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What is Holi without Thandai? I have the fondest memories of Holi – The Festival of Color, in my hometown Mumbai. In anticipation of the festival, we kids in the building would make plans and strategies on who and how we want to attack with the powder colors, who we want to get wet with water balloons and pichkaris (which are essentially water pumps). 

Holi was a festival where we had potlucks in the building, where every household made different foods to eat. There was Thandai – which is essentially a cold milk beverage, made with thandai paste. The Thandai paste is made with a mixture of nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios, and spices like fennel, black peppercorn, poppy seeds, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron and also rose petals. A paste is made by adding a bit of water. 

holi thandai macarons

The paste is then added to milk, and marinated to get the beautiful Thandai flavor and served as a drink. It is many a times spiked as well with alcohol to make it even better ;). 

Thandai is one of my favorite ingredients, and you can find many recipes on my blog that are Thandai based like:

Holi Thandai Spring Cake with Rose Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Thandai Thumbprint Cookies with Pear and Spice Jam

Pear and Thandai Olive Oil Upside Down Cake

Thandai Ice Cream with Rose Syrup and Pistachio Brittle

Thandai White Hot Chocolate

Thandai Shortbread Cookie dipped in White Chocolate (recipe can be found in my cookbook – Mumbai Modern)

holi thandai macarons


I did not realize I had so many Thandai recipes on my blog! 


holi thandai macarons

I had this idea to create Holi Thandai Macarons last year but I never got around to them. So I am sharing this lovely creation this year.


Macaron Shells are made with basically few ingredients:

  • Almond Flour: Use Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Almond Flour for best results!
  • Confectioner’s Sugar: Almond flour and confectioner’s sugar are ground together as the first step always.
  • Egg Whites: I have seen recipes that use cold egg whites, however i have always used room temperature egg whites.
  • Cream of Tartar: This is used to stabilize the meringue.
  • Granulated Sugar: This is used to make the meringue as well, in conjunction with the egg whites.
  • Vanilla Extract or in this case Rose Water: I use a tad bit to add flavor to the shells.

holi thandai macarons

Some tips for the macarons:

  • Always ensure that you sift the almond flour and the confectioner’s sugar, atleast 4-5 times, and discard the bigger pieces that are left behind in the sifting process.
  • Whip the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar for about 5 minutes in total, and ensure that when you turn the whisk, there are stiff peaks formed for the meringue. Do not over whip.
  • Bang the tray atleast 10 times for the macs to settle, and no bubbles to form on the top.
  • Always let it set for atleast 40 minutes.
  • If you are not decorating the macs on the same day, lay them on the tray and cover with a plastic wrap, so no air goes into the macs and hardens them. This will ensure that the center remains chewy.

holi thandai macarons


The macarons are my standard macaron recipe. To get the tie-dye effect on the macarons, I did the following. 

  • Once I make the macaron batter, I take the 16 inch piping bag with the piping tip, place it in a tall glass jar.
  • I use a fan brush like this, and add a color, along the length of the inside of the bag. I repeat the same with different colors, all around the bag in stripes. 


Once you start piping, the first few macarons will have no color. As the batter moves down the bag, you will notice the tie-dye color on the macarons. It is almost like a fun surprise to see what colors will come next. 

holi thandai macarons

holi thandai macarons


For the ganache, add the thandai powder to the heavy cream and set the cream to boil in a pot. Add the hot cream to the melted white chocolate, and using an immersion blender, emulsify the mixture. Set the ganache on a small baking tray, in the fridge for atleast 4 to 6 hours. Your ganache is ready.


Find the Thandai Recipe here


holi thandai macarons

holi thandai macarons

If you do make this recipe, please do not forget to tag me #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on this blog post. 


I wish you all a very Happy Holi – and a colorful 2023! 





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