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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Re-posting: Bela Panna

The Bela Panaa is a drink made out of the pulp of the wood apple . This is a fruit that one can find in abundance in Odisha as the leaves are an important part of the ritual worship of Lord Shiva. While the pulp ranges in color from a pale yellow (almost whitish) to a robust orange, the flavour of the flesh also varies widely. Some are sweet while others can be quite astringent with hints of bitterness.

Inspite of all the variations,  the fruit is widely consumed due to its medicinal properties. It is an excellent coolant and is supposed to prevent heatstroke. Apart from that, it is good for the bowels and alleviates any sort of gastro-intestinal distress during the hot months. Most people consume it in the form of a plain sherbat with just the deseeded pulp, some sugar and a tinge of souring agent like curd or lemon. But for the Maha Bisubha sankranti or the Odia new year, a more opulent version called the 'Bela Panaa' is prepared in most homes.

Read on for the traditional recipe -







Preparation Time: 10-15 mins

Ingredients:


  • Ripened Bela/Wood apple/Elephant apple ( 1 no)
  • curd ( 1 cup )
  • chenna/curdled milk ( 1 cup ) or 3 rosogullas
  • ripe banana ( 1 no)
  • sugar ( 3 tbs )
  • ice-cubes
  • black pepper powder ( 1/4 tsp )

Preparation: Break the shell of the wood apple on a hard surface and scoop out the
yellow flesh.

Put the yellow flesh in a mixing bowl and add 2 cups of cold water. Mix the flesh with the water using your fingers to extract the juice.

Strain the juice using a sieve. Transfer the remaining pulp back to the mixing bowl and add 1 cup cold water and extract any remaining juice.

Strain the juice and throw away the pulp.

Add sugar, banana, chenna/rosogulla, curd and black pepper. Mix well using your fingers.

Pour into glasses & top up with ice-cubes. Serve chilled.
































Note: Bela ( also called Bel) pannaa is very popular in Orissa during the summer months.

It is offered to Lord Shiva on Panaa Sankranti day which falls on 14th of April.

The leaves of this plant are also offered to Lord Shiva along with milk. Consuming a fistful of these leaves is supposed to reduce blood pressure & diabetes.

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