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Rose Thandai - Rose flavored milk drink

Summer calls for cool drinks that are not only delicious but also healthy. Here in India, many milk-based drinks fall into this category. Thandai refers to chilled flavored milk made in summer. Thandai is made in different flavors, rose flavor is one of them.

Chilled flavored milk is a great drink for hot summer days and also relieves some fatigue from the heat.

When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make delicious chilled milkshakes and juices for us on hot days. From Chabeel (rose milk) to Mango-Lassi and Rooh Afza Sharbat to Nimbu Shikanji (spiced Indian lemonade ), we enjoyed them all.

Of all the drinks, Thandai and Chabeel were always favorites. Not only by us, but also by our guests. And so I decided to mix these two drinks and make a delicious drink that is great for warm days.

What is Thandai?

Thandai is a mixture of chilled milk, sugar and a special blend of spices, nuts and seeds called Thandai-Masala. Thandaimeans "coolant" in Hindi. This drink is especially enjoyed during Holi and Mahashivratri. As a super cooling drink, it is the highlight for these festivals..

I always make the Masala at home as it is just a mixture of black pepper, melon seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, nuts and rose petals. But you can of course buy it online or at an Indian grocery store and use it. Thandai syrups are also available, but they won't work for this recipe. These syrups have a lot of sugar and that combined with Rooh Afza (rose syrup) makes the drink extra sweet.

This drink uses Thandai Masala which has so many ingredients that cool the body. Combined with milk and roses, the drink really cools down on hot days and is a perfect summer drink.

Rose Thandai is not only delicious, it also looks chic with this beautiful color. You can serve it in large glasses as a welcome drink for a party or in shot glasses.

Whether you make a big batch or a few glasses, this recipe works great either way.

This Rose Thandai recipe is super easy to make as it only requires three ingredients. These are easy to source and the masala and rose syrup will keep for a long time too. This cooling drink can be served immediately if made with chilled milk, or can be refrigerated until ready to serve.

Ingredients for Rose Thandai

Milk: Use whole milk for the recipe. It makes the Thandai creamy. Using lower fat milk will not make a super creamy Thandai.

As a vegan variation, you can also make the recipe with plant-based milk, it tastes just as delicious.

Rooh Afza: Rooh Afza is the main ingredient here. It not only gives the recipe flavor, but also its beautiful color.

Thandai Masala: A mixture of seeds, nuts and other flavorful ingredients; Thandai Masala is an essential ingredient here.

You can use homemade Thandai Masala or buy it from the store. However, without this masala, the recipe is just rose milk and not Thandai.

Dried rose petals: an ingredient to top the Thandai and give it some color. Dried rose petals are delicious and add some extra flavor.

Use dried rose petals or dried rose buds for the recipe. These are optional, but are recommended by me.

Adding some nuts like pistachios, edible silver foil or saffron is also an option. These can be used as a combination or alone.

What is Rooh Afza?

Rooh Afza is a concentrated pink syrup made from herbs, fruits, vegetables, flowers and roots. It was developed in 1906 by Hakeem Hafiz Abdul Majeed in Ghaziabad (British India) and later distributed from Old Delhi (India).

In Persian language, "rooh" means "soul" and "afza" means "what nourishes the soul" or "uplifts/improves the spirit." So the term rooh afza literally means "he who nourishes the soul and strengthens the soul and spirit", it really lives up to its name.

The recipe of Rooh Afza is known to be based on the ingredients of traditional Yunani or Unani medicine. It is thick, very sweet and designed to reduce body heat. Therefore, it is best enjoyed dissolved in water or milk.

Storage suggestions

You can store Rose Thandai in a sealed container or glass bottle in the refrigerator for about 2 days.

Ingredients for 3 - 4 Portions

  • 3 cups full-fat milk or plant-based milk, chilled (substitute with almond milk for vegan option).

  • 2 Tbsp. Rooh Afza syrup (rose syrup)

  • 2 tablespoons Thandai Masala

  • 8-10 dried rose petals or dried rose buds, for garnish


Place Rooh Afza syrup, Thandai Masala and milk in a blender or food processor.Blend for about 2-3 minutes until smooth.Transfer the Rose Thandai to a pitcher and refrigerate.

Pour some Rooh Afaza syrup into a glass and swirl. Pour the chilled Rose Thandai and garnish with dried rose petals or dried rose buds.

Serve Rose Thandai immediately.


  • Use cold milk for the recipe. Adding a few ice cubes is also an option. I use chilled milk so as not to water down the Thandai.

  • Rooh Afza syrup can be substituted with a combination of pink color and rose water. The flavors won't be as distintict, but it works.

I look forward to hearing from you...

...if you like my blog, my recipes inspire you and your curiosity for Indian cuisine has been piqued.

Feel free to give me feedback if you would like to share your cooking accomplishments or have a suggestion for improvement. I appreciate any kind feedback. Whether via the comment function, email, Facebook or Instagram (best tagged with #heutemalindisch and @heutemalindisch, then your cooking success can also inspire others).

1 comment

1 Comment

Mar 17

The infusion of rose flavor adds a subtle floral note, making it a perfect beverage for those seeking a unique and aromatic experience. Whether enjoyed chilled on a hot day or as a comforting treat, Rose Thandai promises to tantalize the taste buds with its delicate flavor profile. Oder probieren Sie die alkoholfreien Weine von Alkoholfrei vom Winzer:

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