What to drink in Madurai

When you do the simplest of searches on Madurai you come up with the unexpected word jigarthanda. “Cold heart” may be an exact translation, but I decided that “Soul soother” captures the meaning better. There are many recipes which you can find, but most agree that you need ice cream, almond gum (badam pisin) and nannari sharbat. Nannari is sarsaparilla. I could not figure out a Hindi name for it, so I don’t know whether it is used in north India.

Jigarthanda was as interesting as it was billed to be. But for a resident of Mumbai it was not a surprise; everyone will recognize it as a falooda. Is it exactly the same as a falooda? Perhaps not, and the need to make taste comparisons can keep your soul happy.

The other specialty of Madurai is the bottled drink called Bovonto. We saw this on the beaches of Pamban, but the bottles weren’t terribly well chilled. We waited until we were on its home ground to order a bottle with a lunch. And then we ordered a second.