On the Indian subcontinent, bhang, an elixir of cannabis
. It is enjoyed by Hindus
alike on feast-days and on the urs
Here are two recipies for bhang: 2 cups water
1 ounce marijuana (fresh leaves and flowers of a female plant preferred)
4 cups warm milk
2 tablespoons blanched and chopped almonds
1/8 teaspoon garam masala a mixture of cloves, cinnamon, and cardamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 to 1 teaspoon rosewater
1 cup sugar
Bring the water to a rapid boil and pour into a clean teapot. Remove any seeds or twigs from the marijuana, add it to the teapot and cover. Let this brew for about 7 minutes. Now strain the water and marijuana through a piece of muslin cloth, collect the water and save. Take the leaves and flowers and squeeze between your hands to extract any liquid that remains. Add this to the water. Place the leaves and flowers in a mortar and add 2 teaspoons warm milk. Slowly but firmly grind the milk and leaves together. Gather up the marijuana and squeeze out as much milk as you can. Repeat this process until you have used about 1/2 cup of milk (about 4 to 5 times). Collect all the milk that has been extracted and place in a bowl.
By this time the marijuana will have turned into a pulpy mass. Add the chopped almonds and some more warm milk. Grind this in the mortar until a fine paste is formed. Squeeze this paste and collect the extract as before. Repeat a few more times until all that is left are some fibers and nut meal. Discard the residue. Combine all the liquids that have been collected, including the water the marijuana was brewed in. Add to this the garam masala, dried ginger and rosewater. Add the sugar and remaining milk. Chill, serve, and enjoy.
It seems a bit labor intensive, but then the cooking process for the bhang is meant as an offering to Shiva.
Ganja 1/2 ounce
Poppy seeds 1/4 ounce
Pepper 1/4 ounce
Dry Ginger 1/8 ounce
Caraway seeds pinch
dried Cucumber seeds 1/4 ounce
Almonds 6 medium
Rose 1 fully developed, including hip **
Sugar 8 ounces
Milk 20 ounces
Begin by bringing ten ounces of water to a rolling boil and remove from heat. Add the ganja to the water after removal and let it soak for five minutes. The ganja should be kneaded vigorously in the still hot water to transfer som eof the flavour to the liquid - the ganja is then taken out, drained and the water set aside.
Remove and stalks or seeds (seeds ?) at this point. Place the Ganja on a grinding board or pestle and reduce to a pulp, adding milk gradually along with all other ingredients, except the poppy seeds, cucumber seeds & sugar, which are kept seperate.
When all of the ingredients are mixed into the paste, set aside. Repeat the process with the poppy and cucumber seeds, adding milk as needed. When all of the seeds have been ground to a paste, set aside. You should still have most of your milk left.
Add the two paste balls to the remaining milk and strain through fine muslin. Throw away the filtered substance and add the sugar, stirirng untul it is dissolved. Strain again through muslin, thworing away the residue. Add milk to obtain a consistancy which suits your taste, flavoring with the original water if desired. Place the mixturein a cool place, and, when chilled, serve in 4 ounce portions preferably before meals.
You may wich to substitute water for milk in the final solution, but must still grind with milk. Buttermilk makes for a heavier but more sensous drink. In some circles a strong, moist cheese is ground into the first paste for additional body.
** when cooking with roses it is a good idea to pluck the petals and snip off the white areas at their base. This part of the petal contains a very bitter substance, but hips are an excellant source of Vitamin C.