The basil seeds are available in every household in India. However, they are usually used for medicinal purposes or for worshiping the Hindu deities on daily basis. To my astonishment; I discovered their usage in the preparation of the following items also by few individuals:

a) Beverages


b) Ice-creams and Kulfis

In this article, I would be focusing exclusively on the consumption of the basil seeds in Kashmir Valley. In this region, these seeds are called BABRI BEOUL. The main reason is that Babur introduced these seeds in the state. The families staying in the Kashmir prepare a temperature called BABRI BEOUL SHERBAT. Being a food historian, it was enlightened to me that Babur hailed from Farghana region of Afghanistan. While researching more on this, I discovered that the Afghanis prepare a very simple beverage called SHARBAT-E-RAYHAN (the basil seed drink). Consequently; I discovered the similarities and differences between both of the beverages.

The similarities are the following:

a) Both the beverages use the Chia or basil seeds for the preparation.

b) It is sweet by taste.

c) It is consumed to prevent the dehydration in the summer months or the fast days during the Ramzaan.

d) The basic steps for the preparation are same for both the beverages like water, sugar, basil seeds, soaking of the seeds in warm water, etc.

e) It is served absolutely chilled to the guests.

Apart from this, one might observe the differences in both the varieties of the beverages. They are enumerated in the following manner:

a) Babri Beoul Sherbat is exclusively Kashmiri inflation and not found anywhere else in India. The soaked seeds are added to the diluted milk during the fasting days.

On the other hand, Sherbat-e-Rayhan is added to the cold water.

b) In Babri Beoul Sherbat, one might add dry coconut pieces, dry fruits, etc. This is meant only for the taste.

In Sherbat-e-Rayhan, only rose water and sugar is added and served to the guests.

c) The Babri Beoul Sherbat is time consuming consumption. The preparations are made in the early morning hours and served to the guests in the afternoon or the evening hours (before eating something else).

The Sherbat-e-Rayhan is very easy to prepare and is made instantly. It is not at all cumbersome by nature.

The excellent nature of both the beverages is the fact that they are prepared at homes by the individuals and consumed to fight against the dehydration. This is the natural source to beat the scorching heat of the summer months. There is a simple implication involved: SIMPLE NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES TO AVOID THE DEHYDRATION.