With the summer showing no signs of leaving us and the heat not dissipating even slightly, it becomes a very tedious job for those working outside. We all try to create food and drinks that help our family members working in the field, relax and feel cool once they’re home…but how often do we allow that courtesy for those working inside our home, but in really hot environments? There’re our maids who cook and clean, housekeepers, gardeners, cooks, and even our family members who help them with such chores.
We don’t have a cook, or a helper, so it’s always my parents who do the cooking, assisted by me…but we have a maid, who, after working at 8 other houses, usually winds up at ours by noon, exhausted and drained. I know most of us treat our helpers with love and care, because after all, they’re the backbone of our existence…. 🙂 and thus, I decided to churn out this cooling drink…
Gondhoraj Lebu, literally meaning ‘The King of Fragrances’, is a lime that is native only to West Bengal, though now it is exported to other regions. A hybrid of the simple Lime and the Mandarin Orange, the Gondhoraj Lebu is known for its beautiful fragrance, not unlike the Kaffir lime, that gives Oriental food its significant touch. Though the Gondhoraj is sweeter, both in taste and fragrance.
Its zest, when added to drinks and sweets, makes for a unimaginably fragrant after-product, that is both refreshing and rejuvenating. Ghol, which is nothing but a Bengali-style buttermilk (chaas, chaach, mattha, etc), is had extensively during summer months here. Made just with plain curd or yogurt, water (either cold, or with ice) and with a dab of sugar, lime and black salt, gives the body an immense sense of coolness. The Gondhoraj Ghol is an adaption, enhanced with the zest of the Gondhoraj lime, and sometimes also added, are the leaves of the plant.
- Yogurt/Plain curd – 2 cups
- Ice water/Chilled water – 1 cup
- Sugar – 2 tbsp, adjust as per taste
- Black salt – a pinch or two
- Gondhoraj lime zest – 1 tbsp
- Gondhoraj lime juice – of 1/2 a lime
- In a blender, churn the yogurt, sugar and black salt.
- After a minute, add the water and lime zest, whiz again until the ghol is nice and frothy.
- Quickly add the lime juice, use a spoon and stir..don’t blend!
- Pour into serving glasses, top with gondhoraj lebu zest, and a wedge or two.
- Served chilled 🙂