What is Bhang Lassi, Where Does It Come From and How Do You Make It?
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With a rich history in Indian customs and culture dating back four thousand years, "bhang lassi" is a cannabis infused beverage that plays an integral role in Indian Hindu religion and tradition. It is associated with the most powerful god of Hinduism: Shiva, as it is believed Shiva, the "Lord of Bhang" discovered the transcendental properties of the mixture and brought it from the Himalayas for the pleasure of mankind.
Hindu monks and holy men ritually use bhang to boost their meditation, achieve transcendental states and facilitate communication with their deities. But many rural Indians believe that it has a variety of medicinal properties including as a cure for fever, dysentery, sunstroke, lisping and speech imperfections, as well as to clear phlegm, aid in digestion and appetite and give alertness to the body.
Bhang lassi is most commonly consumed during the holiday of Holi which is highly celebrated in northern parts of India such as the ancient religious town of Mathura and Varanasi. The ritual of preparing the beverage involves recitation of prayers and Sanskrit chants.
While some use bhang to relax, others use it to build up their appetite. It is often used in Ayurvedic medicine where it is legally available in many parts of India. Bhang is not considered a drug in India, but a traditional sleeping aid and appetiser.
Mainly sold during Holi or in licensed bhang shops in places throughout India such as Uttar Pradesh. Bhang lassi is traditionally prepared using mortar and pestle to grind the buds and leaves of cannabis into a paste. This mixture is added to milk, ghee, mangoes and Indian spices.
Although there are many different versions of bhang lassi including edible versions such as "golee" and "pakoras", we will show you how to make a classic bhang lassi beverage for your Holi holidays.
To prepare your own bhang lassi you will need these ingredients:
Ingredients Bhang Lassi:
- Cannabis or "Bhang" - 1/2 oz
- Warm whole milk - 2 cups
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Coconut milk - 1 tbsp
- Chopped almonds - 1 tbsp
- Powdered ginger - 1/8 tspn
- Garam Masala - 1/8 tspn
- Grenadine 1/2 tspn
- Water - 1 cup
- Boil some water in a teapot and add in the cannabis
- Brew for 10 minutes and strain the mixture
- Slowly grind the strained cannabis using a mortar and pestle, adding 2 tbpsn of milk as you go
- Repeat this process several times
- Strain the milk and add it to a separate bowl for later
- Add an extra dash of milk to the cannabis and grind it with the chopped almonds
- Repeat 3-4 times
- Remove the cannabis from the mixture
- Pour all of the milk, coconut milk, grenadine and boiled water into a container
- Add the sugar, ginger and garam masala and stir the mixture until smooth
Now your bhang lassi is ready to serve and enjoy!