Sometimes you just want something cool, creamy and a little herby. What you need is Bhang Lassi. With bhang meaning fresh cannabis leaves, this nutritious concoction is slated as the official drink of the colorful Indian Holi Festival.
Bhang has been used as an intoxicant in India since 1000 BC -- it is synonymous with tradition and is considered sacred to the Gods, especially Lord Shiva. Many sadhus, or religious ascetics, use bhang to help meditate and reach transcendental states. Others drink it to help stimulate their appetite and combat stress. Either way, it’s to positively affect your mood.
So during Holi, many people slurp down the tonic to help elevate them to with the right amount of spirit. It is typically prepared on ghats, or stone stairs, but there are also bhang shops to prepare the laborious beverage.
But for those not in driving distance to a bhang shop, Kaylan of travel blog Travtas shows us how to make it from scratch:
Yields 4 servings
- 1 tsp ganja (cannabis leaves/flowers);
- 1 tsp poppy seeds;
- 1/2 tsp pepper,
- 1/2 tsp dried ginger,
- A pinch of cumin seeds;
- 1 clove;
- A pinch of cinnamon,
- 1 tsp watermelon seeds,
- A pinch of cardamom;
- 6 almonds,
- A pinch of nutmeg,
- 2 tbsp sugar,
- 200 ml water
- 300 ml milk
- Boil 300 ml of water, then remove from heat, add the ganja and let stand 5 minutes. Stir vigorously for a few minutes to flavour the water, and then remove the ganja and put the water aside.
- Remove all the seeds and twigs from the ganja. Put it on a chopping board or in a pestle and make a smooth paste, then slowly add the milk and other ingredients already pulverized and mix, except poppy seeds, watermelon and sugar. Make a paste and set aside.
- Grind the watermelon seeds and poppy to a paste. Mix the two pastes with remaining milk, and mix well and filter through a thin fabric. Remove the unfiltered content.
- Add the sugar, stirring until completely dissolved, and filter again. Add milk to your desired consistency, and add the flavored water previously set aside. Serve chilled.