Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade) - shaken not stirred

Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade)

Have you heard of Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade), the ultimate fresh limeade from Kerala? If you visit during the summer season, especially the months of April and May, you’ll definitely come across this colourful limeade on display at numerous street-food joints and roadside eateries. Kulukki (meaning “shaken”) sarbat is thus a popular “cool drink” on offer. If you have always resisted the temptation to try it out, wait no more!

Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade)
Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade)

Kulukki Sarbat  is a refreshing and healthy limeade (can be a lemonade as well) to rejuvenate you on any hot day! This is the best summer drink!

Here is an easy recipe that you can try at home. This pineapple limeade is a healthy alternative to the bottled fizzy drinks. It’s all natural, balanced, and a healthy choice to re-hydrate your body.

Believed to have originated in Kozhikode (Calicut), kulukki sarbat has found it’s way to most of the popular roadside eateries in Kerala. It’s sweet, tangy, and mildly hot at the same time, making it a treat for your taste buds.

What is Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade) made of?

The composition is quite simple – lime juice, water, finely chopped pineapple, green chillies (yes, you read that right), sabja (basil) seeds, a sugar syrup, and a pinch of salt. It’s an interesting mix indeed! For an even healthier version, replace the sugar syrup with honey. For an added fizz, replace water with soda (sparking water).

And remember

It’s always shaken, and not stirred!

I have used honey as a healthier alternative to sugar in this recipe. Sabja (basil) seeds, one of the standard ingredients in kulukki sarbat, is a very interesting one as well. These black seeds are antioxidant rich, and nutritious. But, you can’t consume them directly. Soak them in water for a few minutes, and they will swell up to double their size. Using them in drinks adds a new texture without altering the taste of the drink.

Finely chopped pineapple is another standard ingredient, but you can add more fruits of your choice. In this recipe, I have added watermelons. I carved out some melon balls, and added them to the glass just before serving. After drinking the sarbat, it’s fun to scoop out all these fruits with a spoon and eat them, making it a filling mini-meal in itself!

It’s freshly made every single time, and only one serving at once. So get shaking, one serving at a time!

Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade) topped with ice

Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade) topped with ice

Print Recipe
kulukki sarbat (pineapple limeade) Yum
Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade) is the ultimate fresh limeade from Kerala. It's sweet, tangy, and mildly hot at the same time, making it a refreshing treat for your taste buds.
Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade) - shaken not stirred
Course drink
Cuisine kerala
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course drink
Cuisine kerala
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade) - shaken not stirred
Instructions
  1. Let's start by prepping the ingredients. Soak the sabja seeds in a cup of lukewarm water for at least 10 minutes. Scoop the watermelon to melon balls or cut them into small bite-size chunks (watermelon is an optional ingredient). Cut the lime into two, and remove the pips.
    Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade) - Ingredients
  2. I had placed mint leaves in the tray while making ice. When the water froze, I got these nice ice cubes with a tint of green. When the ice melts, the refreshing mint leaves will add a new flavour to your drink. Mint leaves are optional in this recipe.
    Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade) - Ice frozen with mint leaves
  3. In a jar or bottle, squeeze half a lime, add half the sabja seeds (they would have doubled in size by now), half of the chopped pineapple, 1 tablespoon honey, a pinch of salt, green chillies. Pour 250 ml soda (sparkling water), and shake well. Keep in mind that you are shaking an aerated drink. You don't want to ruin your kitchen walls.
    Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade) - ready to shake
  4. It's almost ready! Pour the shaken sarbat to a tall glass. Top it up with ice, and a couple of watermelon balls. Serve fresh!
    Kulukki Sarbat (Pineapple Limeade)
Recipe Notes
  • If you are allergic to pineapple, replace them with fruits of your choice. Finely chop them so that some of the flavours make it to the sarbat
  • Use discretion while adding green chillies. It might be a good idea to remove them before serving to kids (or grownups who have less tolerance to the chilli heat)
  • Advice: Add more honey if you have a sweet tooth

12 Comments

  1. Nice and refreshing, never tasted this before. Will surely try this out. The name is quite fascinating.

    • The Take It Easy Chef

      It is fascinating, isn’t it! I believe it originated in Kozhikode, made it’s way through Malabar, and still growing in popularity across the other regions.

  2. This looks so good! I’m not sure if I can find the sabja seeds (basil seeds), but they look so very interesting, I would love to try it as is! This looks like it would be the perfect beverage for a hot summer afternoon. I’m going to have to give it a try without the seeds though, it looks to good not to!

    • The Take It Easy Chef

      Thank you very much Robin 🙂 I am sure you’ll like it. It’s limeade with a kick of chillies!
      You might get the sabja (basil) seeds at an Indian store. They don’t add much of a flavour. It’s the texture and colour, plus the nutrition!

  3. Very impressive recipe and much more impressive is your presentation. I have a sweet tooth but cannot take empty sugars like white sugar in excess / candy/ fizzy drinks.So i will add your suggestion -Honey.

    • The Take It Easy Chef

      Thank you Malathi! 🙂 I hope you like it.

      Honey is a great alternative to sugar. For some recipes I use jaggery as a substitute for sugar.

  4. This is awesome. I’ve tasted it before from the roadside but never attempted making it. Thanks for the recipe.
    P.S: You’ve got a great blog!

    • The Take It Easy Chef

      Thank you Shalini! As you can see, it’s quite easy to make at home. Perfect for a sunny afternoon.

      Thank you very much. That comment about the blog made my day! 🙂

  5. This looks beautiful and delicious! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I had not heard of this before but it looks delicious!

    -Sarah
    http://www.myfrostedlife.com

    • The Take It Easy Chef

      Thank you Sarah! It’s a local speciality. Probably available only in Kerala, a state in South Indian.

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