Thursday, 18 June 2015

Rooh Afza Syrup Recipe

roohafza-syrup-summer-Pakistan-India-dessert-drinks-beverages-hot

Summer is at its peak in hot countries and the sun is busy throwing tantrums. When it's hot, plain water is not enough to quench your thirst, you might need a little sugar to up your energy levels and what can be more alluring than a syrup made with  some cooling herbs and spices. This perfectly balanced mixture of cooling herbs and spices is what we call Rooh Afza.


Rooh afza is a crimson colored syrup mostly popular in Pakistan India and Bangladesh. Usually, it is mixed in water, milk, ice cream or custards. It can also be used in a wide variety of dessert recipes. I once made some biscuits using it and they came out really well.

Traditionally rooh afza was made with herbal extracts, fruits and aromatic spices, but these days when I  look into the ingredient list,  I find a list of chemicals along with sugar as the main ingredient.
My mother's friend once made this recipe at our home and it tasted just like the real stuff. 

I was too young to be interested in learning recipes at that age, but I was fascinated to see a lady prepare a so popular drink that people could only find in shops. At that time, people were not interested in other fizzy drinks but only Rooh Afza which was used to entertain guests and to quench thirst.

My mother didn't have the recipe that her friend made. So I had to do some guesswork and came with my own version which surprisingly enough was quite similar in taste to the rooh afza that we buy in shops. I have used  only cardamom, cinnamon, and of course katira tree sap. I have also used rose water and screw pine essence.

The ingredients are pretty easy to find so you will easily make Rooh Afza syrup in your home. After you have mastered the art of making Rooh Afza do take some time to check out my recipe for another cooling and refreshing drink called Jal Zeera.

You can also watch this video tutorial for making the homemade rooh-afza recipe


Ingredients:

1 1/2 liter water
750g sugar
3 tbsp katira gum plus 1 cup water
1 tsp cardamom crushed
4-5 pcs cinnamon
screw pine essence as needed
rose water as needed
1 tsp red food color

Method:

Soak the gum for a few hrs in 1 cup water, set aside. I don't recommend soaking overnight as some people do because when I soaked the gum overnight it wouldn't come off and finally when it did came off it got stuck to the pan. To make a long story short, I had to work very hard all evening trying to scrub it off the pan as a result of which I missed my favourite episode of crime stories.


2. Place a heavy based pan on top of the stove with water and sugar, add the cinnamon and cardamom. Cook till a syrup consistency is reached.


After a few hours, the soaked gum will start to swell up and the water will become darker, as shown.


Pour the soaked gum into the sugar syrup.


Cook for another 20 minutes on a very low heat. Add the rose water.


Add the screw pine essence.


Place on the stove once again on low heat. Cook till  the temperature rises to 115 degrees. The longer you cook the thicker will be the resulting syrup. I like the syrup to be of pourable consistency so I stop cooking at 115 degrees.


Finally add the red color and place the pan on the stove once again. Cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.


After leaving the mixture at cool to room temperature, use a sieve to strain into sterilized bottles.

Usage: Dissolve 2-3 tbsp in 1 glass of water to make a drink.
Hope you will try to make this recipe for homemeade Rooh Afza Syrup.

Check out my Jal Zeera recipe for another refreshing and healthy Summer drink.
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