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Showing posts with label bela panaa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bela panaa. Show all posts

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bela Panaa

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


  • 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.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Chattua Panaa

'Panaa Sankranti ' or 'Mahavisubha Sankranti' which falls on 14th April signals the beginning of the Oriya new year. On this day, a special drink is offered as prasad and is also widely consumed by the masses. Various regions within Odisha have their own localized version of this drink, but the two most popular ones happen to be the 'Chattu Panna' and the 'Bela Panaa'. While the former has a base of roasted gram dal (sattu in Hindi/chattua in Oriya) along with fruits, the latter is made from the pulp of the fruit of the Elephant apple tree. This tree is more commonly referred to as the 'Bel' tree and is sacred for most Hindus, particularly the Shaivites (devotees of Lord Shiva).

You might be wondering as to the timing of my post. Well, it has started getting a little hot and we are drinking a lot of juices/liquids these days. So, when it came up during a recent discussion that India has such a huge variety of drinks to offer, we tried to do a verbal recall of the stuff that we have tried till date. Now even my husband found it hard to recall that we have this 'delicious 'Panaa' to Odisha's credit. Hence an attempt to bring the focus back on this special drink that is both healthy and filling. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Ingredients - 3 tsp chattua ( roasted gram dal flour ), 1 small banana, 1/2 of one apple, 2 tsp yogurt, 3 tsp chenna ( panner ), 1 tsp sugar or 1.5 tsp powdered jaggery, a pinch of cardamom, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp freshly grated coconut for garnishing.

Preparation - Chop the banana and apples into small pieces. Lightly crumble the chenna/paneer.

Transfer everything into a grinder jar. Buzz for a few seconds till the sugar gets dissolved.

Check the consistency. While it is generally kept thick, you can add a little more milk if you prefer a thinner consistency.

Pour into a glass and garnish with grated coconut. (Add 2-3 ice cubes if desired)

Serve immediately.

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