Best Thandai Masala Brands in India – Festive Indulgence
Mishry reviewed five Thandai masala brands in India. The one that won us over was Gulabs Instant Thandai drink.
A blend of cardamom, fennel, saffron, rose, and crushed nuts and seeds- thandai powder is a quick fix when you’re craving this cooling beverage. Instead of going through the process of picking and measuring ingredients, all you need to do is add a spoonful of the ready-to-use best thandai powder to a glass of milk and blend!
But is this truly as easy and effortless? Check out Mishry’s Best Thandai in India review to find which brand comes close to the homemade variant.
Our Review Factors
What were we looking for in these thandai brands: Thandai is savored for the cooling flavors and refreshing aroma of rose, fennel, cardamom, saffron- all tied together in a glass of chilled milk.
Homemade thandai brings an interplay of textures with crushed nut bits. Which of the ready to drink thandai can replicate this?
Most Indian brands offering masala mixes/powders are packed in a foil wrapper. The contents must be transferred to an airtight container to preserve freshness.
Do any of our contenders offer a different, more convenient style of packaging?
2. Main Ingredients
Thandai needs rose, fennel, cardamom, black pepper, watermelon seeds among other ingredients for the authentic taste. We scrutinized the ingredient lists to check which brands use preservatives, added colors/flavors to achieve the OG taste.
Which brands contain sugar? Which offers us the liberty of adjusting sugar as per taste?
The sweetness plays a crucial role in making Thandai refreshing. It should be balanced, and not too much or too subtle.
Additionally, the quality of ingredients impacts the taste too.
The tastiest Thandai Masala was…
Going back to our second parameter, how prominent were the flavors of these ingredients? Were all shining through equally or did one overpower the others?
Inviting or industrial? Does the aroma change once the powder is mixed in milk?
How appetizing does the final product look? Does it feature the characteristic light green/masala milk appearance?
Or is it unexpected, something we’ve never seen before?
7. Nutritional Information
100 grams of Thandai premix would offer 350-450 Kcal with carbohydrates (in the form of sugar), followed by fats and proteins.
A 100-gram carton of Thandai premix is priced between Rs 80-100/-, High end/premium brands can be priced as high as Rs 400/-.
9. Shelf Life
Thandai premixes have a shelf life ranging from 6-15 months.
Best Thandai Masala Brands in India – Detailed Review
Let’s get into the details: Is the packaging convenient? Will the powder retain freshness all summer long? What about the economic value? Can this make for a staple summer beverage?
Aroma, flavor, texture, consistency, and mixability have also been discussed.
1. Gulabs Instant Thandai Drink
Gulabs offers their Thandai powder in individual single-serving sachets. The overall packaging and informative lists (nutrition + ingredients) are easy to understand. Thumbs up on this.
Visually, the premix has an off-white appearance. A coarse texture, some crushed cardamom, and a desirable aroma of the same were recorded as we opened the pack.
As recommended, we added a 20-gram sachet to 200 ml of chilled milk.
Remarkable mixability! This mixed quite easily into the milk. A beautiful pale yellow, masala milk-like beverage was the result. Towards the end, we saw some residue had settled. It looked like a mix of the seeds the brand uses.
SLURPPP! Gulabs Instant Thandai drink was a hit! The well-rounded sweetness was commendable. Moreover, we could make out all the ingredients the brand used. While saffron lent its color, fennel, cardamom, and white pepper made their mark in terms of taste.
- Supremely convenient packaging
- Simple yet informative labels
- Fresh aroma of cardamom
- Effortless mixing
- Thumbs up on flavor
Thandai on the go? Looking for fool proof packaging that ensures freshness? Packed with flavors? Gulabs is the brand we recommend.
2. Urban Platter Thandai Masala Premix
Urban Platter Thandai premix gets full marks on the packaging! The contents are offered in a jar. Additionally, it is sealed with a sheet of foil.
This Thandai premix had a rich brown appearance, quite similar to jaggery. It wasn’t a fine powder, it had a coarse texture. A desirable aroma of spices was observed, where cardamom was the most prominent followed by clove and nutmeg.
Brand recommended ratio- 250 ml milk + 1 tablespoon premix + sweetener.
Urban Platter’s premix does not contain any sugar. This is exactly why we tasted this premix in two stages- with and without sugar. The premix mixed fairly easily, no complaints here. The lumps had dissolved and we could make out some bits of cardamom and almonds. Visually, it had a mild cold coffee-like color with specs of rose petals and black pepper floating.
Without sugar- A bold flavor of cardamom was noticed. We could barely taste any black pepper, while the refreshing taste of fennel seeds was completely missing.
