Thandai Chia Pudding

March 11, 2019mayurisjikoni
Blog post


The Festival of Colors is just round the corner and once again everyone will be planning what food to have as friends and families get together to enjoy this festival. Like many festivals in India, it celebrates the good over evil. It also marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring, but take it from me I don’t think there was a spring season in Bangalore, from winter it went straight into summer. It is very hot here.

Traditional Story:

Hiranyakashipu, a demon king wanted to take revenge against Lord Vishnu who had killed his younger brother. Hiranyakashipu prayed for years and was granted a special boon by Lord Brahma that literally made him indestructible. He asked Lord Brahma to grant him immortality but Lord Brahma could not grant that wish as all must die one day. Instead of that Lord Brahma granted  Hiranyakashipu how he can die..his death wish.

Hiranyakashipu requested the following: “O Brahma, no man or beast, nor devil, nor god shall cause my death by day or by night with steel or stone or wood, indoors or outdoors, on earth or in sky. Grant me undisputed lordship over the world. Brahma said,”May it be so!”

This made him very arrogant. He asked his people to worship him like God. There was much terror and fear everywhere, God has his ways and thus Hiranyakashipu’s son Prahlad was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. This made his father very angry. He decided to kill his own son as he would not stop worshipping Lord Vishnu. He asked his sister Holika who had a special boon that fire could not destroy her, to sit with young Prahlad in her lap in the huge fire. Prahlad kept on reciting Lord Vishnu’s name. Holika got burnt completely and Prahlad was saved.

After that Lord Vishnu took the form of Lord Narasimha, half man half lion and killed Hiranyakashipu. He was killed at the doorstep, at dusk, on the lap of Lord Narasimha and the tool used were the claws of a lion. This took care of the boon that he was granted. Next day people celebrated with colour and feasting.

But how did colors become part of Holi? This dates back to the period of Lord Krishna (reincarnation of Lord Vishnu) . It is believed that Lord Krishna used to celebrate holi with colors. Colours were made from natural materials. He used to play holi with his friends at Vrindavan and Gokul. They used to play pranks all across the village and thus made this a community event. That is why till date Holi celebrations at Vrindavan are unmatched.

For this Holi festival, I decided to make a simple but healthy dessert. Cooling, healthy and easy to make. I made a thandai chia pudding. What is thandai? Thandai is a mixture of spices, nuts and dried rose petals which comes in the form of a powder or syrup. It is added to milk and everyone enjoys this cool drink while playing with colours. I always feel that Holi is incomplete without thandai. Every Holi I make something different using the famous thandai powder which I make at home.


Serves 2

For the Thandai Masala/Powder:

1 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf, valiyari)
3-4 peppercorns
1 tbsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
a generous pinch of saffron (kesar)
6-8 almonds (badam)
8-12 pistachios
¼ tsp cardamom (elachi)
1 tbsp dried rose petals
For the Chia Pudding:
1 cup(200ml) cold milk (can use coconut or any nut milk)
¼ cup chia seeds
2-3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp thandai masala or powder
For garnishing:
chopped almonds and pistachios
a few strands of saffron
rose petals
Preparation of the Thandai Masala or Powder:
  1. Lightly roast the fennel seeds in a pan over low heat. Make sure they don’t burn.
  2. Roast the poppy seeds over low heat till they begin to pop. Make sure you stir them all the time.
  3. Mix all the ingredients.
  4. Using a food processor, process the mixture into a fine powder.
  5. Store in an airtight container.



Preparation of the Thandai Chia Pudding:

  1. Mix the milk, chia seeds, sugar and thandai powder in a bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with a lid and put the mixture in the fridge.
  3. Let the chia seeds swell till the mixture becomes thick. Best to leave it overnight in the fridge.
  4. Spoon the pudding into serving bowls or containers.
  5. Sprinkle chopped nuts, saffron and rose petals on top.
  6. Serve immediately or leave it in the fridge till required.




  • Use honey instead of sugar.
  • For a vegan version use plant based milk.
  • You can make the thandai powder ahead and store it in an airtight container.
  • Make the chia pudding a day ahead of the festivals.
  • For a little more spicier pudding add more peppercorns.



Pin For Later:



A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


You may want to check out the following Holi recipes:

Thandai Kulfi

Thandai Malpua with Strawberry Compote

Thandai Cookies

Thandai Mousse


Sharing this recipe with the following event:

This post is part of Holi ke Rang organized by DESI BLOGGERS CONNECT facebook group.


