I am living in Madurai and even after 3 years of blogging, I haven’t blogged about the famous Madurai drink Jigarthanda. You can see a Jigarthanda stall at every nook and corner of Madurai. They also sell it in push carts. Though I have been in Madurai for nearly 7 years, I got to taste this drink only few months back. And then whenever I see a jigarthanda stall, I never miss it. As it is available everywhere, I never thought of making this at home. My favourite Jigarthanda is available at Murugan Idli Shop near Meenakshi Amman Temple and opposite Pothy’s. When I posted Falooda recipe, one of my friends suggested that I post Jigarthanda also. These two drinks are quite similar but completely different in taste. While falooda has noodles in it, jigarthanda has badam gum/ pisin instead. Both have flavoured milk and served with icecream on top. But jigarthanda is plain without any garnishes. As you all know Madurai is extremely hot and people are always on look out for quenching their thirst and cooling thier body. This drink serves both. Badam pisin and nannari sharbat, both ingredients of jigarthanda, have nice cooling properties. The home made icecream served along with this makes it an exotic drink.
In Madurai, where ever I have tasted Jigarthanda, it looks light brown in colour. And when I was going through the recipes on net, they were all pink in colour just like Falooda. So to recreate the Madurai version, I started experimenting. I saw so many videos, read a lot of posts and then started out on my experimenting. I didn’t strive hard. I had an idea and it was completely successful at the very first attempt. When I served it to hubby dear, he was full of praises. He was happy that I have recreated it perfectly. Now I will share with you the method I used to make this drink. First I reduced 2 litres of milk to 750 ml. This changes the colour of milk to light brown. And to this milk I added a cup of home made palkhova which is also brown in colour. You need to use cow’s milk to get the colour. Then I chilled half the milk and used the remaining to make the ice cream. And now it is time for Badam Pisin/ Almond Gum. There are so many versions out there, I even came across one using china grass but Badam Pisin creates the authentic jigarthanda. Soak 2 tbs of badam pisin in water for 8 hours. It will increase in volume and become jelly like. It is so beautiful to look at. Strain it through a fine sieve and refrigerate. Now you can assemble the drink at any time and enjoy it.
I made a video demonstrating the jigarthnda. The video playback is in Tamil and for those who doesn’t understand Tamil, there are subtitles in English. In the video I have used store bought khova and so the colour is light but if you make paalkhova at home, it will be nicely brown.
This is the Almond Gum/ Badam Pisin.
Two tablespoons of the gum made this much of jelly once soaked.
How cute is that???
This is the nannari sharbath which is another main ingredient.
Mix together the reduced milk, two to three table spoons of badam pisin and generous amount of nannari sharbat in a bowl. Pour it into a glass.
Scoop out the ice cream made with reduced milk.
Home made Vanilla Ice Cream:
Fresh Cream-2 cups
Sweetened Palkhova-200 gm
Vanilla Essence-2 tsp
Corn Flour-3 tbs
Sweetened Thick Milk:
Sweetened Palkhova – 250 gm
Almond/ Badam Pisin – 2-3 tbs
Bring milk to boil.
Mix corn flour and vanilla essence to 1/4 cup of room temperature milk.
Mix together 1/2 cup of milk with paalkhova.
Add corn flour mixture to boiling milk and whisk until it is completely cooked and becomes a little thick.
Add the paalkhova mixed milk and allow it to cool completely.
Add cream and whisk with a wooden spoon.
Transfer to a plastic box and refrigerate.
Take the box out of refrigerator after an hour and whisk it with a wooden spoon.
Return it back to the freezer.
Repeat it 5 times.
Then leave it in freezer for six hours.
Mix together reduced milk and palkhova and chill in freezer.
In a bowl mix together badam pisin and water and set aside for 8 hours.
The next day, pour it into a sieve and filter out water.
Store in a box in fridge until needed.
In a bowl mix together the milk, nannari syrup and badam pisin.
Pour into serving glass.
Top with a scoop of ice cream and serve it immediately.
Add it on top of the milk and pour a tbs of nannari sharbath on top. Enjoy!!!!