Jil Jil Jigarthanda With China Grass and Evaporated Milk

Jigarthanda one of the most popular and perfect summer drink and it is the specialty of Madurai. It’s a perfect summer drink because of the ingredients used in it. All the ingredients have the coolant properties and it helps you in the scorching summer heat.

I love authentic and traditional recipes and I love to learn about new ingredients and try to avoid substitutes as much I can. I waited for a long time to get all the Thai Ingredients and same thing with Chettinadu Biryani where I had to wait for Marathi Moggu. Even though I tried without that initially, the moment I got it, I update the post and also the recipe.

JigarthandaCloserLook

But for today’s recipe, I am going with substitutes. Yes, you heard me right. I am using rose syrup instead of Nannari syrup and also using China Grass instead of Badam Pisin. I wanted to post this recipe for the alphabet J. I couldn’t change my mind. (How can there be not a Madurai special recipe when I am doing TN cuisine?)  I can get Nannari syrup only around the summer time here. (That too not always) and none of grocery stores here had badam pisin. When I get hold of these two, I will be posting the traditional recipe again.

Jigarthanda4

As I went with alternative, I thought why not use evaporated milk instead of boiling and chilling regular milk? Also I used Sabja or Falooda seeds as it’s a very good coolant. This drink is served cold topped with ice cream. So it’s always Jil Jil (cold) Jigarthanda.

Sabja Seeds / Sweet Basil Seeds / Falooda Seeds / Tukmaria Seeds:

In Tamil, these are called as Sabja Vethai. I used these seeds in my watermelon popsicle but didn’t explain the benefits. So here explaining a bit more about that seeds. These are used commonly during summer as it is a very great coolant and it has lot of fiber content. These are small seeds usually used in the soaked form. The soaking time is 10 to 15 minutes. We soak them to bring out their gelatinous nature. Basically we soak these seeds in water and wait till they double in size for consumption. Apart from the cooling property it has additional health benefits also. The medicinal benefits and side effects are explained here and here. It is also a stress reliever I believe. Interesting huh?

China Grass / Agar Agar Strands:

ChinaGrass

It is the vegetarian substitute of the gelatin and it is 80% fiber. It is used in lot of Asian desserts. It is available in both powder and as strands. For this recipe I am using the strands which looks like below. I have explained the steps below for preparing the gelatin from china grass. If you are using powder, its pretty much similar except for the setting time. Will post a dessert recipe soon with that. 

JilJilJigarthanda

So here is J for Jil Jil Jigarthanda…

 Ingredients:

  • China Grass – 10 strands
  • Water – as required for soaking
  • Sabja seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Rose syrup – 1 tbsps for each cup
  • Vanilla Ice cream – 1 scoop
  • Evaporated milk – 1 can
  • Sugar  – 1 tbsp for each cup

Steps:

Preparing Sabja Seeds:

  • Soak the 1/2 tsp of sabja seeds in 2 tbsps of water for about 15 minutes.
  • After 15 mts or so it would have doubled in size and will look enlarged. Here is the semi soaked sabja seeds after 7 minutes.

SabjaSeedsSoakedInWater

Preparing the gelatin from china grass:

  • Break the strands and add them into a pan or bowl.
  • Add water till it is immersed and let it sit for 5 minutes.

ChinaGrassSoakedInWater

  • Then in low medium flam, heat the water till the strands are dissolved. Keep stirring the mixture.

AfterBoilingChinagrassWater

  • Once dissolved, turn the heat off and let it sit for 10 minutes and it will thicken like below.

ChinaGrassGelatin

  • Now using a fork, you can break them into smaller pieces. We need about 2 tbsps for each glass but as we love them I add more. So adjust the quantity accordingly. 5 to 7 strands are enough for two servings.

PreparedSabjaSeedsAndCrumbledGelatin

Assembling Jigarthanda:

  • Take two 8 oz glasses.
  • Add about 2 tsps of soaked sabja seeds first.

JigarthandaStep1

  • Then about 2 tbsps of the prepared china grass gelatin.
  • Then add the 1 tbsp of rose syrup and sugar.

JigarthandaStep2

  • Then pour the evaporated milk till it fills 3/4 of the glass.

JigarthandaStep3

  • Now mix well and then top it up with 1 scoop of ice cream.

