Gondh is the name commonly used to refer to gum. With regard to food, the edible gum, also known by the same name has prominent mention in the Indian food heritage.
The most familiar dish containing gondh is of course the famous Gondh laddoo.
Mixed with delicious ingredients like almonds, natural sugar, raisins and wheat flour, the homemade Gond laddoo is a delicacy. The one that we make at TBOF is sweetened with dates and contains no flour at all. Gluten free and rolled using the TBOF Cultured Ghee! While these are most popularly thought to be a nourishing food for new mothers, it is actually a great snack to have on hand.
What exactly is edible gum? It is probably one of the most underrated ingredients given its numerous health benefits.Gondh in other words is the resin or sap taken from a species of the Acacia tree.
It is believed to have wide medicinal uses in Ayurveda and also is used in many other manufacturing processes.
The resin is collected and allowed to harden before it can be used. It is said to have nutritive and restorative properties which is why the elders in a traditional Indian home make a big batch of Gond ladodos for the new lactating mother. With seeing to the demands of a newborn as well as regaining strength these edible gum balls are part of the daily diet.
Think of it as an ancient energy bar only in spherical form. Gond is found easily in the Northern states where the particular species of trees grow. Rajasthan, Gujarat and Punjab are the places well known for supply of edible gum. The Acacia tree is said to have its origins in the Middle East.
Indian cuisine from the North does have its share of Mughal influence in both sweet as well as savoury dishes. Gond is water soluble and this makes it an easy ingredient to add to many cooking techniques and recipes.
For instance it is an effective remedy in preventing heat strokes for people working outdoors. A sherbet mixed with dissolved Gond is said to be extremely therapeutic. To reap the benefits of healthy skin and radiant complexion, Gond is recommended not just as a food but also as a mask for external application on the face.
The Gond crystals are white or pale yellow in colour and soften in water. Dried Gond gives a delicious crunchy texture and is a great addition to Indian mithai.
It is known to add warmth and give relief from colds and coughs in the monsoons and winter season. (Check out our blog post on Winter foods - fresh seasonal produce to look out for during the cooler months of the year!) Gondh Katira however, helps to cool the body in the hot summer months!
The natural plant resin adds fibre and is good for digestion. It’s apparently also a mood elevator and stress buster. It is prescribed for low libido as well as for boosting metabolism.
Weight loss, cure for respiratory ills, anti-ageing , adapts according to seasonal needs of the human body, aids digestion and so much more.
It’s like an all in one magic ingredient. Shouldn’t it have a permanent home on our kitchen shelves?
It is rightly said that Food is medicine and Medicine is food. The edible gum is an excellent example of that concept. Food is also power...to heal, to rejuvenate and to strengthen. Let’s bring the gondh back into our daily diet !