Bel (in Bengali), Bilwa (in Sanskrit), (scientific: Aegle marmelos, belonging to the family Rutaceae) is a fruit, that can be eaten when green, as well as when ripe. Apart from being tasty, it has immense therapeutic values. It is a store-house of several alkaloids, coumarins, sterols and turpenoids, which are very beneficial for the human body. The leaf of this tree, 'bel-pata' in used in pujas, and in Charakasanhita, the green fruit is compared to Amrita, the Hindu 'version' of the elixir of life. Throughout the country 'bel-panna' the sherbet made out of this crushed, ripe fruit is a refreshing drink during season changes ... especially the period around March-April. The cooked green fruit is also used in making 'morrobbas' , a traditional candy. In some provinces 'bel' is also called 'sadaphal'.
Therapeutic values include its usage as a laxative and digestive in all forms.
For Making Bel-Sharbet aka Bel-Panna you have to scoop out the ripe bel fruit and after removing the seeds soak it into water and crush with your hand smoothly. Then add a pinch of salt, sugar, tamarind juice. Starin the mixture through a stainer and serve cold by adding a "gandhoraj lime" ( available in the summer). This is a very refreshing as well as healthy drink for summer!
Scoop out the green bel fruit. Remove as many seeds as you can. If you can not remove the seeds ...no problem...you can throw it while eating. Take a large pan and soak the scooped kernel in water along with edible CHUNA (Milk Of Lime) for at least 2 hours. Drain off the water and keep aside. Boil this fruit-kernel in plenty of sugar till the pieces becomes transluscent. This special fruit candy is known as MOROBBA It is extremely hygenic and delicious too!