
depiction  of the immortal  love between Lord Krsna and Radha.  
 Also another story of devotee Prahalad who was saved from the cruel 
hands of his  aunt Holika is also linked to the celebrations .Festivities 
begin by smearing each other's faces with powdered pigments . 
Like all celebrations it is  the time of merrymaking and also feasting , 
right from traditional sweets and  savories to Indo fusion cuisine, 
the delicacies on the tables are simply unending .

The festival is incomplete without the traditional Indian beverage
 Thandai - a drink prepared by pounding together pistachios , almonds, 
saffron, rose petals, pepper , cardamom ,fennel, melon seeds and sugar 
with milk and rosewater . The aroma of this mix is absolutely divine -
 my mother used to mix this fresh concoction with curd to make a lovely
 lassi (smoothie ) , or with gram flour to give a twist to traditional 
ladoos (truffles ). Inspired by her I added some premix to my cake
 batter for a pre Holi bash with friends. 

Thandai is believed to have superb cooling powers to gear one up for 
scorching summers ahead .Earlier  the Thandai  ingredients were
 pounded on  traditional grinding stones but now  readymade pre mix 
Thandai powders are readily available at all grocery stores. Of course 
premix have a much  milder flavor in comparison to freshly pounded
version but then it surely makes the flavor of festivities much easier :) 

The flavors of the mild premix can blend beautifully with any egg , vegan  
or eggfree recipe but a generous sprinkle of chopped nuts , dehydrated
 rose petals,cardamom ,some more saffron and  rose water surely adds
 to the flavor .  I just love the  basic eggless vanilla cake recipe from Nita 
mehta and used it as the base . 

Some shade dried  rose petals from my rose bush gave a perfect 
zing to the recipe . You could dehydrate some fresh petals
 in shade /oven or simply use chopped fresh ones if time is 
a constraint . 

Thandai Cake ( Eggless)

1 1/2  cup all purpose flour (maida), 1 cup yogurt( room temp), 2 tbsp
 milk, 2 tbsp readymade Thandai powder(sweetened) , 3/4 cup powdered  
sugar ,1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 1/4 tsp baking powder , 1/2 cup refined oil,
 1 cardomom pod coarsly powdered(opt) , 1 tsp dehydrated rose petals (opt) ,
 1/4 cup chopped nuts( almonds and  pistachios) ,6-7 saffron threads,
 1/2 tsp rose water , A few sliced pistachios and rose petals for topping 

Preheat oven to 200C. Sift the refined flour and keep aside.
Whisk together yogurt, milk, thandai powder, saffron, sugar, rose
 water and  cardamom powder till creamy . Sprinkle baking soda and 
 baking powder, gently mix and leave aside for 2-3 mins .Once the mixture 
turns frothy mix in oil . Gently fold in the sifted flour ( make sure not to 
overmix). Mix in the petals and nuts .Pour in a greased and dusted 8" pan
sprinkle the sliced pistachios and  petals  on top and bake in a preheated 
oven at 200C for 10 mins. Reduce the temp to 180 and further bake for 
30-35 mins or till the toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. 
Cool for 35- 40 mins unmold, slice , sprinkle some powdered 
sugar , chopped rose petals and serve. 

Its advisable to use readymade thandai powders as freshly ground
 homemade powders are much more sharp and aromatic . You might need to 
adjust the sugar in cake owing to the varied  sweetness levels of
readymade  thandai powders. 


  1. Wow.....wonderful cake recipe and awesome and beautiful clicks :).

  2. That is truly stunning! Loved the twist!

  3. Wow awesome cake! Loved ur beautiful cake...

  4. Such a gorgeous cake and what a lovely presentation.

  5. Such a festive looking cake, beautiful flavors, happy Holi!And more more food recipe posts please!

    1. Thnx for kind words Suma . Will surely post more recipes :)

  6. Such a beautiful cake ,I'm in love with the gorgeous clicks !

  7. The cake looks yummm, the concept great (thandai).

    1. Thnx for the kind words Manu :) glad u liked it !!!

  8. That the most innovative cake flavour of the season. Thanks for posting this..should try this...beautiful pics to match with

    1. Thanks Deepasri , do try it out & let me know :) :)

  9. Wow this looks absolutely divine! I am definitely going to try this... I have never had thandai, so this will be a new taste for me.

    1. Thanks Shankari . You must try Thandai , it truly reflects the taste of India !!

  10. Wow too good.. thandai powder..shd hv been awesome.. nice clicks..

    1. Thnx Kalpana . It was full of aroma & vivid flavors.

  11. Awesome!!very innovative.never heard about using the thandai flavours in a cake..bookmarked!

  12. Beautiful pictures and loved the recipe and all the info given , this is all new to me. I am seriously tempted to make this cake as its my hubby b'day on Mar 29th and I was hunting for an eggless cake recipe. Thank you so much.

    Love your blog! :-)


    1. Thanks for the kind words Manju :) Homemade goods perfectly depict love , hope u have a great time baking & celebrating !

  13. This is gorgeous Smita and what a great idea!

    1. Thnx Ruchira :) its always lovely to hear kind words from great bakers :) :)

  14. awesome cake...very inviting it

  15. So innovative and simple! Thanks for sharing such lovely recipe :)

  16. Oh Smita,

    that looks so so so so inviting. Imagine rose petals, pista, saffron, cardamom all in one eggless cake...must have been so amazing when it was baking???
    Happy Holi!


    1. Truly it was !!! every bite was a lovely essence of our Indian flavors :)

  17. Such a wonderful creation..perfect blend of creativity and Indian flavors! Happy Holi Smita.

    1. A very Happy Holi to u too Sanjeeta , thnx for the kind words :)


Questions?? Comments !! Its a pleasure to hear from you :) :)


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