Friday, May 09, 2014

Real Kala Khatta is Pink!

The pink is the final diluted drink, in the middle syrup plus ice, the last glass is the color of Jamun concentrate or Kala Khatta.

Want some Jamun?

This week Dad brought home Jamuns along with his regular fruit haul from the Nerul market. My first question was how much did they cost? Must be expensive? 

Yes in Mumbai they are expensive at Rs. 45 per 250 gms. So the day was about Jamuns eating them, staining the tongue with them. Posing with them for 365project and feeling impish about clicking the stained purple tongue for the day's submission. But better sense prevaled.

It was a day filled with memories of walking under the Coconut and Bettlenut shaded paths in Thal and going Jamun and Karvanda hunting with friends. They would be ripe and fallen below the tree, we did not even have to take the effort at throwing stones at the fruit to fell them. We would pick the fallen fruit carefully. Ensuring no insect had bitten it, a little smash is ok, infact it is desirable for a squishy fruit gauranteed sweet juiciness.

Then there were days of walking down with MJ Kaka to VT from home in Fort. Next to Canon Pav bhaaji there used to be a sarbat stall that did roaring business. (I think both  still are Mumbai landmarks!). They sold the best Kala khatta! The location was prime oppositive VT station along the Azad maidan. It mostly would be a reward for studying well and accompanying uncle to J B Petit library for a afternoon read. You guessed it right this 4 - 5 o'clock drink was Amrit for me.

Now the Kala khatta that I remember from childhood was from that cold drink shop or the one made from Rasna or that Rajput Kaki made with some magical potions at home and bottles of dark almost wine black concentrate would be stashed away in the fridge door. Here is a post that voices eloquently the past that we cherish about "I love you Rasna" and the girl with the Fountain ponytail. 

Cut now I dread anything artificial. So I decided to make the real Kala Khatta. I had Jamuns in hand and I was not going to let go this opportunity. Before summer ends you want to give it a try with me?


100gms Jamuns
400 gms sugar
2 limes
3 teaspoons pink salt
500 ml water

First wash the Jamun fruit. Put it in a deep sauce pan or cauldron. Add 500ml water to it. Boil till done on medium heat. The Jamuns will start disintegrating and the water will get a purple color from it.

Next add the sugar and boil till you get a sticky thick syrup and a darker shade of purple.

At this point add juice of two limes into the syrup, it will clarify. Add the pink salt and put off the heat, you do not want to loose the sulphorous smell and taste of the salt.

Let the syrup cool and then strain it thru a juice sieve or a coarse mesh. This should trap the seeds and skins from the jamun and seeds of lime too.

Fill in a clean jar and store in the fridge. Stays well upto 3-4 months. This is your concentrated Jamun syrup or Kala Khatta concentrate.

To serve

Fill glass with 1-2 tablespoons of concentrated Jamun syrup. Add as many ice cubes as you like and top up with water to fill the glass to a little below the brim.

(Note : pl. use the concentrate in the proportion you like to get the sweetness and saltiness of your choice. )

Stir n shake.  Lo! there you are, making your own real Kala Khatta. Suprise surprise it's pink!

Real fruit juice makes a big difference and it's not a big deal to make your own concentrates for this summer. Hope you will dump all those artificial packets and the convenience of 1-2-3 for your health's sake.


  1. Indeed it is beautiful, pink in cheer of the little princesses we have!

  2. You know ... just yesterday I was telling B that I must taste those ice golas at least once .. I have heard so much the word 'kala khatta' on tv etc. I want to know the taste. Even he could not tell exactly what is was made from. Now I know ... jamuns!!!!!
    Such a beautiful write on memories.

  3. Sharmila yeah Kala khatta is tom tommed as a Jamun drink but the artificial one is not even remotely that. So while as a kid I enjoyed it not now. It is the connection to memories that we go all the way to create somethings like this syrup you will agree.

  4. Oh Wow this is so easy. I loves Jamuns & Kala Khatta too. When I have gola, its always kala khatta. And this season I have eaten so many Jamuns...that if I had known kala khatta is prepared out of this, I would have tried it too. It was Rs.50 for 250gms here in turns out that Blore is even more expensive :-D . By the way in Yercaud we had quite a bit of it for Rs.10. The size of the jamuns were really small..but sweet and juicy.

    1. Hope the idlis and dosas are still cheap. Missing the Blr sambar


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