Holi 2023: What is Bhang and How to Make it
Bhang is a traditional Indian drink made from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. It has been used for thousands of years in India as a medicine and as a way to achieve spiritual and emotional enlightenment. Bhang is an integral part of Indian culture and is consumed during festivals like Holi and Diwali.
Origins and History of Bhang:
The use of cannabis in India can be traced back to ancient times, as early as 2000 BCE. Cannabis was used in Ayurvedic medicine for various purposes such as treating anxiety, pain, and insomnia. The use of cannabis also had a significant role in Indian spirituality, where it was believed to help achieve enlightenment.
The origins of Bhang can be traced back to the Hindu festival of Holi, which celebrates the arrival of spring. It is believed that Lord Shiva, one of the most important deities in Hinduism, consumed cannabis to relieve his anger and anxiety. The tradition of consuming Bhang during Holi originated from this story.
How Bhang is Made:
To make Bhang, the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant are ground into a fine paste, mixed with various spices, and then boiled in milk. The mixture is then strained and sweetened with sugar or honey. Some variations of Bhang also include other ingredients like almonds, rose petals, and saffron.
Aroma and Taste:
Bhang has a distinct aroma and taste, which is a combination of the spices used in the recipe and the cannabis plant. It has a strong, earthy aroma with hints of spice and sweetness. The taste of Bhang is unique and some might say it is slightly bitter with a nutty and spicy flavor. It really depends on your palate.
How Bhang Makes You Feel:
The effects of Bhang can vary depending on the dosage and the person consuming it. Typically, Bhang produces a mild, euphoric high that can last for several hours. It can also induce feelings of relaxation, creativity, and heightened senses. Some people also report experiencing a sense of spiritual and emotional enlightenment when consuming Bhang.
In conclusion, Bhang is a traditional Indian drink that has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal and spiritual properties. Bhang has a distinct aroma and taste and produces a mild, euphoric high that can induce feelings of relaxation, creativity, and spiritual enlightenment. Despite its long history of use, it is important to consume Bhang responsibly and in moderation.
For the kitchen warriors reading this, here are a few popular Bhang recipes you can try out and infuse to your liking and tolerance levels:
Thandai Bhang is a popular recipe that is consumed during the Holi festival. To make Thandai Bhang, grind the cannabis leaves and flowers into a paste and mix it with a blend of spices like fennel seeds, black pepper, and cardamom. Then, boil the mixture in milk and strain it. Add sugar or honey to sweeten it, and serve it chilled with ice cubes.
Bhang Lassi is another popular recipe made from cannabis paste, yogurt, and milk. To make Bhang Lassi, mix the cannabis paste with yogurt and milk, and blend it until smooth. Add sugar or honey to sweeten it, and serve it chilled.
Bhang Pakoras are a savory snack made from cannabis leaves that are coated in a batter made from gram flour, spices, and water, and then deep-fried. To make Bhang Pakoras, mix flour, spices, and water to make a batter. Dip the cannabis leaves in the batter and deep-fry them until golden brown. Serve them with a chutney of your choice.
It is important to note that the use of cannabis for recreational purposes is illegal in many countries around the world. Therefore, it is important to follow the legal guidelines of your region and consume Bhang responsibly and in moderation.