Thandai mousse is such a perfect dessert for our scorching summers. It’s airy, tangy with a gentle sweetness that hints delicately at roses and saffron. Nothing about a thandai mousse should be overpowering. When you put a cloud-like spoonful in your mouth, it should dissolve on your tongue, like you’re getting a cool, butterfly kiss of sweetness.
Keep it light
I’ve eaten many mousses, and a large number were too rich and heavy on the cream. Some, like a decadent chocolate mousse can get away with it because chocolate is a bold flavour that’s balanced by the heavy cream. A thandai mousse on the other hand is all about the flavour of thandai, which is a mellow, harmonious composition of spices, nuts, dried rose petals and a touch of saffron – no one ingredient dominates the flavour. A subtly fragrant thandai demands the right medium to allow its flavour to shine. Using only cream would make the thandai mousse too rich and heavy. A combination of hung natural yoghurt (or Greek yoghurt, if you prefer that) and light cream adds a wonderfully refreshing tang to the mousse. The mildly sour notes balance the sweetness of sugar in the thandai, that’s just right for the hot weather.
Perfect for dinner parties
A summer dinner party menu must be fresh, light and impressive. This mousse ticks all these boxes. The best part for me, is that it can be made ahead of time and chilled in the fridge. Make it the night before and it will taste just as fresh the next night. In fact, the chilling time allows the spices and rose in the thandai masala to fully infuse the mousse. For a pretty presentation, you can dust the tops of the mousse with a scant sprinkling of thandai masala and crushed rose petals just before you serve.
- 389 g hung yoghurt or Greek yoghurt
- 194 g light cream (25% fat), chilled
- 4-5 tbsp powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp thandai masala
- 2 tsp dried rose petals, coarsely chopped
For the thandai masala
- 35 g almonds
- 30 g cashew nuts
- 25 g pistachios
- 12 green cardamoms
- 15 black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp melon seeds
- 1 tbsp white poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp dried rose petals
- A pinch of saffron
- Take the yoghurt in a large bowl and fold in 1 tsp of chopped rose petals and thandai masala.
- In another, clean bowl, whip the cream with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes on high speed till light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and bet for a further 30 seconds.
- Gently fold the cream into the yoghurt mixture until combined.
- Spoon the mousse into glass bowls and chill for 2 hours or overnight. Lightly sprinkle rose petals and thandai powder on top before serving.
To make the thandai masala
- Toast the the nuts and spices (except the saffron and rose petals) for 2-3 minutes in a dry pan on low heat taking care not to discolour them.
- Grind the cooled nuts, spices, rose petals and saffron till you have a almost smooth powder. Take care to use your grinder in bursts to keep the jar cool and prevent the nuts from yielding their oily. The masala MUST be dry. Store in an airtight jar.