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. 🙂
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…