“Naba Barsha Ra Hardika Subhechha!”
The Coffee Bytes team wishes all the Odias around the world a very Happy Odia New Year as we also celebrate ‘Pana Sankranti’ or ‘Maha Vishuba Sankranti’. Just as every festival is marked by its own unique rituals, on Pana Sankranti, a small pot (Basundhara theki) filled with ‘Pana’, a sweet drink made of ‘Mishri’ and water is hung over the ‘Tulsi’ (basil) plant. A small hole is made at the bottom of the pot so that the liquid in the pot flows drop by drop, representing rain. The festival is coined as ‘Pana Sankranti’ since yummylicious ‘Pana’ is prepared and served to one and all. Traditionally, Pana is made from wood apple (Bela) which serves as an antidote to counter the summer heat besides being rich in nutritional value. Well there is also a ‘party version’ of this cool drink since ages, when its spiked with Bhanga (cannabis sativa). The fact that it is available even at sacred places like temples, one should not underestimate its potency, boy…it does pack a punch ! We bring you a recipe of the Bela Pana for our readers. ❏
• 1/2 cup of Bela pulp
• 1 cup of milk
• 1/4 cup of chenna (paneer/cheese) or 4 mashed
• 1/4 cup peeled banana
• 1/2 cup of honey/jaggery/sugar
• 1/2 cup of curd
• 2 nos of cardamom
• Pinch of black pepper powder
• A handful of finely cut cashewnuts
• 1 teaspoon of freshly grated coconut,
cherries, rasin and tulsi for garnishing
• 1 cup of water
• Put grated bela, peeled banana, curd, chenna,
cardamom and sugar in a grinder and grind well.
• Add water to it and mix well.
• Pour out the blended drink into a glass.
• Garnish it with cashew, raisins, cherries and
freshly grated coconut sprinkled on top.
• Add ice(optional) to serve it chilled.
• One can use Chhatua in place of Bela, adding
up more fruits like apples or mangoes while
following the same procedure.
Cheers to this grand Odia mocktail !