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Sharbat Badam (Almond Sharbat)

2 oz (57 grams) almonds; shelled
2 oz melon, cucumber, or pumpkin seeds
8 green cardamoms (illaichi)
1/4 tsp almond essence
1 1/2 lb sugar; yes, 1 1/2 pounds!
1 1/4 pint water; divided use
1 Tbsp ruh kewra or 4 drops of kewra essence
3 small potassium metabisulphite granules

Soak the almonds and seeds overnight in cold water sufficient to
cover them. Peel the skins and grind (use a stone slab or a mortar
and pestle that does not smell of spices) into a smooth paste whilst
adding 4 ounces of water every now and then. Strain the paste
through muslin. Reserve juice.

Grind the leftover paste with 3 ounces water, strain and repeat
this process a second time. Add this juice to reserved juice. Then
grind the leftover pulp using 3/4 pint water. Strain; mix in sugar,
stir and cook on slow fire til the syrup thickens to one-thread

Add 1/2 pint of the reserved juice and the extract of the cardamoms
prepared by grinding them along with their skins and a little water.
Simmer and remove the scum over the boiling syrup. Boil for a minute
or two; remove from the fire. Strain through muslin and cool.

Add ruh kewra or essence, the almond essence and potassium
metabisulphite dissolved in a small quantity of syrup. Pour into
sterilised bottles and cork with cleaned and boiled tops and seal
with paraffin wax.

Notes: You can leave out melon seeds and double the quantity of
almonds. Potassium metabisulphite is a chemical preservative. This
recipe doesn't mention refrigeration as a means of storing this
syrup; a western adaptation would be to leave out the chemical and
store the syrup in the refrigerator.

While neither this recipe nor the cookbook mentions diluting this,
I assume this is a syrup concentrate meant to be diluted before


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