Gondhoraj Ghol: What’s The Magic Ingredient In This Bengali Summer Drink?
Image Credit: Pixabay, The Gondhoraj lebu or lemon is added to several meat and fish dishes too.

Come summers, we can’t wait to get back home after tiring ourselves in the sweltering heat. The strong rays of the sun tend to dehydrate us and we loosen up most of our water content to due excessive exposure. In such cases, the doctors, health experts and nutritionists recommend an increased consumption of liquids, apart from plain water. Not only do they emphasize on eating water fruits and vegetables, but also avoiding heavy and greasy food. However, we tend to indulge in them every once in a while. 

In order to digest it well and keep it cool, you need a cool drink and by this we do not mean the aerated drinks. India is replete with summer coolers which are made from natural, local ingredients and calm the soul very well. From the Punjabi lassi and chach to the South Indian Sol kadi and jigarthanda, you would be spoilt for choice. One such drink that you would definitely find in Bengali homes is Gondhoraj Ghol. A lime-based drink, the magic of Gondhoraj Ghol lies in its lemon itself. 

Unveiling The Secret Of Gondhoraj Ghol 

Gondhoraj lebu is a commonly-found variety of lemon in the Bengal region of India. Not be confused with regular lemon, gondhoraj has a flavour and aroma so distinct that it is often referred to as the King of fragrances. This Bengali-special lemon is much more closer to kaffir lime in taste and texture than your humble nimbu. The nature of the soil and land makes it conducive to grow this fruit only in Bengal and so you wouldn’t find the real deal anywhere outside the area. 

The versatility of this Gondhoraj lebu is so vast that it can change the face of your shuktis, paturis and mangsho too. The leaves, the fruit and the juice, all come together to make Gondhoraj the pride of Bengalis. And that’s how Gondhoraj Ghol unleashes its magic in a glass too. 

Made from Gondhoraj lebu, the ghol is a lighter version of regular lassi. This Bengali lassi is closer to buttermilk aka chach of northern India. For preparing this light concoction for summers, all you need is some yoghurt, black salt, lime juice, lime zest and sugar. Blend all of this together in water. Once it is ready, pour it into glasses and sprinkle some Gondhoraj zest on it. Pop in some ice cubes and your chilled drink is ready. 

Here is a detailed recipe of the drink.