What is Bhang?
Bhang is preparation from the leaves and flowers (buds) of the female cannabis plant, consumed in the Indian subcontinent. It is consumed either as a beverage or smoked. The traditional harvest and preparation of bhang occurs during the celebrations of Holi in March and Vaisakhi in April, hence associated with Lord Shiva. It has now become synonymous with Holi, to the point where consuming bhang at that time is standard practice.
Bhang is made from the leaf and flower of a cannabis plant. Bhaang thandai is a very popular drink in India specially during the festivals of Holi and Maha Shivratri and Kali Puja . Bhang Thandai is very popular in many parts of North India. It is made by mixing bhang with thandai.
The intoxicating thandai is a drink prepared by grinding the buds and leaves of cannabis plant into a paste. This paste is then mixed with milk, ghee, and spices to prepare the Thandai.
Almonds, dry watermelon , poppy seeds, aniseed, etc are soaked for 1 to 2 hours in water . All the soaked ingredients are ground to a fine paste. Water is mixed with the paste and the mixture is strained to extract the liquid into a vessel. Then milk and sugar is added to the extracted liquid. To add to the flavour, cardamom powder and gulkand or gulabjal (rose essence) is mixed in the milk. This refreshing drink is then chilled before serving.
The cultivation of cannabis is illegal in many parts of India. Still bhang is widely available and consumed. It is a tradition for many Hindus to drink bhang on special occasions like Holi, the festival of colours.
1 cup rice milk (or plain milk)
2 cans full fat coconut milk
1 cup ground cannabis buds
1 tbsp. star anise
1 tbsp. cloves
2 tbsp. cardamom
5 tbsp. blanched almonds (ground) or hulled hemp nut
1 tsp. poppy seeds
4 tbsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
7 rose petals or rose water
How to make Bhang:
Combine milks into a large sauce pan and stir over medium heat. Add cannabis and stir frequently for about 10 minutes. Add all other ingredients one at a time, stirring constantly. Simmer on low heat for roughly 30 min.
Strain mixture through cheesecloth or strainer.
Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a cannabis leaf on top. Serve warm.
You should be able to find all of these spices and a rose at your local grocery store. Most of the spices are optional, so feel free to experiment with variations to find your favorite combination.
If you have leftovers, you can keep bhang in the fridge for about one week. The mixture will become very thick, so reheat it over a low heat in a saucepan and add more milk to thin it out before serving.
• 1/2 Ounce cannabis
• 2 Cups warm whole milk
• 1/2 Cup sugar
• 1 tbsp Coconut milk
• 1 tbsp Almonds, chopped
• 1/8 tsp Ginger, powdered
• 1 Pinch garam masala
• 1/2 tsp Grenadine
• 1 Cup water
How to make Bhang:
• Bring water to a boil in a teapot and add cannabis to it.
• Brew for about 7 to 10 minutes, then strain.
• Gradually grind the strained cannabis along with 2 tbsp of milk, repeat this process several times.
• Strain the milk into another bowl and keep aside.
• Add a little more milk to the cannabis and grind it along with the almonds, repeat this several times.
• Remove the cannabis and pour the milk, coconut milk, grenadine and boiled water into a container.
• Combine ginger, sugar, and garam masala with it, keep stirring.
• Bhang Lassi is ready to serve.
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
How to make bhang:
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.