Kaada- The Great Indian Magic Drink

If ever a guest appeared at the doorstep, sneezing and sniffing and complaining of the bad weather, the increasing pollution, reducing immunity etc. my mother would very discreetly disappear in to the kitchen. She would be back soon enough with the magical potion for all cold, cough, flu of any Indian kind holding forth a tumbler full of hot ‘kaada’.

” Drink it, don’t worry. Your cold will vanish.” Amma would suggest to the surprised guest and later go on to insist with the excuse, ” after all it’s for his good. What’s in it for me?” thus once again proving unequivocally her command over many of the kitchen cures.

I have been subjected to tough code of ‘kaada’ many times in my growing years along with the spicy ‘rasam’ and rice at dinner to help me tide over those days of heaviness in the head and clogged nasals.

In these days, when Bangalore is sneezing and wheezing all at once, I am thinking fondly of ‘kaada’ and of course, amma! It helps to have some one who knows a remedy for every malady at home, wishful thinking!

She is just a phone call away, thankfully.

But you see, even with the best of ‘Kaada’ intentions in my heart, I might still not be able to make it well because I do not have the necessary ingredients. With no ritual of lighting a tulasi lamp at home, I am inconvenienced to find a few tulsi sprigs to make my version of ‘kaada’. Any ways let me share the recipe, so that you can have the magic wand to drive cold away, any time.

So it is like this:

Boil a cup full of water. Add half a tsp of coffee powder, the ground variety, not the instant one. Allow it to come to boil. Add a few crushed black pepper corns, powdered dry ginger, a piece of jaggery or ‘gud’, crushed tulsi leaves, a pinch of turmeric and reduce the water to half its quantity.

Strain and pour into a cup and your magic potion is ready. Have it hot and sweat off your fever or cold by covering yourself in a blanket and getting a nice sleep. Repeat the process till completely cured.

What I like especially about ‘kaada’ is its universality. When I was down with fever while at Indore my maid suggested, ‘Bhabhiji, kaada pee lo”,  ‘make your ‘kaada’ sister.’

Kaada’ in its different avatars is a popular cold remedy across the country.

Sneezing are you? Time to have ‘kaada’!






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