Thursday, February 19, 2015

Jigarthanda-Madurai Special

Jigarthanda is a famous drink in Madurai, city in southern part of India. The origin of this drink dates back to the late 18th century when Muslim settlers landed in India and used this as a coolant/thirst quencher. The name means ‘cools the heart’.
The almonds resin in this preparation has a lot of health benefits and acts a body coolant. The nannari syrup too has health benefits. So it’s a rich and healthy drink. I have tried this in many places in Madurai and a couple of high end in-house restaurants too but by far my favorite is ‘The Famous Shop’ (thatz the name of the shop!) If you are gonna visit Madurai do plan a trip to this shop, it’s worth it!

Badam Pisin/Almond resin-1 small piece/Agar agar/China grass-2 tsp
Nannari Sherbet/Zarzaparilla syrup-4tbsp
Boiled& Chilled Milk-4 cups
Vanilla Ice Cream-2 scoops
Chopped nuts-to garnish (optional)

How It Happened:
1. Wash and soak the piece of badam pisin overnight in 1 cup of water. It will swell up and absorb all the water in the morning.
Badam Pisin-The small block when soaked gave a bowl !
2. Heat milk in a sauce pan and when its starts boiling simmer the flame and reduce it to half the volume. Thatz the 4 cups of milk should be reduced to 2 cups. Then refrigerate it for 2 hours.
3. While serving, take 2 high ball glasses, equally divide the badam pisin and pour into the glasses.
4. Add 2 tbsp of Nannari syrup in each glass. Then add 1 cup of chilled milk in each glass and mix all the ingredients well.

5. Now add a scoop of ice cream in each glass mix slightly.
6. Drizzle a little nannari syrup on top of each glass sprinkle a little of chopped nuts on top and serve chilled.
* If both china grass and almond resin of same dry quantity is soaked in water, the almond resin gives more volume than china grass. Though the texture of both is somewhat similar, in jigarthanda badam pisin/almond resin works the best.
* Condensing/reducing the milk just enhances the richness of jigarthanda.
* I tried my best to imitate the authentic jigarthanda so got the nannari syrup (red colour, coz thatz what they use in the shop) and almond resin through my maternal Uncle (thanx Mama!). If you can’t find the red color use the regular one.
* In the Famous (thatz the name) shop they use the house made ice cream, I used homemade vanilla ice cream. You can use store-bought ones too!
* In the shop they don’t top with nuts but I did it and it adds a bit of crunch!
* In the picture shown I didn't mix just for picture sake. As you mix it will turn to pink color!

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