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Updated on May 15, 2014

Jigarthanda is a recipe from Madurai. It was introduced by Mughals in ancient India which was carried forward by the Pandya kings. Today this recipe defines Madurai dessert. It is a great frozen drink for hot summer days. The original recipe uses resins from Badam trees and nannary (sarsaparilla) sharbat, instead of which China grass and rose syrup are used more commonly today. The ingredients help in cooling the body against searing temperatures. It was the favorite summer treat for all my friends. I did not know about this recipe till I went to pursue my higher education in Madurai. When I was introduced to its enchanting taste, I took to it instantly. Even today the mention of even the name Jigarthanda brings back fond memories of college.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 15

Total Time: 30

Serves: 2


  • Milk - 4 cups
  • Sugar - 2 tablespoon
  • China Grass (Agar agar) - 5 gm
  • Vanilla Ice cream - 2 scoop
  • Cardamom power
  • Nannary or Rose syrup - 4 table spoon
  • Vanilla Essence
  • Tutti Frooti (optional)
  • Water - 1 cup


  1. Add the sugar to the milk and boil it till it becomes condensed.
  2. At that stage the milk will turn slight pink in color. It is called malai.
  3. Cool it well and keep it in the fridge.
  4. For 3/4th of this malai add the cardamom powder, vanilla essence.Stir well and keep it separately in the freezer.
  5. In a glass of warm water, dissolve the agar agar completely. It will become a thin jelly.
  6. Cool it and place it in the fridge.
  7. Remove all the ingredients from the fridge ten minutes before you plan to serve.
  8. In a glass take two spoons of the agar agar jelly.
  9. Add the nannary or rose syrup to it.
  10. To the mixture add the 3/4th cup of cold milk.
  11. Finally add the malai (remaining 1/4 milk) and stir well.
  12. Scoop the ice cream and add it on top of the mixture. Add tutti frooti if you like them.
  13. The summer treat is ready. It tastes best when cold.

What do you think about this summer treat?

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    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 3 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      jigarthanda is famous for its taste and popular all over tamil nadu. But, as you said, madurai is very famous for its unique taste. cool lens.

    • AlanJC321 profile image

      AlanJC321 3 years ago

      Looks so good! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 3 years ago

      I don't know some of these ingredients. But it looks and sounds delicious. I'm on it! Thanks

    • Scindhia H profile image

      Scindhia 3 years ago from Chennai

      @Linda BookLady: Yes.. It is available on the internet.

    • Scindhia H profile image

      Scindhia 3 years ago from Chennai

      @RinchenChodron: Tutti Fruity is candied fruit. You get it anywhere.. let me know when you try the drink :)

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Looks delicious! I have no idea where to get some of the ingredients - I'm in North Idaho, USA! But maybe I could find them on the internet.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 3 years ago

      I haven't heard of tooti fruity in forever! Don't even remember what it is (a liquid?) Can you buy it in the US? I'd like to try this drink, sounds interesting and India does get HOT! So I'm sure it's refreshing.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 3 years ago

      This looks very refreshing!

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 3 years ago from Michigan

      Never heard of it before. But it looks delicious!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Very interesting frozen treat, Scindhia. I never heard about it before. Thanks for sharing.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      It does look refreshing. It's also summertime now in my country, and the heat is intense.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      Looks like something fun to surprise the wife with.