The holy Islamic month of Ramzaan is upon us and so is the scorching heat. The rains have been delayed yet again making the Ramzaan fasting ritual even more difficult. Fasting during Ramzaan calls for staying without food and water from dawn to dusk which approximately is 14hrs to 17hrs in a day depending upon which part of the world you belong. Lack of water for so long generates a lot of body heat and so, most devout Muslims, on breaking the fast, make it a point to replenish the body with coolants and liquids that help maintain the body temperature and fluid levels.
One such very popular drink during Ramzaan is the Jaggery Cooler. Also known as Gol Pani, it is commonly prepared and consumed by the Dawoodi Bohra sect of Muslims across the world. Gol, literally means jaggery in the native Gujarati language of this cult. Instead of choosing packaged juices and aerated drinks, Jaggery cooler is consumed on breaking the fast to quench one’s thirst.
Jaggery cooler by far, is the simplest yet utmost satiating drink one can ever come across. Made with 3 commonly found and extremely nourishing ingredients this refreshing drink is a very healthy alternative for most damaging packaged drinks, even outside of Ramzaan.
Jaggery is a natural sweetener which has many nutritional benefits. It provides Iron to the body and is any day a better option over sugar. The other super ingredient of this drink is Subja seeds or Tukmuria or Sweet Basil seeds which are the richest source of Iron and are one of the best coolants one can source easily. These seeds have an amazing cooling property so much so that it is said if consumed in large quantity it might even result in a runny nose. The seeds are commonly added to Faloodas and are locally known as Falooda seeds. The drink is flavoured with fresh lemon juice which, as we know, is good to consume for its Vitamin C supply and host of other benefits.
Jaggery Cooler is a wonderful drink which you can serve to kids, pregnant women, elderly, etc without worrying about its contents. When kids come home after being in the heat for too long then this drink is the perfect energiser for them. Considering its high Iron content, pregnant ladies can consume the drink on a daily basis. In general, the drink is apt for all family members at it is free from preservative and artificial ingredients.
Jaggery Cooler Recipe
1/4th cup grated Jaggery / Gur/ Gol
1 teaspoon Sabja seeds / Sweet Basil seeds
2 – 3 lemons
Step 1: Soak the grated jaggery in 1.5 glasses of warm water. The jaggery will take approx 1 hours to melt completely and yield jaggery syrup.
Step 2: Meanwhile soak the subja seeds in 1/4th cup of water and keep aside. Let the seeds swell till their fullest.
Step 3: Strain the jaggery syrup through a fine muslin cloth. Stir in juice of 2 lemons. Taste the drink; it should have a well balanced sweet and sour flavour. Add water or lemon juice as required.
Step 4: Strain the subja seeds through a fine muslin cloth. You can either mix the subja seeds with the drink or put them as required in the serving glass itself.
This drink should not be stored for more than 1 day in the refrigerator as the flavour turns bitter.
I usually prepare thick jaggery syrup and store it in a bottle in the fridge. Whenever the need for something cool arises, I mix it with water, squeeze fresh lemon juice into it and make this refreshing Jaggery Cooler!
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