Herale Hannu Paanaka

Makes about 4-5 glasses

Things you'll need:

4 medium size Herale Hannu / smooth skinned citron (makes about 1/2 cup juice)

1 cup grated dark brown jaggery

3- 1/2 cups drinking water

1 tsp lemon juice (1/2 small lemon)

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, skinned and crushed

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp honey

big pinch of salt

big pinch of cardamom ground (2-3 pods)

pinch of saffron, powdered in a mortar and pestle

other:
citrus juicer ~ optional

How it's done:

Wash the Citrons and towel fry. Extract juice using a citrus juicer or squeeze by hand. Makes about 1/2 cup of juice.

Pour Citron juice to a large mixing bowl or jug. Add crushed jaggery (the quantity should be enough to cover the juice completely.). Squeeze lemon juice to this.

Grind Saffron to a powder in a mini mortar and pestle and add to the juices. Sprinkle ground cardamom and add freshly crushed ginger as well.

Sprinkle the salt, drizzle the honey and add brown sugar.

Pour in the water and stir to mix well.

Taste and adjust the sweetness as required. Since everything depends on the fruits, taste may vary. Add more juice or water to suit your taste. Jaggery neutralizes salty, sour and hot tastes. Adjust accordingly.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Notes

While buying Citron, buy fresh looking unblemished semi yellow fruits with smooth skin. Green Citrons aren't as juicy and ripe.

Use lemon juice only if Citron isn't tangy enough.

Brown sugar can be used as a substitute for Jaggery.

Optionally you can even add ground black pepper if you like it.

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