May 19, 2012

Sharbat-e Khakshir - Persian Refreshing Summer Drink

Sharbat-e khakshir/khakeshir is a very refreshing Persian summer drink.  Although this drink is mostly known as a thirst quencher during hot summer days it can be enjoyed all through the year as a delicious soothing drink with many health benefits. Serving your guests ice-cold, lightly sweetened sharbat-e khakshir with a touch of rose water on a warm day is a great way to welcome them and make them feel at home.  Khakshir drink is a natural and herbal liver detox. It is also known to improve the skin and reduce fever among many other benefits. Growing up in our home khakshir drink wasn't made as a sugar-sweetened, ice-cold summer drink. My mother would give us khakshir all year round just for its medicinal purposes without adding any sugar or ice cubes.

Khakshir has the tiniest reddish brown seeds that sit at the bottom of a glass of water. Upon stirring, the seeds start to move around and float up to the surface of the water and that's when you take a sip of the sharbat. Stir, watch the beautiful dance of khakshir in the water glass, sip and repeat.

The English term forخاکشیر khakshir on the small package that I purchased from an Iranian grocery store was teff.  In my research I found out that khakshir is also called London rockets, scientific name Sisymbrium irio. That's not all, in addition to those two names above, to make the matter more confusing khakshir was referred to as mugwort on a few websites. Based on the limited information available on this subject it seems that Sisybrium irio (London rocket) is a more correct term.

Good quality khakshir should be free of any dirt and soil but due to the very small size of the seeds harvesting and cleaning the crops is not very convenient. Therefore, a thorough cleaning of khakshir is needed before serving. The best way to ensure that khakshir is free of dirt is to spoon the desired amount into a large glass, fill with water, let it rest for five minutes, stir and pour the content into an empty glass. If there is any residue left at the bottom of the first glass, rinse it out. Stir the second glass and pour the content back into the first one. Rinse out the second glass of any soil and dirt that may be left at the bottom. Repeat 2-3 times until there is no dirt left at the bottom of the glasses. Empty the water out, top with cool water and ice.

Sharbat-e Khakshir
Serves 2


4 tablespoons khakshir, rinsed with cool water a few times as described above
1 tablespoon table sugar
1 tablespoon rose water *optional
Ice cubes


  1. Pour the khakshir seeds into a medium sized pitcher, top with 2 (8 ounce) glasses of water. 
  2. Dissolve sugar in a little warm water then add to the pitcher. Add a tablespoon rose water, stir well and pour into ice-filled glasses. For a slight variation you  can add a teaspoon of tokhm-e sharbati (chia seeds) to the drink.

Serve chilled.