By Pooja BhulaIn the land of the Valley of Flowers, Pooja Bhula is charmed by the local beverage Buransh, which leaves her wanting more...
Found only at altitudes ranging approximately from 1,200m-2300m, during monsoons these flowers abound in Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Almora, Pittogarh and further up from Auli, making mountains seem like they are on fire from afar. It`s no surprise then that in 2003 soon after separating from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand gave buransh the status of its state flower. It`s amazing how a flower that cures headaches, stomach ailments and as per recent research heart ailments too, can also be intoxicating and harmful, when consumed in excess.
I was served a less pulpy, but equally delicious version of Buransh, as a welcome drink at a hotel in Jim Corbett. I bought a couple of bottles to bring back home from one of the several brands selling Buransh in stores across the state, but picked the wrong one. It tasted nothing like what the restaurant and hotel had offered me. Only later did I learn that it`s best to procure the squash directly from villagers. Some regions in and out of India, where burans is known by different local names, the flower is also brewed into lovely wines.With inputs from Sunil Kainthola and Debjyoti Bhattacharyya (Department of Life Science & Bioinformatics, Assam University)
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