To all my readers who are not from India and are not familiar with condiments and drinks in India: I will be introducing all of you to lot of new ingredients which I will give brief details about.Inspiration for this recipe was from two very delicious drinks that I used to love in Mumbai whenever we visited there. First one was Kala Khatta which is basically a drink made from Indian Blueberries (Kala Jamun), sugar and black salt. This syrup is poured over the snow cones in India and sold by street vendors. Since Jamun is not available all year round in India they use a ready made Kala Khatta mix that comes in packages with flavored concentrate and a separate package of salt mix.
You can get this package from local Indian grocers. I saw that Amazon sells it too. You have to add your own sugar to it.
The second drink that inspired to come up with this recipe is the fruit cocktail that you get in Mumbai at a local restaurant in Chaupati. It is smoothie blend of fresh fruit juices like pineapple, apples, watermelon, orange juice, and black grape juice with lot of lime juice and again black salt. ( I just posted this recipe before posting this one)
I had to make a alcohol free drink for our friend party. I had made this before for a party at my house and for another work party several years ago, and everyone had loved it, so I decided to make this again. Since all the fresh fruits are not available all the time I came up with this recipe which was blend of two drinks that I love and never miss to have when I go to India: Kalakhatta and The fruit Cocktail. Since I had to make it in bulk using I opted to used frozen juice concentrates and canned fruit and keeping watermelon as base for fresh fruit. I made this drink for about 90 -100 people, if you want to make small quantity you may use fresh fruits (as per previous recipe) The main ingredients that give a different flavor to both of the drink are watermelon, pineapple, grapes, lime juice and black salt, and let me tell you that everyone does not like the taste of Kala namak due to it pungent taste that comes from high sulfur content in this pink rock salt.
Kala Namak or Himalayan Black Salt is also known as Sulemani namak, black salt, or kala noon, is a type of rock salt, salty and pungent-smelling condiment used in South Asia. The condiment is composed largely of Sodium Chloride with several other components lending the salt its color and smell. The smell is mainly due to its sulphur content. Due to the presence of Greigite (Fe3S4, Iron sulphide) in the mineral, it forms brownish pink to dark violet translucent crystals when whole, and, when ground into a powder, it is light purple to pink in color.
Traditionally, the salt was transformed from its raw natural forms into commercially sold kala namak through a reductive chemical process that transforms some of the naturally occurring sodium sulphate of the raw salt into pungent hydrogen sulfide and sodium sulfide. This involves firing the raw salts in a furnace for 24 hours while sealed in a ceramic jar with charcoal along with small quantities of Harad seeds, aamla bahera, babul bark and Sajji. The fired salt is then cooled, stored, and aged prior to sale. Kala namak is prepared in this manner in Northern India . The salt crystals appear black in color, and are usually ground to a fine powder which is pink in color.
Although the kala namak can be produced from natural salts with the required compounds, it is common to now manufacture it synthetically. This is done through combining ordinary sodium chloride admixed with smaller quantities of Sodium sulphate, sodium bisulphate and ferric sulphate which is then chemically reduced with charcoal in a furnace. Reportedly, it is also possible to create similar products through reductive heat treatment of sodium chloride, 5-10 percent of sodium carbonate, sodium sulphate, and some sugar. That is why before adding to any recipe I always dissolve it in little water and strain it through fine strainer, in case it has small pieces of rock contamination.
Here are the ingredients I used this time:
- 1 small water melon cut in small pieces
- 2 packets of Kala Khatta
- 1 large can of pineapple juice (48 oz)
- 1 can of crushed pineapple (20 oz)
- 1 can of Lychees (20 ox)
- Juice from 10 fresh limes
- 1 small jar of apple sauce unsweetened
- 1 can of frozen pink or regular lemonade or limeade
- 1 can of frozen orange juice
- 1 can of frozen concord grape juice
- 1 can of frozen apple-raspberry juice
- 1 can of frozen cranberry juice
- 1 can of cranberry sauce with cranberries in it (this is readily available during Fall season and during Thanksgiving)
- 2 cans of sliced ripe mangoes (you may use fresh mango if in season) You may used canned peaches if mangoes not available.
- Juice from 2-3 fresh lemons
- 3 tablespoon of black salt
- 1 and half tables spoon of ground cumin powder (or to taste, can omit this too if not available)
- 1/4 cup of sugar (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup of instant ice tea powder with lemon
* Thaw all the canned frozen juices.
* Make the Kala Katta with sugar and water, with 2 cups of water, don't use amount of water as per instructions, those instuctions are if you are making just kala khatta drink.
* Cut watermelon in cubes.
* Using a hand blender in a large deep vessel blend all the fruit with its juices to fine pulp.
* Add all the thawed frozen juices to it, blend until smooth.
* Add watermelon and Kala khatta and again with hand blender blend all of the fruit until smooth pulpy liquid.
* Dissolve the black salt in some water and strain it with fine strainer or cloth.
* Add salt and lime and lemon juice to the drink.
* Add ice tea powder.
* Add cumin powder
* You may strain the juice if don't want pulpy consistency, I like it little thick and pulpy therefore I don't like my strained.
* Transfer them in large empty jars, and refrigerate.
* Serve chilled over crushed ice.
* This sweet and savory drink is not for everyone's palate, but I love it and so did all my guests and that is why I wanted to add this to My Favorite Recipes Collection :)
* It is versatile recipe and you can add or delete any ingredient you like except the black salt and lime and lemon juices.
* You can modify the amount of sugar you like, and consistency of it thick vs dilute to your taste and liking.
* You can use as many fresh fruits as you like, I like it a little pulpier version better than the dilute one, so in past I have used fresh berries in it too.
*Remember this is a bulk recipe for 90-100 people.
Kala Namak Info source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kala_Namak
Photograph of Kala namak source : https://wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/68/Black_salt.jpg/220px-Black_salt.jpg
Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.