Let’s beat the heat with this imli (tamarind) and aloo bukharay (prunes) drink. Imli Aloo Bukharay Ka Sharbat is a famous Pakistani drink widely sold on the street during the blazing summer season.
Tamarind and prunes are widely used Indian food ingredients that have many health benefits and helps reduce the heat of the body. The drink is refreshing and cooling.The syrup can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for months as high sugar and tartness from tamarind both are preservatives.
- Tamarind variety: Tamarind is main ingredients and has to be bought carefully. The tamarind I used for this drink is tart and under-ripened and sour variety. Fully ripened sweet tamarind will require a lot less sugar and extra tartness from lemon juice. So you need extra care when selecting tamarind. Tamarind comes in many forms, like in pods, seedless blocks of pulp, or blocks of pulp with seed.
- Prunes: Prunes are dried plums and have many varieties. The one which I used were soft and used in biryani making. Not thick or fleshy.
- Sugar: Now if you use sour imli, as I did. You need to add a lot of sugar to balance the sourness of imli. But IF you use sweeter and ripened imli, use less than half the sugar only. Doing a taste test would be the best way to be sure. Mix some water with syrup and then do taste test.
- Cumin: Roasted and grounded cumin taste amazing and add a lovely boost to the Imli Aloo Bukharay Ka Sharbat.
- Black salt: Black salt helps balance the tartness of imli as well as help add the salt of the body lost by perspiration in summers.
- More option: Ginger and mint would be a great addition to the drink. Adding this tamarind syrup with soda would make a delicious tamarind soda drink. You can also add soaked basil seeds if you like.
Tamarind contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and beneficial plant compounds. The polyphenols in tamarind have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These can protect against diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Find more information here.
Prunes have anti-inflammatory properties. It is good for heart and bones health and also help digestion. Find more about prunes here.
How to make Imli Aloo Bukharay Ka Sharbat?
Making Imli Aloo Bukharay Ka Sharbat takes some time but the syrup can be stored for long in the fridge, so the effort is totally worth it. We need pulp for the recipe with or without seeds is ok. If using tamarind pods first deshell and devein to remove the pulp from the pods. Weight and use in the recipe below.
In the visual presentation, I made double of the below recipe. I recommend doubling the recipe by selecting 2X button as you can store the syrup for 2 months in the fridge or freeze it for 6 months.
- Take tamarind pulp, dried prunes and water in a large pot. Bring it to boil first then cover and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat so pulp softens.
- I prefer mashing it a bit with potato masher. Although the seeds won't get mesh but this help separate the pulp from the seeds. If you allow this to cool, you can do this with hands too.
- Transfer this mixture to to a strainer with a bowl underneath. Extract the pulp from it.
- Transfer the pulp back to the pot. Take remnant in the bowl and add more water. Mix well to remove remaining pulp.
- Place the strainer on the pot and strain again to remove any remaining pulp.
- Mix sugar, cumin, black in the pot and bring it to boil. Let the sugar melt completely.
- Let the syrup cool complete then ladle in the bottles with help of a funnel. Store in the fridge for 2 months.
- To make sharbat place syrup and ice in a jug. Then add water as needed. Do a taste test and adjust as needed. Serve Imli Aloo Bukharay Ka Sharbat chilled with loads of ice.
Hungry for more? Check these.
Imli Aloo Bukharay Ka Sharbat
- 125 gram (4.5 oz) tamarind pulp with seeds, see notes
- 125 grams (4.5 oz) prunes
- 3 cups water, divided
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1.5 teaspoon black salt , or any salt
- 1-3 cups sugar, 3 cup for sour tamarind or 1 cup sugar if using sweet tamarind, see notes
- Take tamarind pulp, dried prunes and 2 cups water in a large pot.
- Bring it to boil first then cover and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
- Mash the mixture with potato masher to separate pulp from seeds. Protip: If you allow this mixture to cool, you can mash with hands too.
- Strain the mixture through a coarse sieve to extract the pulp from it.
- Transfer remnant seeds to a bowl and mix 1 cup water. Mix well to dissolve remaining pulp. Strain again and discard the seeds.
- Transfer extracted pulp back to the pot and mix in sugar, cumin, black salt. Bring it to boil and simmer until sugar melts completely. Remove from heat and let it cool.Protip: Start will less sugar if unsure. Do a taste test by mixing some water with the prepared syrup and adjust as needed.
- Now, ladle the syrup in the bottles with the help of a funnel. Store in the fridge for up to 2 months.
- To make sharbat place syrup and ice in a jug. Then add water as needed. Do a taste test and adjust as needed. Serve chilled with loads of ice.
- Tamarind comes in many forms, like in pods, seedless blocks of pulp, or blocks of pulp with seed. If substituting with seedless pulp take just 75 grams.
- Sugar: Amount of sugar will vary upon variety of tamarind used. Ripened brown and thick pods give sweet tamarind. Greenish brown pod have unripened sour tamarind. You can taste it to know which variety you have in hand. While sweet tamarind can be eaten raw, sour tamarind is too tart to be eaten as fruit.
- Fresh ginger and mint would be a great addition to the drink.
- Mixing this tamarind syrup with soda and water would make a delicious tamarind soda drink.
- You can also add soaked basil seeds if you like.