Wood apple juice/Belada hannina panaka is a seasonal delicacy. A tasty and healthy refreshing traditional drink made with a combination of wood apple and jaggery, on festival of Ramanavmi in south India. The ‘Bael’ is the fruit of the Bael tree which in Kannada it is called ‘belada hannu’, panaka means a drink prepared with jaggery. Wood Apple is good source of proteins, iron, phosphorus, calcium … which is more popular as medicine than as food.
Wood apple / Belada hannu – 1 ripe
Jaggery – 1/2 cup grated (adjust to your taste)
Lemon juice – 1 tsp Optional
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp freshly crushed
Break the outer cover of wood apple remove the pulp in it,
Add jaggery in water, mash the pulp nicely with hand/ with a potato masher, add it to the jaggery water, mix well until jaggery dissolves completely.
Add 2 or 3 cup of water (chilled), check the taste add more jaggery if necessary. Add freshly crushed cardamom, stir. Strain remove the seeds in it (optional), serve chilled.
Traditionally Belada hanina panaka is also prepared with the combination of musk melon, wood apple, jaggery and cardamom powder, with fresh lemon juice, which makes a delicious combination. In Southern India, Belada Panaka/Bel Fruit Juice, neer Majjige, Kosambari is served on Rama Navami Hindu festival day, Birth day of Lord Rama.