Please check out what other fellow Bloggers have made for this event:

Methi Mathri – Amrita

Gujiya– Avin

Thandai – Geetanjali

Rose Lassi – Geetha

Moong Dal Laddoo – Jagruti

Papaya Halwa – Jayashree

Thandai Gujiya-handpie – Lata

Instant Malpua Recipe with Condensed Milk – Pavani

Kesar Phirni – Priya

Thandai Powder – Ruchi

Thandai & Dry Fruit Barfi – Sapna

Mawa Kachori – Swaty

Moong Dal Dahi Bhalla – Vanitha



  • geetha priyanka

    March 12, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Chia pudding with thandai sounds absolutely delish. How unique and interesting this recipe sounds!! Perfect healthy way to enjoy traditional thandai on holi.

    1. theyellowdaal

      March 18, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Love the addition of chia seeds pudding with the Thandai. Rich and yummy dessert 😍

      1. mayurisjikoni

        March 19, 2019 at 4:15 am

        Thanks Avin.

  • cookingwithsapana

    March 12, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    That is such a wonderful idea to infuse thandai in chia pudding, absolutely bursting with amazing flavors.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 13, 2019 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks Sapana.

  • Lata Lala

    March 13, 2019 at 8:44 am

    What a drool worthy post Mayuri. It’s such a filling drink with thandai and chia seeds. I am sure that family and friends are gonna relish this superb coolant.
    Lovely clicks. Happy Holi to you in advance.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 13, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      Thank you so much Lata.

  • amritaadak

    March 14, 2019 at 8:07 am

    Good to know about the traditional story behind holi…Your glass of thandai chia pudding is as colourful as the festival of colour holi…Thank you for sharing this recipe

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 14, 2019 at 8:57 am

      Most welcome Amrita and thanks.

  • Geetanjali Tung

    March 14, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Thandai looks absolutely delish. What a fusion of flavors. Love the addition of chia seeds in this and enjoyed reading the post. When I was a child my mother used to tell bed time stories. Lord Narashimha the avatar of lord Vishnu was my favorite. Your post brings back the my old memories. Thank you☺

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 14, 2019 at 8:56 am

      Most welcome Geetanjali and thanks.

  • Jagruti Dhanecha

    March 14, 2019 at 10:18 am

    I would have this wonderful breakfast on a Holi day in the morning, to get in the mood for HOLI celebrations, such a nutritious treat with desi touch.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 14, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      Thank you Jagruti.

  • Ruchisvegkitchen

    March 14, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Amazing idea… Chia seeds with Thandai flavour , sounds si great. Looks superb. Lovely capture. Will surely try some day. Wonderful share for the festival ..

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 14, 2019 at 6:08 pm

      Thank you so much Ruchi and please do try it.

  • Jayashree

    March 14, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Thandai Chia Puddng looks and sounds so flavorsome. Lovely share for the theme and loved your mythology narration.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 14, 2019 at 5:58 pm

      Thank you so much Jayashree.

  • FoodTrails

    March 14, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Loved the fusion of Chia seeds in thandai.. The glass of pudding looks so inviting. Though it is still cold here but I won’t mind grabbing a glass and relish the pudding. Perfect for Holi and coming summers..

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 15, 2019 at 10:01 pm

      Thanks Swati, as my cousin who lives in UK says, it may be cold outside but its warm enough inside to enjoy a cold dessert.

  • Vanitha Bhat

    March 15, 2019 at 1:03 am

    What a lovely idea to use thandai powder in a pudding! Love the clicks dear; looks so tempting!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 15, 2019 at 10:03 pm

      Thank you so much Vanitha.

  • Priya Srinivasan

    March 15, 2019 at 6:31 am

    This is fabulous mayuri ji! I loved your innovation in making this delightful fusion! Thandai meets chia! I m definitely trying this ❤️

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 15, 2019 at 10:05 pm

      Thank you so much Priya. Hope you love the recipe.

  • Scott J DeNicola

    March 15, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    This Thandai Chia pudding recipe looks and sounds equally delicious. I love the story behind the Holi festival as well. A very interesting culture that I enjoy learning about. Thank you for sharing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 15, 2019 at 10:14 pm

      Thank you so much Scott and most welcome. Learning about different cultures makes the world a smaller place.

  • Pavani

    March 16, 2019 at 3:26 am

    Chia pudding with thandai sounds interesting. It looks absolutely delicious with the beautiful pictures.Definitely going to try this.Happy Holi dear.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 17, 2019 at 3:46 pm

      Thank you so much Pavani.