Jigirthanda

That’s it. Jil Jil Jigarthanda is ready. 

JigirthandaCloser

Notes:

  • Traditionally they use boiled and cooled milk. (Sunda kaichiya paal). I went with the easy option by using evaporated milk.
  • If you are using regular milk, adjust the sugar accordingly.
  • I used dabur rose syrup, which can be replaced with roohafza also.
  • Vanilla ice cream is used commonly but you can mix and match with your favorites.
  • In some shops, they don’t add the sabja seeds. As it is good for health, I am going with it.
KiddoEnjoying

Kiddo slurping with his biggg straw

MaduraiSpecialJigarthanda

Jil Jil Jigarthanda With China Grass and Evaporated Milk
A perfect summer drink from madurai prepared with milk, rose syrup, agar agar, sabja seeds and topped up with ice cream.
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. China Grass - 10 strands
  2. Water - as required for soaking
  3. Sabja seeds - 1/2 tsp
  4. Rose syrup - 1 tbsps for each cup
  5. Vanilla Ice cream - 1 scoop
  6. Evaporated milk - 1 can
  7. Sugar - 1 tbsp for each cup
Preparing Sabja Seeds
  1. Soak the 1/2 tsp of sabja seeds in 2 tbsps of water for about 15 minutes.
  2. After 15 mts or so it would have doubled in size and will look enlarged.
Preparing the gelatin from china grass
  1. Break the strands and add them into a pan or bowl.
  2. Add water till it is immersed and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Then in low medium flam, heat the water till the strands are dissolved. Keep stirring the mixture.
  4. Once dissolved, turn the heat off and let it sit for 10 minutes and it will thicken like below.
  5. Now using a fork, you can break them into smaller pieces. We need about 2 tbsps for each glass but as we love them I add more. So adjust the quantity accordingly. 5 to 7 strands are enough for two servings.
Assembling Jigarthanda
  1. Take two 8 oz glasses.
  2. Add about 2 tsps of soaked sabja seeds first.
  3. Then about 2 tbsps of the prepared china grass gelatin.
  4. Then add the 1 tbsp of rose syrup and sugar.
  5. Then pour the evaporated milk till it fills 3/4 of the glass.
  6. Now mix well and then top it up with 1 scoop of ice cream.
  7. That’s it. Jil Jil Jigarthanda is ready.
Notes
  1. Traditionally they use boiled and cooled milk. (Sunda kaichiya paal). I went with the easy option by using evaporated milk.
  2. If you are using regular milk, adjust the sugar accordingly.
  3. I used dabur rose syrup, which can be replaced with roohafza also.
  4. Vanilla ice cream is used commonly but you can mix and match with your favorites.
  5. In some shops, they don’t add the sabja seeds. As it is good for health, I am going with it.
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61 thoughts on “Jil Jil Jigarthanda With China Grass and Evaporated Milk

  1. I love Jigarthanda and have it on every chance I get :) So far, I have had no luck finding badam pisin in Bangalore.. will have to look out for it in Chennai. This looks great, substitutes or original doesnt matter as long it is tastes great :)

    • Yeah me too. :-) In chennai you can get them in any naatumarundu kadai pa or check in Thaayar Diary in Mambalam station road.. Last time I want to buy but forgot completely. I agree with you and True that substitutes doesn’t matter. I always replace eggs in my baking and same with meat and stuff. Its just that for couple of cuisines I made up my mind ;-) I love Thai and my friends were so surprised when I suggested Thai for my baby shower. ;-) ;-) Same thing with food from Madurai. I need to come out of it. Thanks a lot

  2. Just now saw Nalini’s version. Makes a great drink for the summer day and you have improvised the recipe with the available ingredients. Looks great.
    BTW, where do you get nannari syrup in U.S.?

  3. Rajani

    Sometimes you just have to make do with what you have . Pretty good with all the substitutions I would say . Looking forward to see this when you make with all the original ingredients .

  4. Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen

    I have never heard of Jil Jil Jigarthanda before, but looking at the ingredients I so want to try this! Yummy!

  5. Oh how lovely! I am from Madurai and this post is just bringing back memories..can’t wait for my holidays to visit! You have done a wonderful job with the Jigarthanda

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