Ellu (sesame) Juice: Tale of Indian Summers

By • March 20, 2016 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a simple five ingredient recipe that makes a healthy and cooling summer drink , Ellu Juice.
This is a popular summer drink from Mangalore city in Southern India. Ellu literally translates to sesame in the local Tulu language. Coconut and Sesame are a match made in heaven and when jaggery is added to this duo, it becomes pure symphony. Jaggery is unrefined, non-distilled molasses obtained from juice of sugarcane or date palm. Jaggery is considered to be healthier than sugar as it is more complex form of sugar and hence it is digested slower than sugar and releases energy slowly and not instantaneously. This provides energy for a longer time and is not harmful for the body. Jaggery is found in many South-Asian/Indian stores. If you do not find jaggery, you can substitute with palm sugar or brown sugar found in supermarkets. This juice tastes best when chilled and can be made ahead and refrigerated for upto a week in the fridge.
Sesame juice always teleports me back into my little village called Belmannu in Southern India. As part of our Sunday morning ritual me and my Grandmother would go to the nearby town to enjoy freshly made hot breakfast in a family run 100-year-old cafe. Breakfast was usually accompanied with choice of tea, coffee or sesame juice and I would always choose Ellu juice over tea or coffee as it was refreshing with creamy but nutty flavour to it. Grandmother would encourage me to choose Ellu juice over other beverages explaining to me that it has cooling effect on our body and anti-cancer properties packed with anti-oxidants; turns out that according to many health articles this is true. Grandmothers’ can never be wrong; don’t you agree?
I hope you enjoy this drink as much as me and my Grandma did. Recipe is inspired by the little café in town and Udupi-recipes.com.
Wandering Haze

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Makes 2 -3 glasses

  • White sesame seeds cups 1/4
  • Fresh/frozen coconut, grated cups 1/4
  • Milk, chilled cups 1
  • Cardamom , de-seeded teaspoons 1
  • Jaggery, finely grated 1/2
  1. Rinse well and soak the white sesame seeds in a bowl of water for 1 to 2 hours
  2. Drain sesame seeds and add to the blender along with grated coconut, jaggery, 1/2 cup of milk and cardamom seeds. Grind everything to a fine paste. Do not add water at this stage.
  3. Transfer the blended concoction to a fine sieve or muslin cloth to extract the juice into a large bowl. Now add the remaining milk and 1 cup water to dilute. You can adjust quantity of water, jaggery according to your taste.
  4. PLEASE NOTE - * If you do not prefer grainy texture then use muslin cloth to extract juice otherwise results from a sieve will be fine too. * If you do not find fresh or frozen grated coconut then feel free to try it with tinned form of coconut milk however flavour might slightly vary. * This juice is best when chilled. You can make this ahead and chill it in refrigerated or simply add some ice cubes if you don't get enough time to chill it.

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