Saturday, April 27, 2013

'Bael also known as

'Bael also known as Bengal quince, stone apple or wood apple, is a species of tree native to India. It is present throughout Southeast Asia as a naturalized species.
The tree is considered to be sacred by Hindus. Its fruits are used in traditional medicine and as a food throughout its range.
Bael occurs in dry forests on hills and plains of northern, central and southern India.
The Bael fruit has a smooth, woody shell with a green, gray, or yellow peel. It takes about 11 months to ripen on the tree and can reach the size of a large grapefruit .
The shell is so hard it must be cracked with a hammer or machete. The fibrous yellow pulp is very aromatic.

It has been described as tasting of marmalade and smelling of roses.
The fruit is eaten fresh or dried. If fresh, the juice is strained and sweetened to make a drink similar to lemonade. It can be made into sharbat or Bela pana, a refreshing drink made of the pulp with water, sugar, and lime juice, mixed, left to stand a few hours, strained, and put on ice. One large bael fruit may yield five or six liters of sharbat. Also The leaves and small shoots are eaten as salad greens. The fruit is also used in religious rituals. In Hinduism the tree is sacred. It is used in the worship of Shiva, who is said to favor the leaves.

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