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Bhang

There are several drinks that are only known in very limited parts of the world and  Bhang is one of them.  It is very popular beverage consumed largely by the people of India and Pakistan. It is considered a delicacy in these countries but rarely recognized anywhere else.  Bhang is made from cannabis and while most of us know we can smoke or cook with it, consumed as a beverage is far more popular in this part of the world.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-indian-festival-image23848920The festive season of Holi is the festival of colors during which time the demand for Bhang is at it highest (no pun intended).  Despite cannabis being the primary ingredient, Bhang is not considered a drug. People consume it to enjoy the festive season while some others even consume it as an appetizer called Bhang golis better known as the bhang balls.

[image of Holi]  The festival is celebrated all across India but it is celebrated with a lot more fervor in the Northern parts of the country.  Several people in Mathura,  an ancient town which holds much religious significance for the Hindus, consume bhang on a daily basis.  It is also consumed by many to relieve them of their stress; bhang is put in cigarettes and smoked.

bhang

The preparation of Bhang is as much a tradition as consuming it.  Preparation begins with grounding the buds and leaves of cannabis into a green thick paste using a mortar and pestle.  The paste is added to milk along with spices and ghee   [a type of clarified butter]   There are quite a few varieties of this drink; ghee and sugar are added to bhang to make a green halva. This mixture is also made into golis which means candies. There is no better time to consume bhang than the festive season, it must be tried at least once in your life if not twice… or maybe three times.

Happy 420 everyone!

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