Variyali nu Sherbet as the name speaks out is a cooling drink that was once widely consumed during the summers. Variyali or fennel seeds are known for their cooling properties and when mixed with black raisins and rock sugar, both known for their cooling and medicinal properties it made the most cooling and soothing drink ever. A lota (traditional metal water container) filled with Variyali nu Sherbet was always resting near the paniyara (place in the house where earthen pots filled with water) in our house. In those days when we had no refrigerator a glass of Variyali Sherbet with its sweet and cooling taste provided instant relief from the need to drink something cooling. I have grown up in times when the bottled drinks had not yet invaded our homes. My mother inspire of battling life threatening illness, made sure we ate well. Not only was she excellent at every day food she also had a flare at making jams, preserves, squash, ginger ale, ketchup, pickles….. and we never had anything other than what she made.
It is unfortunate to witness how comfort and convenience has taken priority over health of the family and this earth. The way packaged and processed foods, bottled drinks and water have stormed the markets and the utter casualness in our approach in buying such products reflects how far we have moved away from the wise old traditional practices which were minimalist in approach, assured good health of family and our planet. We ate local and seasonal, no packaged foods meant our living style created minimum waste and did not harm the earth. Are we prepared to introspect!!!!
Coming back to the recipe, there is nothing much to do just allow the ingredients to soak well and the flavors will mature during this period. Soaking time is the key here.
Variyali nu SherbetPrint Recipe
- 5 tablespoons variyali/fennel seeds, finely ground
- 5 tablespoons kali draksh/black raisins
- khari sakar/misri/roack sugar, to taste
- lemon juice (optional)
- a pinch of salt
Soak the fennel seeds powder, black raisins, salt and rock sugar in 4 glasses of water for about 5-6 hours, preferably overnight. Keep the bowl in the refrigerator.
After the mixture has soaked well, rub or squeeze the raisins so that they breakup in the mix.
Strain the mixture.
Adjust to preferred taste by adding a glass of water, sugar and including juice of one or more lemon if you do not like it very sweet.
I dry roast the fennel seeds for couple of minutes before grinding them to a fine powder.