Gulabi Paanaka | Pink Rose Lemonade is a rose flavored beautiful summer drink that is a treat to the eyes and truly has a cooling effect on the body
Scorching Indian summers call for cooling drinks of all kinds and lemonades in particular… Who doesn’t love a good lemonade, right?
By cooling drinks, I mean a drink with a true cooling effect on the body and not just the temperature of the drink being cold.
Gulabi paanaka ಗುಲಾಬಿ ಪಾನಕ is a pink lemonade that has natural cooling properties coming from the three key ingredients –
- Badam Gondh – edible almond gum (resin)
- Sabja seeds (Sweet Basil seeds) and
- Rooh Afza – an herbal concoction that also lends the pink or Gulabi color to the drink
What is Badam Gondh / Pisin?
Badam Gondh / Badam Pisin / Almond Gum is a resin that oozes from the bark of the sweet Almond tree (Prunus amygdalus)
Gondh Katira better known as Gum Tragacanth is a tasteless, odorless, viscous, water soluble natural edible gum,
Appears like tiny river stones and blooms in water, swells up tripling up or several times in size. As it blooms, it loses shape and becomes crumbly.
Germans call it Kutira Gummi while French call it Gomme Adragante
Badam Pisin as it is called and extensively used in Tamil Nadu has a cooling effect on the body by reducing Pitta or excess body heat.
Also helps in preventing heat strokes. Because of its cooling effect, it is the beverage of choice during the scorching summers in Tamil Nadu.
It is used in Sharbat kind of cooling drinks most often paired along with Nannari (Anantha Moola/Indian Sarasaparilla).
It is the secret ingredient in the famous Madurai drink Jil Jil Jigarthanda
Things to remember
Badam Gondh should not be confused with the Gondh or the edible gum popularly used for making laddoos. They are exactly opposite in nature with respect to their effects on the body.
Do not consume Badam Gondh in excess quantities as it can cause stomach upset and or diarrhea due to its purgative properties.
In other words, for those suffering from constipation, it works as a laxative and provides relief.
How to differentiate between Badam Gondh and Gondh for Laddoo?
Both are often sold as crystal like resin drops. They are priced based on the size of the drops. Chunkier drops are prized higher.
Badam Gondh crystals appear pale and do not shine whereas Laddoo Gondh crystals shine bright and appear light pinkish orange hued.
Test it by dropping a small piece of Gondh in a cup of water
After sometime, if it dissolves, then it is Gondh for Laddoo
If it blooms, soaks up the water and appears translucent and jelly like, then it is Badam Gondh
Can Chia Seeds be used in place of Sabja (Sweet Basil) seeds?
Chia and Sabja seeds are often confused to be the same.
While both are edible seeds of same size and belong to the mint family, they are distinguish-ably different in color.
Chia seeds are greyish is color while Sabja seeds are black.
Chia seeds (Salvia Hispanica) also behave similar to Sabja seeds (Ocimum Basilicum), in the sense that they swell up when soaked in water (overnight) but take much longer than it takes for Sabja seeds to soak and swell.
Although Chia seeds have several nutritional benefits of their own, Sabja Seeds are known for cooling the body heat during summer.
So, for calming the effects of Pitta, it is best to use Sabja seeds.
Eating Chia seeds might be a new nutritional trend, but consuming Sabja seeds has been an established practice in many parts of the world.
They are suitable for people with hyperacidity, acid reflux, urinary conditions like burning sensation and pain.
Sabja seeds are nothing but Kama Kasthuri beeja ಕಾಮ ಕಸ್ತೂರಿ ಬೀಜ as known in Kannada. Remember the strong sweet scented green sprigs that are often intertwined in jasmine garlands? That’s the one.
Here’s another interesting lemonade to see and know more about how Sabja seeds
You might remember even better if I say that Sabja seeds are the tiny bubble like things you find while eating Falooda
Where to buy Badam Gondh /Pisin?
In Grandhige Angadi or local Ayurvedic shops. You can also buy online but could be way more expensive.
Notes about Sabja seeds
Sabja seeds are easily available in most grocery stores as well as online.
They are also known by the name Tukmaria (when I had bought them in the Indian stores while living in the US)
Also sold under names like Subja, Takmaria and falooda seeds
Word of caution
Because they can swell up to several times their volume soaking up the liquids, they must not be consumed dry. I know it sounds obvious.
But, they could potentially bloat up and become a choking hazard for people with swallowing difficulties or little children.
Store Badam Gondh as well as Sabja seeds in dry airtight containers in a cool place. Always handle with dry hand and dry spoon.
Soaked Sabja seeds will stay well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days after which they can become moldy.
Soaked and bloomed Badam Gondh will stay well in the refrigerator for a month or even more.
I have used sugar in this recipe as I wanted the pink color intact.
Otherwise I prefer to use my choice of sweetener, jaggery.
Go ahead and make this Gulabi Paanaka with all the goodness for summer heat.
- 3 medium sized ripe yellow lemons
- 750 ml water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp sabja seeds / basil seeds
- 1/2 cup water for soaking sabja seeds
- 1 tsp Badam pisin / Badam Gond / Almond Gum / Gum Tragacanth
- 1 cup water for soaking badam gondh
- Rooh Afza as needed 1 tsp per cup serving
- glasses to serve
Soak Badam pisin gondh in water in a tall glass or bowl for 2-3 hours. It will bloom to 5 times its volume. So choose the container accordingly.
At the end of the soaking time, if you see that some resin is still yet to bloom, add some more water
Soak sabja seeds in clean water in a glass for 30 mins until it swells up and appears jelly like.
Wash the lemons and Roll them over the counter to help get all the juice.
Cut them and squeeze all the juice into a container. Strain the seeds
Add sugar to soak the juice (this gives the approx quantity of suagr required in case the lemon juice is more)
Add water and stir to dissolve all sugar
Taste test and adjust sugar if needed. Remember Roof Afza is also sweet
To assemble the Gulabi Paanaka, Take a glass
Add 1 tbsp of sabja seed jelly, top it with 1 tbsp bloomed badam pisin then layer it up with 1 tsp of Rooh Afza
Pour the plain lemonade to fill the glass
Swirl it and enjoy the drink while chewing the badam pisin bits and sabja jelly
jaggery powder can surely be used . I have used sugar because I wanted to keep that pink color
look for smooth skinned lemons (indicated ripe and juicy)
if you don't have rooh afza, rose syrup can be used
You can add adjust each component of this drink to suit your individual taste