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Make a Bhanging Cardamom-Rose Bhang

Cardamom-Rose Bhang
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Bhang is an edible preparation of cannabis with roots in the Indian subcontinent and a traditional component of Ayurvedic medicine. It’s frequently enjoyed as a celebratory beverage during Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, and other holidays. Fresh, or sometimes dried, cannabis leaves and flowers are blended with liquid and various spices, nuts, and seeds (think cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, fennel, almonds, pumpkin seeds, to name a few) for a drink that is refreshing, herbal, earthy, and slightly spicy, with a hint of sweetness. It may also have a noticeably bitter or astringent scent, which is normal for cannabis-infused products.

You’ll find a variety of cannabis drinks at bhang shops across India, like bhang lassi (thickened with yogurt) and bhang goli (made with just cannabis and water). This recipe most closely resembles bhang thandai, a milky, lightly sweetened version flavoured with aromatic rose water, cardamom, and fennel seed.

 

Cardamom-Rose Bhang

 

Total Time20 minutes (plus cooling time)

Since fresh cannabis plants aren’t widely accessible in the United States, BA associate food editor Rachel Gurjar opts to use dried plants here, which come in plenty of unique flavours. “The ones I used for developing this recipe smelled of fruity bananas and pair nicely with the warm spices,” Rachel writes.

Toasting the dried cannabis transforms the inactive cannabinoids (THCA and CBDA) into their active counterparts (THC and CBD). Dosing also plays a big part in the experience of ingesting products that contain THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical component responsible for cannabis’s psychoactive effect. But don’t worry: We’ve done the math for you. About ¼ cup bhang equals about 13 mg THC when using cannabis with a 20% THC concentration (note: Though dispensaries should list the THC percentage for their products, it can vary from roughly 10%–30%, depending on the strain). For a seasoned edible consumer, this would be considered a moderate dose. First timers may want to consider using half the amount of cannabis (0.25 g instead of 0.5 g) in this recipe, or portioning the drink’s serving size in half.

Serve with Thandai Shortbread Cookies and more of our favorite Holi recipes.

 

Ingredients

0.5 g dried cannabis

2 cups whole milk, divided

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. raw almonds

1 tsp. rose water

½ tsp. fennel seeds

½ tsp. ground cardamom

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¼ tsp. ground turmeric

¼ tsp. kosher salt

8 black peppercorns

Dried rose petals (for serving)

 

Cardamom-Rose Bhang

Preparation

Step 1

Preheat oven to 225°. Spread 0.5 g dried cannabis in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, 14–16 minutes.

 

Step 2

Transfer cannabis leaves to a blender and add 1 cup whole milk, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. raw almonds, 1 tsp. rose water, ½ tsp. fennel seeds, ½ tsp. ground cardamom, ¼ tsp. ground turmeric, ¼ tsp. kosher salt, and 8 black peppercorns. Blend until frothy and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1 cup whole milk and blend again until sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds.

 

Step 3

Transfer mixture to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat, about 3 minutes. Let cool.

 

Step 4

Divide among 8 small glasses filled with ice; top with dried rose petals.


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