Fah Thai Magazine Jul-Aug 2018

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OVERTURES

A TASTE OF THAILAND

To Cure a Thirst

In Hinduism, the bael or wood apple tree

is considered sacred and belongs to the

god Shiva. In Thailand, this symbolic tree

represents Chai Nat Province and has

always been planted in Thai households

since the old days, due to its medicinal

properties and nutritional benefits. Every

part of the bael tree can be turned into

something useful — its young leaves for

instance, can be enjoyed as a salad. Its

outer layer, roots, and trunk can be used

for curing a cold as well.

The bael fruit is actually the most

significant part. Green when raw, the

fruit turns yellow and produces a distinct

aroma once ripe. Its soft flesh comes

with a delicious sweet flavour, which is

a refreshing option for imbibing. Apart

from enjoying the fruit’s freshness, it can

be turned into dessert, like that of a bael

fruit cake.

Its ripe fruits meanwhile can be

further sweetened and enjoyed with an

easy recipe. Just mix sugar and water

together and heat them until the sugar

dissolves. Then add sliced, ripe bael fruit

and continue to stir until the pieces

become cooked. Ripe bael fruits, once

cut and dried or baked, star as the main

ingredient of a beneficial bael drink.

The drink can be enjoyed either

hot or cold. Those who fall in love with

the scent of a bael fruit will love it even

more as hot tea, since the aroma

intensifies with heat. Iced bael juice also

is a top choice for summer, for thanks

to the fruit’s nature, it can quench thirst

and reduce sweating.

Ingredients

• 6 pieces of sliced dry bael fruit

• 8 cups of water

• ¾ cup of sugar

• Small ice cubes

• 1 piece of dry bael fruit to decorate

Instructions

Clean the dry bael fruit pieces

with water.

Separately add water into a pot on

medium heat. When the water boils, add

the bael fruit pieces, keeping them in a full

boil for 4-5 minutes.

Lower the heat, then continue to

simmer until the water turns darker and

the bael fruit pieces soften and take on

a lighter colour.

Once the juice mixture happens, add

sugar and continue to boil for a little while

until the sugar dissolves.

Turn off the heat and filter only the

liquid. The rest of the bael fruit can be kept

in the refrigerator for next time.

Leave it to cool down for a while. Add

ice cubes and decorate the glass with the

dry bael fruit slice.

TIPS

Before boiling the bael

fruit, grill or stir-fry the

fruit in low heat. This will

give a more intensified

aroma to add depth to

its flavour.

WORDS SARITA URUPONGSA

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