The vitality and health drink of the Jains: Raab

Raab vitality drink prepared by Ketana Gosalia. Photo: courtesy Ketana Gosalia

Fasting is an important aspect of the Jain religion. Jains have long fasts during ‘atthai’ and ‘paryushan’ vrat, when they fast for eight consecutive days or one month. And, during these fasts, one cannot eat or drink anything except warm water once a day. So how do they survive these days of harsh denial of any nourishing food? The edible gum plays a big role in the life of staunch Jains, supposedly imparting strength to bones and killing hunger, at the same time providing sustenance to the body. The ‘Raab’ with edible gum and other spices is considered a very healthy and nourishing drink among the Jains, and it has been adopted by many who are not Jain. According to Ketana Gosalia, ‘Raab’ is usually taken during colds, and low energy days. And, also during pregnancy, before and after fasts, and after childbirth. It is also a health drink for the elderly all year round. Gosalia described her recipe as follows:

Ketana Gosalia’s Raab Recipe

Serves : 2 (2 glasses)


  • 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  • 2 tablespoons regular whole wheat flour (chapatti flour)
  • 2 tablespoons edible gum ground into powder
  • 2 to 2 and ½ tablespoons jaggery crumbled
  • ¼ teaspoon dried ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried shredded coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon thinly sliced almonds – optional
  • ¼ teaspoon thinly sliced pistachios – optional
  • 1” piece of cinnamon
  • 2 pieces of cloves



  • Heat a non-stick saucepan on medium low.
  • In another saucepan, add 2½ cups of water, add 2 and ½ tablespoons of crumbled jaggery to it and warm it up till the jaggery dissolves.
  • Add 2 tablespoons ghee in another pan.
  • Add 2 tablespoon whole wheat flour to it.
  • Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the powdered gum to it.
  • Stir constantly till all the gum has popped and become large.
  • Next, add the piece of cinnamon and cloves to the pan.
  • Add the optional almond and pistachio slices, and the shredded coconut.
  • Stir constantly for 30-45 seconds.
  • Add the warm jaggery water to the mix slowly, stirring constantly.
  • Bring to a boil and let simmer for 1 minute till the liquid thickens a little.
  • Take it off the stove and let cool a little.
  • Pour into glasses or tea mugs and have it at tea-like temperature.


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