Having lived in Chennai one cannot escape hearing about the famed Jil Jil Jigarthanda , an obviously Hindi term  used for a very delicious native milkshake kind of drink which has wonderful ingredients like the Almond tree gum called Badam Pisin, the Nannari Sherbet , which is a drink made from Sarsaparilla roots.

This is the most popular drink for many in the South  as it has immense health , medicinal values and a natural coolant to protect the body from the scorching harsh summer . 

While almost every hotel or the roadside shops sell this most loved drink , the original authentic version comes from Madurai which is not only known for the famous Meenakshi temple but also   the famed Jigarthanda . 

Finally am sharing my recipe for Jigarthanda, the popular, creamy milk drink with Nannari sherbet, Badam pisin which is the Almond tree gum, as used in authentic drink.

Jigarthanda is a south Indian beverage. It originated in Madurai, a city in the Tamil Nadu state of India. In Hindi “Jigarthanda” translates to “Cool Liver”.

It is generally prepared and served by road side pull-inns in Madurai as refreshment during the Indian summer.

Jigarthanda was popularised by the Muslim settlers in the areas around Madurai, which is still the only city where this drink is found authentic. “Famous Jigarthanda Stall” on the 94,East Marrat Street along with its branch at Anna Nagar in Madurai have set the records for most jigarthanda sold by volume by a single outlet. The shop witnesses a huge turnout especially in the busy evenings and the mood around the place is always jubilant.

Jigarthanda is popular because of its cooling properties against the temperature of the region.


2 Tbsp  Badam Pisin (Almond Tree Edible Gum)
4 1/2  to 5 Cups of Full Fat Milk preferably

2 Tbsp of Nannari Sherbet ( sarsaparilla root juice )

 Sugar  to Taste
2 Scoops of Ice Cream        


1. Soak the badam pisin ( Almond Tree Edible Gum) in water overnight or minimum 8 hours for it to bloom

2. Boil the milk in a  heavy vessel on a slow flame to prevent burning .Boil till milk is reduced to half and turns lightly brown. 

Add sugar to taste, reduce if adding more of Nannari sherbet which is also sweet.

3.  Let it cool down for an hour or so  and chill in the refrigerator.

How to assemble the Jigarthanda drink

 In a  bowl, take the  badam pisin, which would have bloomed to glassy spongy texture.Add the chilled thickened sweeted milk,  2 tbsp of Nannari sherbet ,  mix well with spoon.

Serve it in a  tall glass with a scoop of ice cream on top.

Tasty and creamy jigarthanda a drink is ready to be served chilled.

First step is to boil milk on a low flame till it is reduced to half the quantity or thickened with creamy layers.

When milk is thickening, add sugar as much preferred or depending on how much of the sweetened sherbet you are using.

Thickened sweet  Milk is ready , reduced and now can be refrigerated to keep chilled till serving time.

Soak overnight or for minimum 7 hours the pieces of almond tree gum , called Badam Pisin to bloom fully.

A beautiful sight awaits next day after soaking, the fully bloomed soft spongy Badam pisin, ready to go into your Jigarthanda drink.

Nannari sherbet, from a reputed  trusted brand. Approximately 2 tbsp can be added per glass at serving time.

Assembling the Jigarthanda drink. Take a tall glass, first add the Badam Pisin  and stir well to release the tiny beads of gum.

Next top it with 2 tbsp of Nannari sherbet, mix gently.

Already the drink begins to look exotic.!

Next top it with the chilled thick sweetened milk from the refrigerator.

Choose one or two dollops of your favourite ice cream, to be topped to the Jigarthanda.

Chilled heavenly Jigarthanda to be served fast.

Some more information about the ingredients

Benefits of Nannari Sherbet

‘Sarsaparilla,’ a wonder herb, popularly known as ‘Sogade Beru’ or `Nannari’ is a natural coolant and has a lot of medicinal qualities. 

It has considerable effect to heal skin diseases and can decrease body temperature, rejuvenating the body.
Sarsaparilla is effective for inflammations of liver and spleen, urinary disorders, wheezing, anemia and rheumatoid arthritis.
It boosts stamina and energy.

Health benefits of Badam Pisin

Badam Pisin is a hard substance which is white in color (it somewat looks like the miniature of ice rocks). It is also a natural collant. It is widely taken along with Nannari sarbat.,  Jigarthanda.

Badam Pisin should be soaked in water one day before using it in sarbats. When it is soaked for whole night the hard pisin will form a jelly like substance. This jelly can then be used in sarbats.

Water quantity should be more than the badam pisin .For eg. Soak 2 to 3 small pieces of pisin in a glass of water. if in case the water quantity is less , then the jellies would not have been formed for all pisin’s . some hard pisin’s will still remain. 

So always soak with more water.

1. Badam Pisin is a natural coolant which helps in reducing the body heat.
2. Badam Pisin along with milk & sugar increases the body weight
3. Rather than buying aritificial jellies for children, Badam pisin along with ice cream/ milk will be a natural alternate.


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