Monday, 11 May 2015

Bel-phal Sarbat

Adding colours to the city: Colour plays a very important role in our lives. Experts in Colour therapy say that each colour has an energy and hence it affects us on a physical, emotional or psychological level to some extent. I don't have much knowledge about the therapy, but i know for the fact that colours do affect us at personal level. Though being a fan of monochrome images, i must admit that certain colours really brighten up my mood. A very important image i have impressed on my mind of "colour" is that of the girl wearing a red coat in the movie "Schindler's List". I am sure most of us have seen this classic! The idea behind showing that bright red coat (that too a little girl wearing it and walking alone amid the horror and panic) has made a lot of impact. 

I really adore artists who paint (one thing which i always lack- i can't even draw a decent elephant, haha). And even though i have very little knowledge about understanding a canvas, i just love hopping into some or the other art gallery and check the beautiful works of some artists. My use of colours is limited to clothes, home decor or food but for some people, the world is their canvas. They see a plain wall and their mind would be bouncing with ideas. They would see a plain car, and they would just know right how to elevate it with colours. I have even seen people draw some amazing stuff with pens or pencils on a tissue paper. During our recent walk in Connaught place in New Delhi, we walked through the streets of Shanker Market and saw some amazing art work of students from Jamia Millia Islamia and College of Art. 

Street art is catching up a lot in India now with students painting park benches, walls or even trash bins. Delhi Street Art (DSA) is working in promoting art on the walls. Here is a glimpse of the creativity we saw :

We wish many such walls get painted and we see a colourful town as colours surely make us smile. You can see the whole street is painted like that :

Walking through this lane and enjoying our shopping at Janpath, our throats started getting dry with the scorching heat. As thirst quencher, my mother-in-law suggested we have the "Bel-juice" on a stall we saw nearby. The name went bonkers to me. The fruit surely looked interesting but not sure of the hygiene of the stall-walah, we gave it a pass. When home, we bought that fruit from the sabziwalah, as i was keen on knowing the taste. The fruit looks like this:

(Please excuse my pictures, as i have clicked them all in a hurry with a phone :)

Belphal, as my in-laws told me, is also known as Kaveeth in Marathi. It is known as a very sacred fruit as it is used to worship Lord Shiva. Known as Wood Apple in English, this fruit is eaten to beat the heat in summers. Eaten fresh or in dried form, my mother in law told me the recipe of Bel-murabba that my husband's granny used to make. The pulp when mixed with milk makes a lip smacking milkshake but i was keen on having juice. So, all we did was just cut the fruit, added water to it and kept in refrigerator. The fruit leaves it's flavour in the water and this juice is said to treat all problems of stomach.

Bel-phal has a lot of benefits as mentioned in Ayurveda: It treats constipation, best for urinary infection, helps reduces cholesterol, to treat indigestion and above all, makes a refreshing drink. So, here's presenting Bel-phal Sarbat (Sherbet) :


Belphal fruit - 1
Water - As much required to completely immerse the fruit (Keep adding water everyday as you remove the sherbet. Once you see clear water coming, its time to discard the fruit. Mine lasted for almost a week to 10 days). 
Black salt - to taste
Sugar - to taste (You can add jaggery too)


Cut the fruit and keep in a bowl with a lid. Add water as much required that the fruit is completely immersed. Keep refrigerated. 

Next day (or after 8-10 hours), remove the water (strain it in a glass), add black salt and sugar according to taste.

You can have it without sugar if the fruit is too sweet. So add according to taste.

Add more water to the fruit, cover with lid, refrigerate again and use the next day!

Another way of making the sarbat is :

Break the fruit and remove pulp. In a bowl, take sugar (as required) and add water to it. Bring it to boil, then add the pulp. Mix well and again bring to a boil. Put off the stove and let it come to room temperature. Transfer the syrup in a clean bottle and refrigerate. Use as and when require adding water to the concentrated syrup and a pinch of black salt.

I love when we use more of natural-fruity sarbat's and syrups than getting the ones from the market. Like Kairiche Panha is an all time favourite in our home, just as the Kokum Sarbat. You can also see my other posts on summer drinks :

1. Luscious Litchi
2. Watermelon Cooler

Also since yesterday was Mother's day, I would like to wish you all, a very Happy Mother's Day! Check out this post and blog of my school friend Shruti who's daughter just turned 2. She has penned down some beautiful writing about her journey as a mother :

Her blog :

Happy Cooking :)


  1. The painting are super nice. Its a trend over here too. The fruity drink? Never heard of before but sure a nice thirst quencher.

  2. The colours and the paintings did bring a smile to my face. Indeed, a colourful town would be so much more cheerful and inviting :) A wonderful drink from a wondrous fruit. loved the idea, the recipe everything :)

  3. Lovely clicks Gauri.. so vibrant.. beautiful:) Delicious Sharbat too:)

    1. Thanks dear, happy that you liked it :)

  4. Lots of local color. And a new drink concoction. I'm curious about the taste!

    1. Hey Sharon, Thank you :) I wonder if you get Wood apple there!

  5. Liked the belphal recipe. Would def. try out some day. :)

    1. Thank you so much Udit :) Glad you liked it :)

  6. wowww like your clicks

  7. Super cool post and explanation. Definitely a new learning for me:) and how simple it is to bring a habit like this into your diet. Now, I have to find bel-phal:) Will keep an eye open at ethnic markets.

    1. Hey Peri, am so happy you liked the post! Yes, this one surely is a must-try!

  8. Really enjoyed the street art pictures you shared. :)

    This recipe is so new to me. Another wood apple variety is popular in Sri Lanka and we usually add coconut milk to prepare "the drink" ;) Thank you so much for the recipe, Gauri.

    1. Oh, am sure it would taste great with coconut milk....:) Thanks a ton Rasa for encouraging words always :)


Appreciate your comments, Thank you so much for for dropping by :)!!!