April 4, 2014

Sattu ka sharbat - Meetha aur Namkeen | Two yummy beverages from Bihar | Summer Coolers

Not long ago (read about 2 decades ago), Bihar to the rest of the country was unknown unless you were talking about rampant buffaloes, another backward state with near to zero infrastructure, and a lot of Mafia dons.

Till the fodder scam exploded in our faces.  And then we took cognizance again, of an existing Chief Minister of that state proposing his own wife to contest the seat, and more importantly win it.

And a few years ago, as the former Railways minister waxed eloquent on how he reformed the Railways and brought it out of its supposed red balance sheet, and so on, it brought to focus how much can be really done with political will. Errr, with the Indian elections looming near, I dare say anything that could land me in trouble J))

Of course a bit of geography and history on Bihar before we move to today’s post..

Ancient Bihar was a centre of power, learning and culture in ancient and classical India. From Magadha arose India's first and greatest empire, the Maurya empire as well as one of the world's most widely adhered-to religions, Buddhism.Magadha empires, notably under the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, unified large parts of South Asia under a central rule. Its capital Patna, earlier known as Pataliputra, was an important centre of Indian civilization. Close to Patna, Nalandaand Vikramshila were centres of learning established in the 5th and 8th century respectively in Bihar, and are counted as one of the oldest international universities of the time. Bihari cuisine is predominantly vegetarian because traditional Bihar society, influenced by Buddhist and Hindu values of non-violence, did not eat eggs, chicken, fish and other animal products. However there is also a tradition of meat-eating, and fish dishes are especially common due to the number of rivers in Bihar, such as the Sone, Gandak and Ganges. There are also numerous Bihari meat dishes, with chicken and mutton being the most common.Dairy products are consumed frequently throughout the year, with common foods including yogurt known as dahi and also buttermilk known as mattha, ghee, lassi and butter. The cuisine of Bihar is similar to a great extent to North Indian cuisine but has an influence from other East Indian Cuisine (for example like Bengali cuisine). It is highly seasonal, with watery foods such as watermelon and Sherbet made of pulp of the wood-apple fruit being consumed mainly in the summer months and dry foods, preparations made of sesame seeds,poppy seeds in the winter months. 
(source : Wikipedia.org)
Location Map of Bihar

Well, what does it all have to do with today’s food post. Well, that’s a long story too – but to cut it short : ever since BM for Indian States was announced, Bihar to me was all about Litti Chokha and Makuni (sattu ka stuffed paratha) – I must have bookmarked atleast a dozen versions to make it. But never got to make it, owing to lack of time and no guinea pigs to feed at home :D

And then Sattu (roasted gram flour) was to the foray. Till I discovered that the Sattu is a coolant by itself and is used in beverages. Now that’s something I could make instantly (considering I had about 10 states to conquer – cook, click, edit and post in less than a week.). The upside was that we all loved it tremendously. This is a beverage that will be welcome through the year too – quick, nice and enjoyable. I think this is very close to the Paanakam (sherbet made of lemons or musk melon) down south or the Panha (made in most parts of India, esp the west and North)

So, I present Sattu ka sharbat – Meetha and Namkeen (Roasted gram beverage – sweet and savoury versions)

PS : Traditionally this is made with sattu (roasted gram flour). But I am given to understand it can be a mixture of pearl barley (aka jau in Bihar / Hindi) and mixed with roasted gram floor to increase the coolant properties multifold.
BM : 39 ~ Indian State : Bihar
Recipe : Sattu ka sharbat – Meetha aur Namkeen
Dish type :  Beverage
Spice Level : Medium
Accompaniment : None

Prep Time : 15-20 mins, Cooking time : NIL ; Serves : 2

(Please note all ingredients don’t have any fixed quantity, but more suited to taste)
  • Roasted gram flour – 6 TBSP (divided use)
  • Roasted pearl barley flour – 1 tsp
  • Jaggery powdered – 2 TBSP
  • Salt – to taste
  • Crushed Ice – lots of it
  • Chilled water – 2 glasses (about 240 ml)
  • Roasted cumin powder
  • Coriander and mint leaves – few
  • Black salt – to taste
  • Ginger juice – 1 TBSP
  • Black pepper – optional
  • Green chillies - optional