With sugar- A tablespoon of sugar later, the taste turned slightly better, more refreshing. The intense cardamom flavor was marginally brought down. Although black pepper could be tasted mildly at the back of the throat, saffron and fennel were missed.
- Full marks on packaging
- Sugar-free alternative
- Bold cardamom flavor
- Could not taste other flavoring agents
Can’t get enough of cardamom? Clean ingredients? No sugar? Premium product? If you answered yes, we recommend Urban Platter’s thandai premix.
3. Gopaljee Badam, Pista, Elaichi Thandai
Gopaljee featured the standard carton and foil-wrapped packaging. To retain freshness, we transferred the contents to an airtight container.
This fine powder had a mild saffron hue. Gopaljee’s premix emitted a sharp aroma. Rose and cardamom were the leading aromatics laced with mild notes of fennel and pista. A few strands of saffron could be seen as well.
Brand recommended ratio: 2 tablespoons of the premix + 200 ml milk
Of all our contenders, this had the most remarkable mixability, hands down! With a masala milk-like appearance, we also noticed some particles floating at the surface.
Taste-wise, this was marginally sweeter than we’d like with a dominant rose flavor. The bits added a desirable texture. This Thandai powder had the least amount of residue settling at the bottom.
- Decent mixability
- Visible saffron strands
- Inviting aroma
- Minimal residue
- Too sweet
- Contains natural added flavors
If you have a higher sweet tolerance and are looking for a quick and flavorful fix to quench your thirst for Thandai, Golpaljee makes a pretty good pick.
4. Badshah Thandai Mix Masala
Badshah Thandai mix has a packaging similar to Gopaljee. Since this premix calls for adding quite a few ingredients, it fared poorly on the convenience parameter.
When spices are crushed/ground, they have a gray-brown appearance and a coarse texture. This is exactly how the premix looked. The aroma was strong on fennel and mild on cardamom and clove.
Brand recommended ratio 4 tablespoons of the premix + 500 ml chilled milk + 200 grams of sugar + 100 grams of honey
Garnish- almond slices, rose petals, and saffron strands
We halved the quantities for our review.
Mixing this was a task. A challenge. After what felt like an arm workout, this had a muddy appearance with some bits floating on top.
The taste was dreadful. The overpowering sweetness wasn’t a surprise. Naturally, we couldn’t taste any other ingredient. The bits added a grainy mouthfeel.
- The ‘premix’ calls for FIVE ingredients from the pantry
- Does not contain prime ingredients like nuts and seeds
- Mixing was a task
- Only sugar was tasted
5. Sada Bahar Thandai Masala
The packaging is similar to the previous two contenders, a carton holding a foil pouch.
Brand recommended ratio: 1 tablespoon premix in 200 ml of chilled milk
Do not add water, to be mixed using a blender
A light muddy appearance and a sand-like coarse texture were recorded. The fennel-dominant aroma was quite pleasing.
As we blended the contents, the rose petals broke apart, imparting a lovely subtle pink shade to the beverage. As we poured, large quantities of the powdered residue had settled at the bottom.
Because we were not completely satisfied with this result, we retested by blending the contents again for a good 3-5 minutes. One of the key changes we noticed was appearance. The pink hue was more prominent and visually pleasing.
Taste-wise, both outcomes were similar. While the aroma was quite bold, the taste was surprisingly mild. The sweetness is subtle but inviting. However, because there were a LOT of residues settled at the bottom, the last sip had an absurd mouthfeel. This is best had immediately, once served.
- Visually appealing
- Subtly sweet
- Not meant to be mixed manually
- Too much residue settles at the bottom
Our Top Picks & Recommendations
Gulabs Instant Thandai Drink all the way! All prime aspects, from packaging to the taste test, and everything in between is commendable.
While it may seem slightly overpriced, the ingredients, overall flavor, and convenience make it worth the price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on Best Indian Thandai Masala brands
Indulging a bit during festivals is perfectly okay. However, we recommend being mindful of your sugar consumption.
That said, Thandai is prepared with naturally cooling ingredients which makes it one of the relatively healthier options for summer beverages, as compared to aerated beverages.
Brands recommend transferring the contents to an airtight container in a cool and dry place.
A post-workout meal must have balanced proportions of carbohydrates and proteins. Since Thandai premix is primarily a carbohydrate source and milk offers protein, you may occasionally consume Thandai during summers after a workout.
Packaged brands may contain added colors and flavors. It is best to stick to home cooked food during religious fasts.
There you go! Here’s Mishry’s review on the best Thandai Masala brand in India. While some won us over instantly, others were a challenge to work with right from the beginning.
Saffron dominant or cardamom, what’s your pick?