Gond Katira a Cool Drink to Keep You Cool
Gond Katira Sherbet is a natural ayurvedic Cool Drink to Keep You Cool. Summers are hot and scorching, the season of pitta. It is recommended to keep cool and not allow Pitta dosha to become intensified. The English name of Gond Katira is Tragacanth gum and is also known as Dragon gum. My childhood was happy and fun, summers more so when we played all day with our cousins. Those days, we lived in extreme heat conditions. We did not have the comfort of coolers or air conditioners to keep us cool.
Maa Ke Nuskhe
One had to find natural ways to beat the heat. We used to eat far too many mangoes and our skin used to break out into huge heat bumps. My mom used to be at her wit’s end and would come out with her own homemade concoctions to help us overcome the heat-related problems. Early every morning she used to pluck fresh neem leaves, make a paste and roll them into tiny balls which we had to swallow; ugh were they bitter! After breakfast which included a couple of juicy mangoes, we were given this Gond Katira drink which is a natural coolant. We had mangoes between meals, with meals, after meals and before going to bed mom had chilled rose milk ready for us to down.
My Childhood Summers
We slept out in the open in those days and we used to dip the white bed sheet in water and cover ourselves with it. The breeze would cool the blanket and this was our natural air conditioning! Those were the days! Our kids are lucky they have access to air-conditioners at home and in the cars, funky sun shades, sunscreen lotions, parasols, hats and consuming lots of ready chilled drinks to get relief from the scorching heat. This generation takes the easy way out; reach out for that carton of packaged juice full of preservatives or worse still a cola which only causes harm. They play indoors while we used to play in the streets. They work in AC offices all day thus staying indoors during most of the day and step out only during nights to step into an AC restaurant, pub or club! A simple lemonade, iced tea, cane juice, coconut water, watermelon juice are not that difficult to procure or make. Make lifestyle changes, eat and drink healthy, like this natural coolant, Gond Katira.
What is Gond Katira? Cool Drink to Keep You Cool!
The Gond Katira or gum comes from a thorny shrub. The present generation has never heard the name and would not really know much about it The gum oozes naturally from the roots of the plant and from slits made on the stem. This is collected and when dried it forms crystals that look like precious stones. Gond Katira is a crystalline herb which is easily found in most Indian kitchens until a few decades ago. The gum oozes naturally from the roots of the plant and from slits made on the stem. This is collected and when dried it forms crystals that look like precious stones. On soaking in water, it changes its appearance from being crystalline to becoming gooey like white jelly. It is tasteless and odourless and has a cooling effect.
Benefits of Gond Katira
It has dual benefits; summer and winter. In summer after soaking it in water it becomes gooey and soft and has a cooling effect. Drinking it in this form in summer helps to cool our body. In winter, it is used after frying and pounding. It can be added to many kinds of laddoo. And then it helps to retain the body heat.
Heat stroke- It actually acts as a cooling agent and prevents heat stroke. I did suffer from heat stroke once and I took to drinking this religiously in the summer.
Laxative – It works as a laxative, hence it helps in constipation.
Breast size – I heard that it augments breast size in women. Wow! Are you listening? All you women who are thinking of going for silicone boobs; a cheap and natural alternative is available.
During Pregnancy and after – Gond Katira laddoos are very beneficial in pregnancy. This I can corroborate.
How I keep rambling! Let me come back to the Dragon gum drink.
Recipe for Gond Katira/Tragacanth Gum Drink/ Cool Drink to Keep You Cool
1 tbsp. Gond Katira crystals
2 tbsp. Sugar or more
1 glass Water
1 glass milk
1tbsp. Roohafza or rose syrup
Almond for garnishing (optional)
Crushed ice (Optional)
What is Roohafza?
A dash of RoohAfza will not only add a pretty pink colour to the drink but will also help to rejuvenate you when the heat saps your energy. RoohAfza was launched in the market, more than a century ago and it has been the favourite drink of generations. It is made of an exceptional formulation of herbs and pure juices. Combining the gum and Roohafza results in an immensely cooling and refreshing drink.
Take one spoon of Gond Katira and soak it overnight in a bowl of water. In the morning, you will see that it becomes like a white jelly and has fluffed in volume. Wash it with clean water 2-3 times to remove the impurities.
Take a tall glass and add the jelly. Drizzle the Roohafza and stir. Dissolve the sugar in a little water and pour over the jelly. Now add the cold milk. Stir and top with ice cubes.
Garnish with soaked slivers of almonds (optional) Serve chilled preferably have it with breakfast or between breakfast and lunch.
It is a very delicious, refreshing drink which is invigorating and energising when you lack energy in summer. If you do not want to have it with milk then just add water and lemon. This would reduce the calories too. If you are living in hot climes like I am, then do try this Gond Katira or Tragacanth Gum Drink which is a natural coolant.
Gond katira can be blended with lemonades, juices, and milkshakes or used as a topping on ice-creams and kulfi.