  • simplysundaysfoodblog

    March 16, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Interesting story and delicious recipe! Perfect for dessert or even breakfast!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 17, 2019 at 3:44 pm

      Thanks and yes perfect for breakfast or as dessert.

  • Mary Lentz

    March 16, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    I’m going to try this. I literally just bought stuff to make cia pudding for the first time. I’m excited to try this.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 17, 2019 at 3:44 pm

      Thanks Mary, please let me know if you enjoyed it.

  • Ramona

    March 16, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    This looks absolutely wonderful. I love the colours and the picture too. I love chia puds and never added fennel seeds. I must try this.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 17, 2019 at 3:43 pm

      The whole thandai powder in the recipe makes the pudding taste so different. Try it.

  • Boss Mom Outlaw

    March 16, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    This looks beautiful AND delicious.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 17, 2019 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you.

  • In The Pastel Bag by Joanna

    March 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    This is something new to me. It sounds delicious and refreshing, something to try out with family and friends in the summer days.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 17, 2019 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks Joanna, it makes a healthy breakfast too.

  • tcleland88

    March 17, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    This is so pretty–I imagine that it tastes just as good as it looks. Gorgeous photos!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 19, 2019 at 4:18 am

      Thank you so much.

  • Brian Jones (@KrumpliBrian)

    March 18, 2019 at 11:41 am

    I keep meaning to try chia pudding, I love the way this one looks and the flavours sound fantastic.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 19, 2019 at 4:17 am

      Thank you so much Brian.

  • Corina Blum

    March 18, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    I haven’t tried a chia pudding yet but it’s something that is on my list of things to do soon and I love the spices that are in this one!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 19, 2019 at 4:16 am

      Thanks Corina, please try out the recipe. Am sure you’ll like it.

  • Nina

    March 18, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    That looks so delish but it looks like it needs a lot of preparation. I love pudding so I’ll definitely try this.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 19, 2019 at 4:15 am

      Thanks Nina, it doesn’t need much preparation. Its an easy recipe.

  • Livelearnbetter (@livelearnbetter)

    March 18, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. i love chia seed in my oatmeal and I’m sure I will here too.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 19, 2019 at 4:14 am

      You’re welcome.

  • Luna S

    March 18, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve never had Chai pudding before but it doesn’t look too bad, I’d be willing to try it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 19, 2019 at 4:13 am

      Thanks Luna, try it, its healthy and filling.

  • Erica (The Prepping Wife)

    March 18, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    This recipe sounds so unique, and the history behind it is wonderful. I’ll have to give it a try. I’m always looking for new recipes. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 19, 2019 at 4:13 am

      Thank you Erica and most welcome. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  • Johnny Quid

    March 19, 2019 at 2:19 am

    Looks good, but unfortunately I’ve got a slight oral allergy and many nuts and seeds make my entire mouth itch and my tongue will get welts on the sides, so I’ll be skipping this one, but everyone else enjoy!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 19, 2019 at 4:12 am

      Oh my allergy to nuts and seeds, means you have to be so careful as so many ready made foods contain that.

  • Swagata

    March 19, 2019 at 6:27 am

    This looks so delicious! Love the addition of chia seeds, and this only adds on to the excitement of Holi! Will definitely try making at home!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 20, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks Swagata. It is a lovely cooling and healthy treat.

  • travelwisesr

    March 19, 2019 at 9:50 am

    With Holi round the corner in India, this Thandai seems to be the ideal treat for the occasion.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 20, 2019 at 12:50 pm

      It is and the festival is incomplete without thandai and thandai related foods.

      1. travelwisesr

        March 22, 2019 at 4:16 pm

        Yes you are absolutely right 😊

  • Debra Roberts (Run Wyld)

    March 19, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    My husband has been wanting to have all of his Indian friends from work over for a foodie night at our house and this will be a great dish for me to wow them with!!!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 20, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      It definitely is a great easy dessert. The thandai powder is an outright Indian nut and spice mixture. Go on, make it and am sure they’ll love it.

  • Seema Sriram

    March 9, 2022 at 9:39 pm

    You have nor only given us a recipe for Holi, but also the whole mythology surrounding the festival. My kids will enjoy this post and I am going to make this easy chia pudding for them.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 10, 2022 at 9:08 pm

      Thank you so much Seema. The time I wrote the whole post is was because my son asked me why Holi is celebrated.

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