How to make the Channe ka sattu :
Take roasted gram (with or without skin) and powder them not slightly coarsely in a spice blender. Store and use. Apparently sattu ka paratha is also made using this powder along with spices as a stuffing

(A)   For the sweet version :
Take chilled water and add powdered jaggery. Mix well and strain. Now add sattu to it, a pinch of black salt and the yummy sweet sattu sharbat is ready. Add crushed ice as required.

(B) For the savoury version:
Mix 3 TBSP of sattu and 1 tsp roasted barley powder in ice cold water. Add a squeeze of lemon, black pepper, roasted cumin powder, coriander mint and ginger juice.
Optional add-ons are sliced chillies and black pepper powder.
Mix well, stir and serve with crushed ice.


  1. Unless you get sattu flour readymade, if making it at home make smaller quantities for better shelf life
  2. Sweet sherbet with sattu can also be made with castor sugar or palm sugar or even cane sugar- I just used jaggery.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 39


  1. Wow! Had never heard of this one. Should save it for summer. Nice one.

  2. sweet and sour!! so refreshing!!

  3. That is a very interesting way of using sattu flour.Never thought it could be used in a drink, sounds refreshing & delicious.

  4. So, first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Bihar is politician in your intro. :) Sattu seems to be the mother of all ingredients in Bihari cuisine. Refreshing sharbats.

  5. oh my so much of info , very well written post and fabulous drink perfect for summer :) Both the sharbat looks very refreshing , I wud love to finish the both !!

  6. Nice info and wonderful write up Kalyani..BTW both the sweet ad savory version of sharbat looks so refreshing and inviting....

  7. Never heard of sattu ka sherbet! sounds interesting!

  8. Awesome writeup Kalyani!! sattu sarbat looks soo refreshing..

  9. Kalyani this is so new to most of us..like both the versions. .very different. .with the temperature soaring you need loads of drinks and this one seems to attract.

  10. Never knew about Sattu in drinks. Totally new...will def try out.

  11. you actually made this..i was in two minds unsure about how it would taste, now that you have tried it i will definitely mak an attempt and btw the idea of pearl barley is top notch, will do same

  12. I love sweet sattu sherbet , now I will try this namkeen version too !

  13. When I posted sattu recipe one of my readers from Bihar left a comment that he makes a drink with sattu which is divine. But I din't go looking for the recipe. I think he mentioned this. Both the sweet and savoury versions look yumm...

  14. When I posted sattu recipe one of my readers from Bihar left a comment that he makes a drink with sattu which is divine. But I din't go looking for the recipe. I think he mentioned this. Both the sweet and savoury versions look yumm...

  15. Such an interesting drinks, i seriously want to make that sweet sattu ka sharbat.

  16. That's really fantastic Kalyani..guess I wasn't adventurous as well..now that you have done, I would proceed as well..:)

  17. Wow Kalyani these will be welcome in my house. Will have to make the sweet sharbat in sugar though if i want any takers. Thanks I got a newer recipe to try on my 2 nieces this summer.:)

  18. Refreshing sherbet Kalyani.. would be perfect for the scorching summer in Chennai. I enjoy your writing... Nice..

  19. Love the meetha and aur namkeen sharbet...Reminds me of neer moar and panagam that we make for Rama navami :) Perfect for summer!

  20. biharis really love their sattu flour even in beverage. must be so refreshing

  21. I have heard about this drink , but never made. Looks cool, adding barley powder sounds very healthy. Must try!!

  22. That is a refreshingly good drink .

  23. I made this for another state and have to try the sweet version.Looks so good!

  24. My husband lived in Bihar for a while and he keeps telling me that people consume this sattu ka sharbath sold on streetcarts. It seems he wasn't courageous enough to try the streetfare and I was assuming that people mixed the sattu powder with water and drank. now I see that lot of ingredients go into it.


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