Thursday, June 11, 2009

phalsa or falsa (Grewia asiatica), the deep purple summer stone fruit | recipe of phalse ka sharbat


phalsa (Grewia asiatca)

Phalsa (Grewia asiatica) is a summer fruit rich in pigment antioxidants. Phalsa looks like a berry but it is actually a stone fruit (Drupe) that has very little flesh but verr flavourful.

It is a popular street snack tossed with black salt or herb salt and the phalsa sellers can be seen carrying the 'berries' in a basket during summer months all over north India. Since the berries rot really fast there is a remote chance for these to reach supermarket isles. But a few street vendors will always keep bringing phalsa to us I am sure, there are people who forage such berries and make a living out of it. Good for conservation of such lesser known native fruits.

phalsa with herb salt

It's too hot here in Delhi and we are practically living on cooling foods and drinks, be it salads or sharbats or just plain lime water, nimboo paani, chilled slices of watermelons and muskmelons are mostly for lunch and light snacking throughout the day.

As I mentioned, Phalsa or Grewia asiatica is a tropical stone fruit (Drupe) which is tangy and sweet with a unique flavor, it's taste pairs well with kala namak or black salt, some people call it pink salt too.

The fruit has a small stone inside which can be chewed and I prefer to chew on it whenever eating the berries in a salad like my mango salad or as it is with black salt.

To make phalse ka sharba, mix salt and sugar to taste to cleaned phalsa and macerate it without adding any water. The juices will come out when you mash and macerate the berries.Leave it for 10 minutes, then add water and pass through a strainer while rubbing the pulp through the strainer surface. 

For making one liter of phalse ka sharbat you need about 250 gm phalsa, 4-5 gm black salt and about 50 gm sugar if using. 

phalse ka sharbat

Or process the phalsa in a mixie jar or food processor and pulse to make a puree of the fruit. I add equal quantity of thinly slices beets to this pulsing mixture sometimes.

Add chilled water once a paste of formed, pulse again, and pass the mixture through a sieve so the stony seeds are separated.

Add ice cubes or more chilled water, pink salt to taste, add sugar if required and serve chilled.





phalse ka sharbat

A cup of phalsa berries and half a cup of beet slices result in 3-4 large glasses of thick smoothie like sharbat. You can always dilute it but then you might require a sweetener as the natural tangy sweet flavor of the berry will be diluted.

The sharbat can be refrigerated for the day. Cooling for summers, cleansing for the system and very nutritious as the fruit is rich in minerals and antioxidants.

Do let me know if you have had this sharbat. The phalsa berry is not available in many parts of the country but one can grow a phalsa tree if space is not a constraint. I have planted one and is growing slowly. Someone would be able to pluck phalsa from them if not me :-)

13 comments:

  1. Oh..I cant tellu how happy I am dear..This is really a lot to me..Thank you so so much..:).Those are some gorgeous flowers..apparently my fav,my dad's home back in Kerala had a tree of this..so fragrant they are...I'll take it to my sidebar right now..:)
    n that cooler..I also wana have it right now..its so sunny here..n guess what I have a watemelon in fridge right now..leme go grab that one..cant wait..:)

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  2. thank you darling ...for bringing some sunshine for me...

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  3. Wow phalse ka sherbet looks so refreshing..i love the flavor of black salt..yum yum

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  4. Wow...what a sharbat I do have it when I am in india..never tried to make it here..

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  5. really healthy n colourful dish! nice pics

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  6. That is a great idea to hold on to the skin and get rid of the seeds. :-)
    And I like the idea of more salt and less sugar.

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  7. Thunda sharbat!Its just beginning to get hot here,I'm gonna be needing many such drinks:)

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  8. That's one healthy drink. I remember loitering around Jia Sarai near IIT and there is this little shop which sells different juices according to the season. I had my first and 100s thereafter of Sherbet from there. Was even in talking terms with that vendor...lol

    You are right that Varsha is bubbling too much and brimming all her happiness over to us...I adore her for that. You have bestowed a well deserved award on her and it's so sweet of you..

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  9. A delightful drink! This would be perfect as we are finally getting some hot weather here.

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  10. Never had this before. Used to drink sugarcane juice like mad. Can't wait to get back and then you can make me this cooler and cupcake and kele ke kofta.

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  11. you are most welcome SJ.....i like sugarcane juice too,but don't get it these days....at least in my vicinity...

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  12. that looks so cool and refreshing though i've never heard of that kind of fruit before :-)

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  13. Never seen it before-but I love all kinds of berries,so I'll look out for them when we get back!

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