On such hot summer days, people in India like to slow down, relax and stay cool by enjoying a variety of traditional refreshing drinks.
These homemade drinks are way better than the artificially flavoured sodas and juices that are prevalent in the market as they are hazardous to the health as well as the climate because of the chemicals involved in their production.
We should say no to everything that is not fresh and natural. Here are a few of our very delicious Indian drinks for you to try out and enjoy killing the heat!
These refreshing beverages have been a part of Indian cuisine since time immemorial and some of them have evolved further with the changing times but basic ingredients remain the same. Why not start of trying your hand out with everyone’s favourite!
This drink has a strong connection with my grandmother because whenever we stayed with her in summer vacations she had this drink (among many more!) ready for us and you won’t believe how delicious it tasted! Here is her original recipe with an additional ingredient from me, just for you.
Method of preparation: To make 6 glasses of thandai, grind 30 almonds blanched, 6 tsps. whole pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (unsalted), 1-1/2 tsp. cardamom powder and 3 tsps. rose water into a fine paste in a food processor.
Now add 1 litre milk, 1 can condensed milk and crushed ice to the paste and blend well. Stain the drink through a fine sieve and pour into glasses. Garnish with some rose petals. Yum!!!! This is super cool and super healthy.
Sattu drink is one of the most popular, traditional and healthy summer drinks and is consumed all over Bihar and UP especially by the farming community and those who labour in the hot sun. It is an energising drink that not only quenches our thirst but also protects us from heat stroke due to intense summer heat. Sattu is mixture of varieties of pulses and roasted gram flour. This healthy mix is available in major supermarkets all over India. There are two versions of sattu drink—sweet and savoury. Here we will make a savoury drink.
Method of Preparation: Take 3 tbsps. of sattu flour in a vessel and add 1 litre of chilled water and mix well. Add juice of 1 lemon, 8 crushed mint leaves, 3/4 tsp. black salt, ½ roasted cumin powder, a pinch black pepper powder and ¼ tsp. salt and mix well. Pour into glasses, add ice cubes and drink it.
Bel fruit or wood apple fruit is packed with nutrients. It has a very soothing and cooling effect on stomach. It is a very popular drink in Rajasthan and can be prepared very easily at home.
Method of preparation: Break open 1 Bel fruit. Remove the hard crust and scoop out the pulp. Add a little water to and mash the pulp so that it dissolves in the water. Then strain the pulp through a sieve. Add 2 to 3 tbsps. of sugar and 4 to 5 glasses of chilled water and mix well. The sherbet is ready.
Saunf Sherbet is a popular summer beverage of Gujarat. Saunf is a common name for fennel seeds. Fennel seeds are good for digestion and have cooling effect on the body according to Ayurveda.
Method of preparation: Add ¼ cup powdered fennel seeds and 1 crushed clove in 2 cups of water overnight or leave it for at least 2 hours. Next day, strain the liquid and add 2 -1/2 cups powdered rock sugar (mishri) or sugar or honey and mix well. Pour into tall glasses add few ice cubes and enjoy.
Panakam is a thirst quenching, palate-pleasing, traditional and Ayurvedic energy drink from the south of India. It is a naturally sweetened summer cooler laced with a subtle hint of spice.
Method of preparation: Add 1 cup grated jaggery to 4 cups of water and allow it to dissolve. Strain the liquid to a serving bowl. Add 2 crushed green cardamom powder, 5 dry roasted and crushed black peppercorns and 1/2tsp. dry ginger powder and mix. Pour into glasses and drink up.