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The Big Bhang Theory

Photo by Stephan Valentin on Unsplash
Photo by Stephan Valentin on Unsplash

What is the big bhang theory? No, we don’t mean the time Leonard, Howard and Raj felt the effects of the secret ingredient in the cookies they ate while waiting for the Leonid meteor shower! We are talking about the reefer refreshment; Bhang!

What is it, where is it from and how do you make your own?

Bhang is a paste made from the leaves and flowers of the female marijuana plant, it is made by steeping the plant matter in hot water and then grinding it to a paste. Bhang Thandai is the beverage made with bhang paste, milk, nuts and spices. Of course, there are many recipes and variations, our recipe below is a great introduction to bhang and is easily adjustable to suit your specific taste. Basically add more of what you like, and less of what you don’t.

Bhang originated around 2000 BC from the Indian subcontinent, it is said to have been gifted to humankind from Shiva, the Hindu god who consumed the beverage himself on a daily basis. The ‘Lord of Bhang’ ingested the beverage to harness his divine power for the good of the world.

The marijuana mush is sold as a ball, called Bhang goli, or as a ready-to-drink thandai. It still forms a vital part of the Hindu culture and overall well-being; in fact, its sale is government regulated and carries no social stigma. 

Bhang is used for religious, medicinal and therapeutic purposes; it is also used as an aphrodisiac, to ready warriors for battle and is often given as a congenial gift too guests.

Devout Hindus believe it is considered holy to consume bhang to communicate with the divine but foolish and sinful to mindlessly gobble it down.

During the festival of Holi, the festival of lights celebrated in the Hindu culture and marks the coming of spring, celebrators express joy, playfulness and camaraderie by drinking bhang and throwing coloured powders and waters at one another.

Cannabis is listed in the Atharva Veda, sacred text, as one of five sacred plants and states that bhang is beneficial in freeing one from anxiety, brings on peaceful sleep and relieves a number of ailments including digestive issues, headaches, pain, rheumatism, fever, sunstroke, dysentery and malaria.

Make your own refreshing reefer beverage by using our Bhang Tandai recipe.

Bhang Thandai

Recipe by Stoned CitizenCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Makes

1.2

litres
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

Ingredients

  • 500ml water

  • 15g fresh cannabis leaves, trim and flowers

  • 750ml full-fat milk

  • 1ml garam masala

  • 1ml ground ginger

  • 1ml ground fennel

  • 2ml ground anise

  • 2ml ground cardamom

  • 2ml rosewater

  • 125ml honey

  • 50g pistachios, shelled

Directions

  • In a large pot heat the water until boiling point, add the fresh cannabis and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the plant material from the brew and reserve the liquid.
  • Using a mortar and pestle grind the cannabis, pistachios and spices to a paste with two tablespoons of warm milk.
  • Add the green paste and warm milk to the reserved brewing liquid and allow to simmer for ten minutes.
  • Strain the cooled down mixture and enjoy chilled garnished with pistachios and a pinch of saffron.

Notes

  • Tokers Tip: Replace the pistachios with almonds and add mint or rose petals for variation.

Bhang, bhang baby!

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