Today I’m posting a very simple to make drink which has the Indian flavours and benefits coming from the native ingredients Betel leaf/paan and Indian Holy Basil/tulsi . To add a more soothing and cooling touch to the drink, there’s coconut water and tukmaria seeds/subza or Indian Holy Basil seeds as well.
In Indian Hindu culture Tulsi, Coconut and Betel are considered very holy. They are used during any auspicious or religious function and hence when I decided to make a drink using these ingredients, I thought of calling it a holy mocktail. Betel leaf, Indian Basil, coconut water, Tukmaria, all are known to have medicinal properties. The Betel leaf is a digestive and is eaten post lunch to aid digestion, while the holy basil has expectorant qualities. The tukmaria seeds are believed to have carminative properties and also reduces appetite aiding in weight loss. Coconut water has high potassium and minerals and believed to have cooling properties.
When I decided to make the drink the only thought in my mind was to have subtle flavours coming from the ingredients and avoid overpowering flavours. So while making I avoided any grinding and crushing. I allowed both the leaves to diffuse their flavours into a hot sugar syrup. I wanted more of betel and a light touch from the basil as it has stronger flavour than the betel. To add more softness and tender taste to the drink, I added the coconut water. All the ingredients have fresh flavours making it a very refreshing drink.
When I mixed all the ingredients, they blended well and had very nice fresh flavour which left a cooling effect in the throat but some how punch was still missing, so I squeezed a little lemon juice in it and tasted. Yes! That did it. The light lemon flavour made the betel and basil flavours shine and the drink got the punch which was otherwise missing. We all tasted it and liked the freshness of the drink.
This drink is going as my second entry to Urban Dazzle Contest organised especially for the participants of IFBMeet. I love Urban Dazzle glassware and I would have loved to serve the holy drink in Ametista Beveragae Tumbler from Urban Dazzle’s Collins collection.
Since the Mocktail is gluten free, I’m also sending it to my event ‘ONLY’ Gluten Free cooking, hosted here through this month.
Preparation Time:2-3mins | Cooking Time:3-5mins | Makes:1big glass | Serves:1 | Difficulty Level: Easy
7-8 betel leaves (I used the smaller variety)
4-5 tusli/holy basil leaves
juice of half small lemon
1/2cup coconut water
2tsp sabja/ tukmaria seeds, soaked
In a pan take sugar and water and bring it to a boil, simmer and add torn betel leaves and holy basil leaves. Cook for a minute or more for the leaves to release it’s flavour. I didn’t want the leaves to release the green colour, hence didn’t grind the leaves. This also helped me achieve just the flavour without the green colour, from the leaves.
Remove from flame and let the leaves stand in the hot syrup. When cool, strain it in a glass and add lemon juice, coconut water and the soaked tukmaria seeds. Mix and add a few ice cubes, lemon wedges and few holy basil leaves. Serve immediately after adding ice.