Jigarthanda And More, Know These Lesser-Known Drinks

The state of Kerala is renowned for its delicious food and hot spices. The state also takes pride in a large variety of delectably refreshing drinks that Keralites particularly enjoy, yet this is a lesser-known reality. These are the drinks you must try if you want to instantly feel energised and fresh when visiting Kerala. Everyone in this place, regardless of age, loves these drinks. In the majority of the regions, a community's consumption of food and drink is deeply ingrained in its culture. Each of these drinks have a unique origin story, whether it's the legend of filter coffee's introduction in the 17th century, when a Muslim saint is said to have brought coffee beans from Yemen to India for the first time, or the jigarthanda, a favourite beverage in Tamil Nadu, which many sources claim was first consumed under Mughal rule. Like these, here is a list of other South Indian drinks that are not only delectable but also have a fascinating history. 

Kambu Koozh 

This locally produced, high-protein porridge or beverage is widely available in Tamil Nadu. The beverage is offered in numerous variants in both upscale restaurants and roadside shops. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions of kambu koozh are offered, and it can be consumed as a thick porridge or a loose beverage. It is one of the least expensive meals offered in the state and a staple among labourers, drivers, and domestic helpers. Koozh's best feature is personalization. It can be served with buttermilk, onions, peppers, or any other ingredients of your preference. As a nutritious breakfast choice, the meal is referenced in Sangam literature, the earliest Tamil text. Because of its affordable price and high protein content, it became a staple dish for the working class in Tamil Nadu. The dish is frequently made with finger millet, but it can also occasionally be made with bajra/kambu (pearl millet). 

Thari Kanji 

In Muslim homes, it's typical to break the fast with dates and the customary thari kanji, or semolina porridge.  Its origins are tied to the iftar meal. Thari kanji was the most well-liked of the dishes back in the day when people couldn't afford to prepare elaborate iftar feasts. This has become a tradition, and today, iftar would be incomplete without this delicacy, which is a conventional semolina dish that has been roasted. The recipe's aroma is not just that of roasted semolina; rather, it also shares a taste of roasted shallots and subdued cardamom. A distinctively sweet flavour is added by the Malabar-style fried shallot in the topping. 


Sambharam is Kerala's equivalent of chilled buttermilk. It can also be referred to as the lassi of the South Indian subcontinent. Buttermilk has been a staple of many Indians' everyday diets ever since dairy production became common in the country. It can take the shape of lassi, chaas, or sambharam. Sambharam, a spicy variation of buttermilk, is unlike the sweet variety seen in North India. This summertime favourite of Keralites is produced by blending diluted buttermilk with crushed bird's eye chilies, shallots, curry leaves, ginger, and salt. It became popular among day labourers in Kerala who would work all day in the sweltering sun. Working, people choose morumvellam (another term for sambharam) over water since it increases energy and prevents dehydration. 

Filter Coffee 

A cup of perfectly brewed filter coffee, served in a copper glass and made from a potent decoction and hot milk sweetened with sugar, is still synonymous with South India. Going back to the tale of how coffee arrived in India is necessary to discuss the history of this concoction.After making the Hajj to Mecca, it is reported that a Muslim saint from Chikmagalur named Baba Budan brought a small quantity of coffee beans into India. Green coffee bean transportation was prohibited back then. In his thick beard, Baba is reported to have buried seven beans. As a result of the seeds he planted in his birthplace, coffee by the 20th century was a staple in most southern Indian homes. Indian Coffee House was the first to popularise filter coffee in its modern form. 


This traditional South Indian summer beverage, also known as panaka in Kannada, is brewed with jaggery, dry ginger, and cardamom.It is frequently made during Ram Navami and Narasimha Jayanthi occasions and is a favourite summer beverage among many Kannadigas.The drink is unique in that it keeps well even when served at room temperature, making it a wonderful cooler. In other southern states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the beverage is also well-liked. According to historical evidence, in portions of South India where the humidity is considerable, panakam was once utilised as an ORS. The beverage is a good source of potassium, iron, and antioxidants. Serving panakam as an offering is common in Hindu temples, especially during the summer. 

Nannari Sherbet 

Even though the traditional summer cooler comes in variations that differ from place to region, the love of sherbet unites India beyond geographical borders. In the South, nannari (Indian sarsaparilla) extract is used to make the most well-liked sherbet. According to Wicked Spoon Confessions, a Persian book penned by Zakhireye Khwarazmshahi in the 12th century contains the earliest recorded mention of sherbet. Sherbet, referred to as the "world's first soft drink," arrived in India for the first time from Gulf nations during the rule of Mughal emperor Babur (then Persia). It quickly rose to the status of Babur and his successors' preferred beverage. Sherbet is a widely consumed beverage that may be created from any fruit or herb and is known for its cooling properties. 

Avil Milk 

Aval Milk, also known as Avil Milk, is a beverage from Kerala cuisine that is marketed on the streets of Kerala's Malabar district. Aval, also known as poha or beaten rice flakes, ripe bananas, milk of any kind, and nuts are all ingredients used to make aval milk. This relatively new beverage initially appeared in Malappuram. In 1993, Hussain V, a native of Kottakkal, became the first person to open an avil milk stall in Kerala. In Kerala, there are currently hundreds of places that sell this well-liked cooler for a fair price. Many add exotic ingredients like dry fruits, ice cream, or almonds to the drink, but the original avil milk is still the best. 


Jigarthanda, a chilled beverage prepared from milk, almond pisin, khoya, and nannari root syrup, was not invented in Madurai, but it has become synonymous with the city today. The beverage, which resembles falooda somewhat, has northern origins but hasn't attained the same level of popularity. The name is made up of the Hindi words jigar and thanda, which mean "to cool the heart." There are two ideas regarding where it came from; one claims it came from the Mughal kitchens, while the other claims it is from the coastal area between Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram, which is where products are transported from northern India to Madurai. 

If you ever travel to these regions, make sure to look for these drinks.