Drinking healthy and tasty often seems like an impossibility - till we spot the colourful bottles stocked in the refrigerators for the summer. An ode to every Indian kid’s childhood, sharbats are our summer saviours!
A Persian drink by origin, Sharbat, is quite popular in South Asian countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and India. Popularly consumed by Muslims in the yester-years to break their daily fast during Ramadan, Sharbat was brought to India in the 16th century by the Mughals.
Traditionally, sharbat was made with candied sugar, water and a spice mix of finely powdered cardamom, cloves, pepper, and camphor. Easy to make and accessible to everyone, these sharbats made it possible for people to consume warm ingredients like pepper and clove in a cooling drink.
Many Shades of Sharbat
As it evolved, sharbat was then prepared from fruits or flower petals into a syrup-like form that is usually served by diluting it with chilled water. Generally these sharbats are made from fruit pulps like orange, mango, falsa or with flower petals like rose. Another popular sharbat is from khas or vetiver, which is made from the roots of the vetiver grass.
In fact, rose and khas sharbats are the most commonly consumed flavours as they have a variety of uses. Both can be used as a flavouring for milkshakes, lassi and other yogurt drinks, ice cream or a general dessert topping. However, the most popular remains the straightforward sharbat from it as it is quick and easy to make for everyday consumption.
Drinks With Benefits!
At first, the use of sharbat was associated with religious practices but with time, its benefits were realised, especially to deal with high temperatures of the Indian subcontinent. From then, rose and khas sharbats have become a summer essential - and summer specials for us at Hetal’s Homemade. Let’s take a look at some of the undeniable health benefits these refreshing coolers have.
Rose sharbat reduces stress, anxiety and keeps the mood swings away. Khas sharbat decreases dehydration and excessive thirst.
Sharbats were widely used in the Ayurvedic branch of medicine as they were excellent at balancing the Vata (air) and Pitta (fire) doshas of the body, fighting against nausea, burning sensations, thirst, and fatigue. It rehydrates the body which is imperative in the summers.
This resolves bloating, acidity and heartburn that can be a common problem during summers.
Great for the digestive system, high fibres in rose and khas sharbats keep our bowel movements smooth, preventing constipation and bloating.
This one rules all other benefits as the antioxidants found in rose and khas sharbats keep the skin hydrated and hair healthy. It also helps reduce skin ageing signs while protecting the skin and internal organs from free radical damage found in environmental pollutants.
Additionally, khas sharbat carries a few more health benefits like increasing blood circulation due to the high Iron content and regulating blood pressure with Manganese. The zinc betters the body’s metabolism. One of the most unique properties of Khas is its high content of oxalates which help absorb extra calcium in the blood, preventing kidney stones.
Our rose and khas sharbats are sourced from high quality desi gulab and vetiver grass, respectively. Both are essential for maintaining our physical and mental health and make for a refreshing drink.
At Hetal’s Homemade, sharbats and thandai are our bestsellers in the summer and as we can see, for good reason.