Saruvat is a sherbet made with rose syrup though it may also refer to a fruit juice made of the juice of citrus fruits such as lime or orange embellished with pieces of pineapple and black basil seeds. This drink is of Arab origin, derived as it is from the Arabic sharbat meaning a drink or beverage. In the Thousand and One Nights we come across references to rose sherbet as in the tale of King Umar Al-Numan, sugared sherbet scented with rose-water as in the tale of Khalifah and sherbet flavoured with rose- water, scented with musk and cooled with snow as in the tale of Nur Al-Din Ali and his son. Edward Lane in his Modern Egyptians (1837) tells us that the Egyptians have various kinds of sherbets, the most common kind being called simply shurbat or shurbat sookhar which is merely sugar and water. Nevertheless, sherbets made of the essence of roses seem to have been much favoured. For instance, we have Charles Addison (Damascus and Palmyra. A Journey to the East.1838) referring to sherbet of roses, a pink sherbet kept in tins and sold in round cups with a lump of snow in it. This article is largely based on the book Sarandib. An Ethnological Study of the Muslims of Sri Lanka by Asiff Hussein. Sarandib, now in its third expanded. Written in a lucid style, it is the culmination of much research, inquiry and field studies on the society and culture of Sri Lanka’s Muslims. The work contains detailed information on aspects like ethnic origins, language, settlements, customs and traditions, dress and ornamentation, culinary fare, medical remedies, names and titles, occupations, social organization, ceremonial observances and religious and folk beliefs.

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