Jigarthanda recipe, special drink of Madurai

Jigarthanda recipe, a special drink of Madurai perfect for the hot summer days

jigarthanda recipe
Jigarthanda – Madurai special drink

I first tasted Jigarthanda as a college student during a trip to Madurai. One of the best tasting summer drink which has its origins in Madurai. This unique flavored milk based drink, introduced by the Mughals who settled down South, was given the name Jigarthanda. Popular as jil jil jigarthanda, this drink has made its way to many restaurants and drink parlours around Tamil Nadu. The ingredients that go into the making of the jigarthanda drink recipe have a cooling effect on the system and is a close cousin of falooda drink which has varied textures and flavors.

badam pisinalmond gum
Badam pisin ~ edible almond gum/badam gond

The main ingredients of jigarthanda recipe are reduced full fat milk, reduced milk ice cream and two natural coolants i.e, badam pisin (edible almond gum) and nannari (sarsaparilla roots) syrup. The gum that secretes from the bark of the almond tree dries up to form small light golden brown hued hard granules. It also goes by the name badam gond and badam pisiru. The small rock like granules are soaked in water for a couple of hours to yield a thick transparent jelly like substance. It has a lot of medicinal properties and very cooling to the body. Not only is it a natural coolant, it is recommended for weight gain in young children.

Nannari syrup also known as sugandi is made from Sarsaparilla root, a pleasant smelling herb. This herb has medicinal properties and makes for a great diuretic, cools the body and prevents heat strokes. I have already blogged the recipe for nannari syrup and nannari sarbath recipe. You can use store bought nannari syrup which is available in local native ayurvedic stores which also sell badam pisin.

jigarthanda drink
Jigarthanda – summer special

Full fat milk is reduced by slow boiling the milk till it thickens and reduces to almost half of its original quantity. The color of the reduced milk which is light brown gives jigarthanda drink its unique color and flavor. The ice cream used in the drink is also made with reduced milk. You can use store bought vanilla ice cream in its place. I have already blogged ice cream recipe which I have made with reduced milk.

Do try making this unique, refreshing indulgent summer drink at home and add it to your collection of Indian drink recipes. You can also serve as an after lunch or dinner dessert. If you cannot find badam pisin at your local market substitute it with china grass or agar agar.

jigarthanda drink recipe
Jigarthanda – summer special

How to make jigarthanda drink recipe at home

Jigarthanda drink recipe

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 3

 Main Ingredients:

  •  milk
  •   badam pisin


  •   Badam pisin - 1 tsp or 4-5 small pieces (almond gum)
  •   Milk - 4 1/2 cups, full fat milk
  •   Nannari sharbat - 3 tbsps (sarsaparilla root syrup)
  •   Ice cream - 3 scoops (made from reduced milk) OR store bought vanilla ice cream
  •   Sugar - 3 tbsps (adjust)

Method for making Jigarthanda drink recipe

Soak badam pisin in 1 1/4 cups of water overnight. Next day, it will swell and form a transparent jelly like consistency. Remove any impurities if any.
Bring full fat milk to a boil and reduce to almost half its original quantity. You will have 2 1/4 cups of reduced milk. Turn off flame, add 3 tbsps of sugar and mix till dissolved. Bring to room temperature and chill in fridge till use.
To assemble the drink, take three tall glasses. Add a generous tbsp of the badam pisin in each glass followed by a drizzle a generous tbsp of nannari syrup. Divide the sweetened milk among the three glasses till three fourth full.
Top with a scoop of reduced milk ice cream or store bought vanilla ice cream and serve immediately.


  •   Make reduced milk the earlier day and chill in the fridge overnight.
  •   Make ice cream the earlier day and freeze.
  •   You can replace nannari syrup with rose syrup/rooh afza.
  •   You can use agar agar (china grass) instead of badam pisin, if you do not have access to almond gum/badam gond. If using agar agar, soak a fistful in 1/3 cup of warm sugar syrup till they form into a jelly and use in place of badam pisin.
  •   Badam pisin is available in native ayurvedic medicine stores.
  •   I have used homemade ice cream. You can use store bought vanilla ice cream.
  •   In case the drink does not have a light brown shade, you can also achieve it by adding caramalized sugar to the reduced milk.


Jigarthanda recipe,a summer beverage made with milk,reduced milk ice cream,badam pisin & nannari syrup.How to make jil jil garthanda drink recipe of Madurai
  • kaumudi


    ½ cup Queens Quinoa 100% Quinoa Flour

    2 tablespoon Ghee

    4 to 5 tablespoon sugar/ jiggery

    1 cup water

    Chopped almonds, Cashews and raisins

    ½ teaspoon Cardamom powder


    Heat Ghee in a PAN

    Add 100 % Quinoa Flour

    Sauté till the flour changes its color to little less than brown.
    Keep the flame on med-low as this tends to burn easily if put on a high
    flame. Keep an eye on it and keep stirring

    Add sugar and still keep stirring till the ghee leaves the sides

    Add cardamom powder

    Garnish with more cashews and raisins and serve hot

  • M.Shankar