Transform water with traditional flavours

Bel sharbat

As a connoisseur of authentic South Indian vegetarian food, the banana leaf of traditional items spread out before me at a hotel in Kerala looked inviting! More fascinating, perhaps, was the reddish yellow water infused with spices like jeera, dry ginger, etc, called chukku vellum, a digestive for the meal. It was a lesson in how simple drinking water could be made attractive and healthy.

Roots, leaves, spices and grass have always been used to add that special touch to simple drinking water. Nannari (sarsaparilla plant), bel or beal (wood apple), and vetiver roots are popular additives to drinking water. Some of them are said to be good for skin and kidney related problems as well. Sweet basil seeds or sabja are used for their cooling properties, aroma and aesthetics. Spices like cardamom, saffron if one could afford it, ajwain, saunf, etc could be added to water without upsetting its balance and lightness.

Every cell in our body needs water for proper functioning. Even a 20% decrease in it leading to serious consequences. But the crux of the problem is the bodily need for water outlives thirst.

Refrigerated water, although refreshing on a summer day, is not recommended as the energy meant to digest food gets diverted to neutralise it. Freezing vegetable juices, mint leaves, or berries as ice cubes and dropping them in your glass of water is a good idea to maintain pleasing temperature.

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Transform water with traditional flavours

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