Summer special Homemade Jigarthanda recipe with detailed step-wise pictures. No added colors, no preservatives – easy Madurai special Jil Jil Jigarthanda recipe!
We are still waiting for good mangoes in our part of the world, although it has been scorching hot the last few weeks. Of course, we have been making summer goodies in the meantime – a bunch of pickles, sun dried wafers and the sweet delicious frozen stuff. Last year, I shared a few popsicle recipes like Chocolate Fudge Pops, Lemon Mint Popsicle, Mango Vanilla Popsicle and Fresh Grape Popsicle. This year I stared off with the most delicious, simply the best – Madurai Special Jil Jil Jigarthanda recipe! For those who are hearing this for the first time, you are missing out on a magical dessert that is a cross between cool drink, milk shake and an ice cream.
Jigarthanda literally translates to “cool heart” and it originated in Madurai, a town in South Tamilnadu. Apparently, there is a popular outlet called Famous serving the best Jigarthanda and it quite well-known as ‘Famous Jigarthanda’. I visited Madurai for a very limited time of 8 hours and I hardly had a chance to sample it. My introduction to Jigarthanda was from T.Nagar’s Madurai Idli Shop. For the sweet loving person that I am, I fell in love with it instantly. It still remains a mandatory ritual that I sample Masala Pori and Jigarthanda when I am out shopping in T.Nagar 🙂
So, what makes Jigarthanda so special? These two ingredients –
Badam Pisin – Almond Resin, that is available in most of the super markets these days or you can buy it from Nattu Marunthu Kadai/Ayurvedic or Herbal medicinal shops.
Nannari Sryup – a syrup made from Sarasaparilla roots, a magical herb that works wonders during the hot summers. It is a natural blood purifier, body coolant and works as good anti-inflammatory.
I have been planning on making Jigarthanda at home for the last two summers. Like many things in life, this just kept getting postponed, for reasons unknown to me 🙂 As luck would have it, I had both nannari syrup and badam pisin this week, so I made this special treat! Along with these medicinal, highly beneficial ingredients, Jigarthanda has a couple of other ingredients that go in too, making it super delicious.
Jigarthanda Doodh – Rich, creamy and the most delicious reduced milk cooked along with homemade caramel and later mixed in with nannari syrup. This is the base ingredient of the recipe.
Bhai Ice Cream or Jigarthanda Ice Cream – A special version of caramel ice cream that is super rich. This is added on top of Jigarthanda, making it truly divine.
I made this homemade Jigarthanda dessert from scratch, following and roughly adapting from this recipe. It is not complex but definitely time consuming, especially making everything from scratch (I used store bought nannari syrup as I couldn’t source nannari roots until now) It is highly recommended to keep patience and I can guarantee that the result is totally rewarding. Now the only grouse I have is that the color of the Jigarthanda was not like the ones I have tried in the shops. But then I didn’t use any artificial flavors or colors. This is “as-good-as-it-gets-at-home” version and I am happy to say that my family loved it to the core. There are many different versions available on the internet and this one worked out really well for us 🙂
How to make Homemade Jigarthanda | Madurai Special Jil Jil Jigarthanda –
Detailed step-wise picture recipe of making Homemade Jigarthanda | Madurai Special Jil Jil Jigarthanda –
Prep Work –
1. Soak Badam Pisin/Almond Resin in enough water for 1-2 hours.
2. It expands in size and becomes jelly like. Put it in airtight container in the fridge until it is ready to use.
How to make Bhai Ice Cream or Jigarthanda Ice Cream –
1. Bring the milk to boil, keep stirring it continuously until it is frothy.
2. Add fresh cream to it and mix it well. Set the flame on low heat.
3. Next add sugar and stir it until it is completely dissolved.
4. Add unsweetened khova/milk solids and mix it well. Remove from heat.
5. Now in another heavy bottom pan add 2 tbsp sugar and heat it on low flame. Don’t add any water.
6. After 3-4 mins, the sugar starts melting. Continue to heat it on low flame.
7. After a few more minutes, all sugar melts. It starts to turn golden.
8. Now in a next minute or two, it turns deep golden. Remove from heat at this point. Taking it any further might turn it really bitter.
9. Quickly add it to the prepared ice cream base. It will sizzle, so be a little cautious. If the caramel settles at the bottom, don’t worry – it will melt in.
10. Once cooled down, pour it into an airtight container or an aluminum tray, cover it with cling wrap. Freeze for 4-5 hours.
11. Once it sets, beat it well either using a whisk or in a blender. The more you do this, more creamier the ice cream will be. Set this in freezer until it is needed.
How to make Jigarthanda Doodh –
1. Boil the milk in a thick bottomed vessel on low flame. Continue to cook it scraping the edges of pan, until it’s thick and reduces in volume. For a rich version, you can reduce it to half the volume. I reduced it to 3/4th the original quantity.
2. Prepare caramel using the same method as above with 1/4 cup of sugar. Increase the quantity of sugar for a sweeter version. Pour the caramel into the milk. Mix it in.
3. Add condensed milk and stir it well. Remove the milk from heat. Store in fridge until it is needed.
How to set Jigarthanda –
1. To set the Jigarthanda, take all the required ingredients – tall glasses, badam pisin, jigarthanda doodh, jigarthanda ice cream and nannari syrup.
2. First, start by adding 1-2 tbsp of badam pisin.
3. Next add 1 tbsp of nannari syrup.
4. Pour the prepared jigarthanda doodh.
5. Finally add one scoop of jigarthanda ice cream. Serve immediately! 🙂
- If you want to reduce the preparation time, use store bought vanilla ice cream.
- Nannari syrup and almond resin/badam pisin is a must for the recipe. I used store bought nannari syrup. Badam Pisin cant be replaced with agar agar – the texture and taste is not the same.
- Adjust the amount of sugar as per your sweet preference.
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