Pehlwaans (or wrestlers) are in dire need of protein and energy all the time. Learn how this drink helps.
The state of Haryana is famous for a variety of things, one being the passion for wrestling. It goes without saying that some of the country’s best wrestlers have emerged from the North Indian state, putting the nation on the world map with their wins in coveted international tournaments like the Olympics and Commonwealth. Vijendar Singh to Geeta Phogat, the list is huge. It almost makes you wonder, ‘what is the secret to their energy?’ Now, it won’t be fair to assume that the entire region eats the same meal.
But the culture of eating local, seasonal food is very prevalent here. Haryana is one of the most fertile plains of India, so a bevy of grains, pulses, millets and cereals make it to their daily diet. Besides, energy-inducing foods like sugarcane and jaggery are also common features. There’s much emphasis on nuts and dry fruits too, together, they help boost energy, increase brain power and induce strength. Since most of these nuts are also decent sources of protein, a bunch of these nuts and dry fruits are crushed and consumed with milk and yogurt. You must have heard of the Indian smoothie Lassi, but have you ever heard of the Badam Ragda, the OG power drink and protein shake of the pehlwaans of India.
Pehlwaans (or wrestlers) are in dire need of protein all the time. Protein helps build muscle, and because in the process of kushti (wrestling), they end up losing a lot of muscle too, they need a healthy bout of protein afterward for muscle recovery. In other words, wrestlers, or anyone who is engaged in a task that involves a lot of physical labour, need a good amount of protein to recuperate and treat the wear and tear. Badam Ragda is a delicious and loaded drink made with a host of nuts, seeds, dry fruits and even spices. It can fill you up in just one serving, and is incredible for managing weight too. If you are satiated, you wouldn’t want to binge on other salty and fatty snacks and thus cut your chances of weight-gain. Think about it?
In one of the videos that is going viral on the internet, we see an old lady preparing the rustic drink from scratch, in the traditional way. She first prepares her earthen vessels for the drink, then collects all ingredients, like rose petals, raisins, pisat, cashews, almonds, melon seeds, rock sugar, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, black peppers, white pepper, cardamom and fennel seeds. In the mud vessels, she pounds and crushes all the ingredients separately using the wooden muddle. If you have a mixer-grinder, you can simply give them a whirl individually. All the powders are transferred in a plate, except the poppy seeds, rose petals and melon seeds that are mixed with water for paste. Eventually, everything is mixed with cold milk and mixed well. The drink is then drained through a cloth and served. You can watch the video here.