Khus or Khus ki jad (vetiver roots) are the dried roots of a grass.
This grass is called vetiver in english which comes from Tamil word Vettivar which means “grass”. Khus grass is native to India.
The khus grass grows to about 5 feet in height and surprisingly its roots grow about 10-12 feet in the earth below.
These are very highly fragrant roots and are used for medicine, therapy, essential oils, cosmetics, as food and a lot more.
It has been used in Indian cuisine and Ayurveda for a very long time.
It has a cooling and calming effect when used as a sherbet or used as a perfume or oil.
In my childhood we often purchased khus pads for our desert cooler. The moment you use this jad/root in your water cooler the entire house becomes fragrant and has a pleasing & calming smell.
In olden times mats were made out of vetiver roots and water was splashed on to it. These mats are hung on the windows or doors and as the hot summer winds pass through them, they cool the surrounding area and give a very pleasing smell.
For a long time khus ki jad has been a critical ingredient in spice mixes or garam masala. Hyderabadi potli masala uses khus ki jad, galouti masala uses khus ki jad and many more.
Khus ka sharbat is an excellent cooler for summer heat. Many khus sherbets on the shelves use artificial green color to enhance the looks of it.
For Khus Syrup
Khus ki jad – 70gm
Water – 1.3 ltr/ 5½ cups
Sugar – 600gm
Green colour – few drops
For Khus Sharbat (1por)
Ice cubes – few
Water chilled – 300ml
Sabza (basil seeds) soaked – 2 tbsp
Khus Ice Cream Soda (1por)
Vanilla Ice Cream – 1scoop
Khus Syrup – 3tbsp
Sabja (soaked) – 1tbsp
Chilled Soda Water – 250ml
Khus syrup obtained is 400ml. Cooking time is about 30mins.
For Khus Syrup
Spread the khus jad (vetiver root) apart and wash it under running water. Then dip it in cold water for 5 mins. This should loosen up any dirt and it should settle towards the bottom of the water. Remove the khus roots and wash it again.
Now place the khus jad in a kadai, add sugar and pour over water. Bring it to a boil and then lower heat to medium and cook till the sugar thickens. The syrup should be less than a one string consistency. This should take roughly 30 mins.
Turn off the heat and let it sit there for 5-10mins. Then carefully remove the roots and put it on to a plate. Strain the remaining syrup through a fine mesh and let it cool completely. Once the roots have cooled press them to extract any remaining syrup and strain it. Add it to the remaining khus ka Sharat.
Our concentrated khus ka sharbat is ready, you can bottle this and refrigerate it. This way you can use it for 2months, just make sure it remains in fridge and away from moisture. In case you want the typical green colour of khus sharbat that you usually find in the market then just add edible food colour to it, though it is completely optional.
For Khus Sharbat
To prepare khus ka sharbat for one person, add ice in a tall glass, pour 3tbsp of concentrated khus sharbat over the ice. Add soaked samba seeds or chia seeds on top. Now top it up with chilled water, stir and serve. You can adjust the sweetness by increasing or decreasing the amount of concentrated khus syrup for a portion.
For Khus Ice Cream Soda