It is at this hellish period of the year that we South Asians break out my two of my favourite 'heat beating' drinks the Lassi (Yogurt-based drink originated from Punjab) and Tukh Malanga/Tukham Malanga. Now Tukh Malanga is not actually a drink but is used in preparing many drinks as it is highly valued for its cooling and tonic properties. Tukh Malanga is also known by its second Urdu name as Naz Boo and are the seeds of the sweet basil or basilicum ocimum if you want the proper name. Commonly used in the Indian Subcontinent for preparing drinks it is also used in other parts of Asia for other or similar purposes.
I just can't get enough Tukh Malanga these days and usually skip a meal after having a glass or two of the drink. I will show how to make a simple version of the drink and for that you will need:
1 tablespoon Tukh Malanga (quantity according to your taste)
Milk (low-fat or whole)
Rooh Afsa (can be substituted with Jam-e-Shireen which is like Rooh Afza but sugar-free)
1 glass (or just drink the milk and swallow the ingredients lol)
2-3 Ice cubes
Ok first of all for readers(if by some stroke of luck my blog is being read by people not living in the Indian Subcontinent) not familiar with Rooh Afza, I would recommend them to check out the website of the 100+ year old drink (since 1907)........ ok so I cant seem to access the Indian and Pakistani website but the Bangladeshi website works which wont be of much use to people who don't know Bengali. So here is the wikipedia link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rooh_Afza) and a blog post by a fellow country man (http://pakistaniat.com/2007/10/07/ramzan-ramadan-rooh-afza-milk-red-bull-pakistan/)
Foreign folks can buy Rooh Afza from the local Indian or Pakistani supermarket or online from here (http://www.ayurvedaforall.com/106/sharbat-rooh-afza.html)
Right back to the topic on hand. So what you need to do is take a spoonful of Tukh Malanga and mix it with water in a glass. Immediately you will notice that it starts to develop a jelly like covering. The general rule of thumb is a half glass of water for 1 tablespoon of tukh malanga.
I would recommend filling the whole glass with water so that the tukh malanga can fully expand. If there is still some water left than you can use a spoon to scoop the extra water out or use a sieve . The fully expanded tukh malanga will look like this. If you notice some undeveloped seeds then don't worry as it happens and they are safe for you to drink as well.
I know it looks like frog eggs and that is what freaks out most people but not all stuff that is good for you looks tasty as well.
After that add two or three(or more according to your taste) tablespoons of Rooh Afza/Jam-e-Shireen..
Now just add some milk, stir vigorously and lastly 2 or 3 cubes of ice. And you have a refreshing beverage guaranteed to quench your thirst and satisfy you sweet tooth. Those of you who have never tried Rooh Afza with milk and Tukh Malanga should definitely give it a go; it is like nothing you have EVER tasted before.
I myself love drinking it so much that I prepare mine in this behemoth of a glass..
So give it a try and comment on whether you liked it or not. For those of you who are new here, check out my earlier posts as well.
(Rooh Afza pic courtesy of FLICKR, click on photo for original link)