Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Gondhoraj Ghol

Gondhoraj Ghol 

There are very few things I like about the Indian summers. Its not just the oppressive heat which drives everyone crazy on top of that I have one of the most strange allergies. I am allergic to extreme hot temperature which means throughout the 3 or 4 months of  oppressive heat my eyes become red if I am out in the heat for more than half an hour and my skin starts itching terribly.

Yes life is tough but as it so happens that I am lucky enough to work from home and even with the problem with my eyes one of the few things I love about the summers is plenty of sunshine actually strong sunlight which leads to plenty of sun dried tomatoes which disappear within half the time of drying it and then there are the pickles that I make and then of course mangoes.

The last few days have been terribly hot and that had led to a complete loss of appetite and all I wanted was something refreshing.

Lately my obsession are these Bengal limes called 'Gondhoraj lebu'. All the fragrance which it is famous for is in its skin.

A few weeks back I had bought a couple of these limes and then had forgotten about them for a few days and then one fine day out of no proper reason I used a thin slice of the lime in plain water and the refreshing taste and beautiful aroma was what led to this complete obsession. Since then I have been experimenting with different types of dishes where I might use it. I had started off with a fish poached with gondhoraj slices and even though I used it right at the end there was a mild bitterness.

My friend from France, a trained chef advised me to use the zest alone and then I remembered how most of the bitterness comes from the pith.

My next experiment, Spatchcock Gondhoraj Chicken was cause of complete and utter delight. It was one of those beautiful dishes that I would look back in the future and be proud to have made.

So the bottom line is that I am buying these limes every now and then and then I happened to remember this fantastic cooling and refreshing drink I have had at one of Kolkata's beloved restaurants which serves traditional Bengali food, 6, Ballygunge Place .

Nowadays the mere thought of the aroma of Gondhoraj makes me happy and making a ghol 'a yogurt based thin drink is one of the msot easy things to do'

To me ghol is to Bengal what Lassi is to Punjab except that Lassi is thick creamy and delicious while ghol from the East is absolutely thin so that its consistency is like buttermilk.

Needless to say this was loved by one and all

Makes 2 servings

200ml thick plain curd
300ml ice cold water (as chilled as possible)
Sugar as per taste (I needed 2 tbsp)
Zest of 1 gondhoraj lebu
Tiny pinch of salt

Start by grinding the sugar in a coffee grinder. I have seen that this step makes it easy for the sugar to dissolve in the drink.

Just blend everything together and serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Even I'm a sucker for gondhoraaj lebu! Back in Kolkata, I used to have it in all my Dal s and even the runny machh-er jhol s and let's not even get into gondhoraaj bhetki.