We spoke to a chef from Syria who gave his stamp of approval
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With summer making way for the monsoons, and the season of fasting upon us, the time is ripe to travel across borders to bring home drink recipes as a toast to these transitions.
We caught up with Chef Mohammad Al Shamali of the renowned restaurant Qbara in Dubai. The chef hails from Syria and shared some unique Syrian drink recommendations that are a must-have during Ramadan:

KERKEDEH
Al Shamali informed us that Kerkedeh is a popular Syrian drink during Ramadan and it is one of his favourites. This Syrian drink is made with Hibiscus (aka karkade) and seasoned with spices. Detoxifying and nourishing, this Syrian drink can be consumed hot or cold. In Syria, hibiscus flowers (karkade flowers) are dried in the sun for a week and then cooked with cinnamon and cloves. This mixture is carefully strained and stored to be had as a drink during the holy month.

An adaptation of the recipe of this Syrian drink is as follows:

Ingredients
2 tsp hibiscus tea (karkade tea) 
A small piece of cinnamon, roughly grounded
3 or 4 cloves, roughly grounded
2 large cups water

Method
1. Bring the water to boil and add the spices.
2. Turn off the flame and add the tea.
3. Let it simmer and serve hot with sugar or honey
4. You can also refrigerate the tea and serve it cold.

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JALLAB
A sweet and refreshing concoction, it is a tradition to drink this fruit-infused thirst quencher immediately after the fast is broken. Grape molasses and dates are the basic ingredients of this Syrian drink that are believed to be nourishing as they provide energy after a full day of going without food and drink.

We have an adaption of the recipe of this Syrian drink right here:

Ingredients
1 and a half tbsp Grape Syrup
1 and a half tbsp Date Syrup
1 tsp Rose Water
Half tsp Pine Nuts
Half tsp Raisins
1 glass of crushed ice

Method
1. In a blender, add the crushed ice, syrups and rose water.
2. Blend all the ingredients.
3. Pour in a tall glass and garnish with pine nut and raisin.

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We have two Syrian drink recipes that can be easily adapted for the Indian kitchen, however there are other Syrian drink that is equally interesting but must be left for a time when a visit to the Middle-East is part of the travel itinerary.
Al Shamali spoke about a barley-infused Syrian drink called Erek Sous. Seasoned with herbs and fortified with nutrients, this Syrian drink is believed that it gives the right amount of energy while one fasts.

We are looking for more recipes for the season of fasting and feasting; share yours in the comments section.

Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

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