India is witnessing a scorching summer. The temperatures are as high as 46 degrees in some places. While monsoons have just arrived, it will take some time to get respite from the heat which has built up. It is essential that we keep ourselves cool internally with the right kind of diet and plenty of fluids. But before you start thinking about the western water melon coolers and kiwi fruit juice, consider some local drinks. According to dietician Rutuja Diwekar, eating and drinking from the local produce is the healthiest. So why not try some traditional Indian drinks this summer to keep ourselves cool?
Aam ka Panna
Made with raw mangoes, this sweet and sour drink can be stored as a concentrate in the refrigerator. It is one of the most refreshing drinks and helps keeping heat stroke at bay.
- Wash 2-3 raw mangoes; peeled, cut and kernel removed, and boil it in a cooker with 1 cup water.
- Then, put this boiled pulp in the mixer and blend with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 table spoon black salt, 2 tsp Jeera powder, 1 tsp black pepper and a few mint leaves.
- Take ¼ glass of this concentrate, mix chilled water, ice cubes, garnish with mint leaves and serve.
- This concentrate can be kept in the fridge and when required be diluted.
Saunf ka Sherbet (Fennel Water)
Fennel seeds are very cool for the body and thus refresh you. Of course, it tastes amazing while giving you a fresh breath.
- Soak ¼ cup of fennel seeds overnight.
- Grind the fennel into a fine paste.
- Add 2 tbsp sugar, a pinch of black salt and a pinch of black pepper.
- Add crushed ice and 2 cups of cold water, and a pinch of jal-jeera powder.
- You have one of the most refreshing drinks ready.
Panakam (Drink made with Jaggery)
A traditional South Indian drink, Panakam is not only simple to make but will give immediate respite from the searing heat of the sun.
- Dissolve ½ cup jaggery in 2 cups of chilled water.
- Add the juice of 1 lemon, 2 powdered cardamoms, ¼ tsp dry ginger powder, a pinch of salt, and a generous pinch of edible camphor.
- Mix well and strain. Add a few basil leaves and serve.
Neer More (South Indian Buttermilk)
Another traditional South Indian drink, this is a version of Northern India’s Chaas and is made with butter milk. As we know, curd has super cooling powers and thus Neer More with just the right amount of spice helps to keep your system cool.
- Combine 1 cup chilled buttermilk, 1 cup cold water, juice of 2 lemons, 1 tbsp minced ginger, 1 green chilli, a generous amount of coriander leaves, a generous pinch of asafoetida, and a pinch of salt. Blend it all together for just 10 seconds till the drink gets a greenish tinge.
- Temper the drink with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- Serve chilled.
Bael ka Sherbet ( Wood-apple juice)
Wood-apple is indeed a magical fruit with not only cooling properties, but also medicinal, as it can cure vertigo, contain cholesterol and deal with respiratory issues. This sweet and sour juice is certain to be a gastronomic delight.
- Break open a medium sized Bael and take out the pulp.
- Add 1 ½ cups of cold water, and using hands, remove the seeds and mix well.
- Add 1 tbsp powdered jaggery, juice of 1 lemon, and a pinch of salt and jeera powder and mix.
- Sieve and serve chilled.
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