Woodapple Smoothie/ Bael Ki Lassi
Bael ki Lassi, Woodapple smoothie, healthy summer drinks, Odia New year delicacies, easy smoothie recipes,
Pana Sankranthi or Maha Vishubha Sankranthi, falls on April 14th/15 th every year, and is grandly celebrated as Odia New year. This day also coincides with the New year days celebrated in various other states , like Baisakhi (Punjab, which was celebrated just a day before Pana Sankranthi this year), Poila Boishakh ( Bengali) , Bihu (Assamese), Vishu ( Kerala) , Puthandu (Tamil Nadu). Considered as the most auspicious day of Hindu calender, this day like any other Indian festival has a lot of its traditional rituals attached depending on each region where it is celebrated.On this particular day, a small pot filled with pana or a sweet drink of Mishri and water is hung on a basil (Tulsi) plant. There is a hole at the bottom of this pot which allows the water to fall from the pot, representing rain.
Bael Pana (woodapple juice/sharbat) is another delicacy made by the odias on this auspicious day. Bael fruit, also called as woodapple has hard, woody shell with sweet flesh inside that can be consumed fresh or dried. They are also mixed with beverages when mixed with jaggery makes for a great cooling and refreshing drink. The fruit has some exceptional therapeutic properties, and almost all parts of the tree- roots, leaves, fruit are utilised for their medicinal uses. Besides its coolant properties especially valuable in hot summers, the fruit also has some laxative, gastro protection ( for healing of gastric ulcers), anti diabetic, cholesterol control, anti microbial properties just to name a few. A fruit rich in Vitamin C and other important Vitamin B subtypes, it is also used in the treatment of scurvy ( Vitamin C deficiency state).
So, with this super fruit making appearence in summers, it makes total sense to completely exploit its beneficial effects in the hot summers. I decided to make a simple smoothie / Lassi, by combining it with another coolant- curd/yogurt, topped with some nutty-coconutty-fruity garnishes, to make a filling and healthy drink for hot summer afternoons.
Recipe for Bael ki lassi / Woodapple Smoothie:
- Woodapple / bael fruit- 1 medium size (ripe)
- Curd- 1/2 cup
- Grated fresh coconut- 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Cardamom powder- 1/4 teaspoon
- Black peppper powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Jaggery- 2 to 3 tablespoons (according to sweet preference)
- Grated fresh coconut
- Pomogranate seeds
- Chopped mango pieces
- Cashew nuts
- Break open the shell of Bael fruit, scoop out all the pulp in a conatiner.
- Add 1 to 2 cups of water, squeeze out the juice, removing fibre and seeds in the process.
- Now take this fruit pulp in a blender jar, add ice cubes, jaggery, coconut, cardamom and black pepper powder, and blend for few seconds till they form a smooth mix.
- Pour in glasses, garnish with coconut, chopped cashews, pomogranate seeds, chopped mango pieces.
- Serve chilled as a mid day snack.
Wishing all my Odia readers, a Very Happy Maha Vishubha Sankranthi and a prosperous New year !!