Jil Jil… Jigarthanda

One of my long-standing wishes came true on our recent trip to Trichy, for Madame Bubboo’s mundan – to taste jigarthanda. I have been intrigued by it and wanting to try it, ever since I read about it a few years ago. Sucker for experimenting and trying different, unique-sounding things, that’s me, yes! The OH has, thankfully, been bitten by the same bug too, lately. πŸ™‚

When the OH and I spotted shops in Trichy selling jigarthanda, we couldn’t resist but halt at one and order a glass. I know Trichy isn’t the best place to have a jigarthanda – Madurai is – but I don’t know when we will be going to Madurai, if at all we go. Plus the Trichy version looked good enough, and we only wanted to sample the stuff. We were in for a pleasant surprise! It tasted lovely!

For the uninitiated, jigirthanda is a Madurai-special cool drink, made out of milk, edible almond-tree gum and Nannari (sarsarilla) syrup. It is somewhat similar to falooda in appearance, with bits of the resin floating around in the milk. Most commonly, a scoop of ice cream is added to the glass. Thick and chilled, it is supposed to soothe parched throats in the hot summer months, and is easily available at street-side stalls in Madurai, also found to lesser extents in some other South Indian towns.

Apparently, jigarthanda is made with all-natural ingredients, with no artificial substances added to it. It is popularly known in South India as jil jil jigirthanda which, as the name suggests, is a cool cool (jil jil) drink that is supposed to cool (thanda) one’s heart (jigar), providing a number of health benefits in the process.

The jigarthanda did cool down my heart (and throat) in the stifling Trichy heat. but I am still not going to cross it off my bucket list. That is a task I will undertake after I get my hands on the, supposedly, authentic version of the drink in Madurai! Some day…

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29 thoughts on “Jil Jil… Jigarthanda

  1. I was passing some crowded bylanes of Madiwala and saw “jigarthanda” being sold in a shop and thought of you, had first read about it at your blog. Unfortunately could not try it.

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    1. @Chattywren

      Ooh, jigarthanda in Madiwala, is it? Remember where you saw it? I would love to try it out!

      BTW, the Madurai Idli outlets in Bangalore have a kiosk that sells Madurai-style jigarthanda, among other cool drinks and ice creams.

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      1. hi TGND, Madiwala is this long stretch of road… only thing we all seemed to notice is that around the very unassuming tucked away juice shop selling jigarthanda, most of the shops were for innerwear…my kids nicknamed it as chaddiwala street…sorry, can’t be more precise in my directions.

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  2. Yes, Madurai is the right place for it but Trichy does the trick too when you have a craving. I am a native of Trichy and I am glad you visited the place πŸ™‚

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  3. Well when you try Jigirthandaa in Madurai, you will find the difference. Try the ‘kari dosai’ too ( assuming you eat non-veg)

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    1. @Dinesh Babu K N

      Having never seen or tasted jigarthanda before, I wanted to get my hands on a glass when I saw it for the first ever time in Trichy. When I do visit Madurai, I’m sure I’ll try out the supposedly authentic version. πŸ™‚

      I don’t eat non-veg.

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