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Refreshing summer drinks: Nimbu paani, jal jeera and more!

Last updated on: May 10, 2012 15:46 IST

Refreshing summer drinks: Nimbu paani, jaljeera and more!

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Courtesy LifeMojo.com

Whether you have a sweet tooth or crave something light and refreshing, you are sure to find a good fit among these traditional drinks.

Does the scorching heat outside exhaust you and sap your energy levels? As the Indian summer ensnares us, we must find any and all means of refuge from these torrid, torturous temperatures. There are a lot of alternatives to colas and aerated beverages that are healthier and more suited to a hot day.

Most of us have certain traditional drinks we look forward to revisiting each year. Water, of course, is always the top choice for quenching your thirst, but when it comes to satisfying taste buds, you need something more. Here are some natural ways to remain cool this summer:

Lassi

Lassi is enjoyed chilled as a hot-weather refreshment. It is a good source of calcium and protein and very filling in nature. Originally from Punjab, it is made by blending curd with water, salt and spices until frothy. It can be flavoured with mint leaves (pudina), coriander leaves (dhania), ginger and hing (asafoetida). Sugar can also be used instead of salt to make the sweet version of lassi, which can be flavoured with real fruits like mango and banana.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup curd
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 tsps sugar (for sweet lassi)
  • A pinch of salt
  • Spices of your choice (optional)

Preparation:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a mixer till well-blended.
  • Serve chilled.

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Image: Lassi
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
Tags: Lassi , Punjab

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Mango panna

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The mango is one of India's all-time favorite fruits and you will find fresh mangoes of the best quality available in summer. Mango panna is really quite easy to make, tastes awesome, is quite refreshing and even provides a great cure for heat stroke.

Ingredients:

  • 1 green mango
  • 1 tsp Jeera or cumin seeds, dry-roasted on a griddle
  • A pinch of salt
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1/2 cup water

Preparation:

  • Boil the green mango. Then peel, chop and pulp.
  • Add sugar and jeera (cumin seeds) to the boiled pulp. Mix well.
  • Add appropriate quantity of water and chill.

Image: Mango panna

Tags: India , Jeera

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Thandai

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It consists of almonds, milk, rose petals all of which have a cooling effect and is absolutely fabulous in taste.

  • 1/2 litre milk
  • 1 tsp khus khus (poppy seeds)
  • 8 almonds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 3 pepper corns
  • 2-3 tsps dried rose petals
  • Sugar to taste

Preparation:

  • Boil the milk and keep to cool.
  • When the milk is at room temperature, add the grated almonds, khus khus and sugar and keep overnight.
  • Add the roughly ground cardamom and rose-petals to the milk and refrigerate.
  • Serve cold with a few cubes of ice.

Image: Thandai
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
Tags:

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Amla juice

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It not only helps to manage the summer heat but also keeps your body healthy and immune.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg fresh amla (Indian gooseberry)
  • Asafoetida (optional)
  • Chaat masala
  • Pepper powder

Preparation:

  • Grind fresh amlas to a pulp.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and serve chilled.

Image: Amla juice


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Jal jeera

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In Hindi, jal means water and jeera means cumin. You can use the jal jeera powder readily available at a grocery store or make your drink at home.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp jeera or cumin seeds, roasted and ground
  • 5 cups cold water
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves paste
  • 1 tbsp dried mango powder (amchur)
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cilantro leaves paste
  • 1/2 tsp rock salt
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Mint leaves for garnishing

Preparation:

  • In a bowl mix all of the above ingredients except the water.
  • When well-blended, add the water in.
  • Garnish with mint leaves and serve chilled.

Image: Jal jeera
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
Tags:

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Nimbu pani

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Vitamin C-rich lemon water improves immunity in the summer and is a refreshing thirst quencher due to its cool nature.

Ingredients:

  • One juicy lemon
  • A glass of cold water
  • Sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of jeera (optional)

Preparation:

  • Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the water.
  • Add sugar and salt and a pinch of jeera if desired.
  • Serve chilled.

Image: Nimbu pani
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
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Ginger lime

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Instead of having plain lemon juice with water or soda, try adding a teaspoon of ginger juice per glass for a refreshing ginger-lime beverage. Fresh ginger gives traditional lemonade a new flavour.

Ingredients:

  • One juicy lemon
  • 1 tsp ginger juice
  • A glass of cold water
  • Sugar
  • A pinch of salt

Preparation:

  • Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the water, followed by the ginger juice.
  • Add sugar and salt.
  • Serve chilled.

Image: Ginger lime

Tags:

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Khus sherbet

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Khus (poppy seeds), according to Ayurveda, decreases the temperature of the body and aids in cooling the body. This drink was greatly patronised in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps of khus essence
  • 1 tsp green food colouring (optional)

Preparation:

  • Boil sugar and water to create a syrup.
  • After it cools, add khus essence and mix well.
  • Store in a bottle and refrigerate.
  • To serve, add cold water -- one part sherbet should be mixed with eight parts water.

Image: Khus sherbet


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Coconut water

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Of course this is Mother Nature's own recipe, but coconut water is the best summer cooler available at any roadside corner. It contains lots of vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. It takes care of mineral requirements in the summer when the soaring temperatures deplete all the water and salts from the body.


Image: Coconut water
Photographs: Reuben NV

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