indian summer drinks – cooling beverages, drinks, juices, sherbets

sugarcane juice for indian summers

which is your favorite drink to beat summer heat?

india is rich with various spices, herbs, veggies and fruits and many of them are unique to a particular area or region.  thus each region of india has some specialty drink. like in bihar, for eg drinks made from sattu (roasted chickpea + barley flours) are had during the summers.

in western and south india, coconuts are easily available and thus coconut water is frequently had to beat the summer heat.

below is a pic of fresh tender coconuts. this is a mobile pic and was meant for instagram.

coconuts

i am sharing few summer drinks which are often made or had in indian homes:

1. nimbu pani (indian lemonade) – this is the cheapest and might be the most used summer drink in india. you can add flavor to it by adding mint juice, roasted cumin powder, black salt or make it sweet - shikanji or have it salty. some people also like to add ginger juice but then ginger is heaty. in the western india, this is called as nimbu pani and in north india, its called as shikanji.

2. tender coconut water – if you are staying in a place where fresh coconut water is available easily in summers then you are simply blessed. it is one of the best and the healthiest option to beat summer heat.

3. jaljeera – its a spiced indian cooling drink also used as an appetizer or just as a drink. quite famous in north india.

4. sweet lassi – made from yogurt and very famous in north india. you can make it salty or sweet. you can flavor it with cardamom powder, rose water and saffron. few other variations of lassi are masala lassi, strawberry lassi and mango lassi.

5. buttermilk or chaas – made using yogurt. popular in the whole of india. you can flavor it with mint, ginger, cumin powder or curry leaves and even do an oil tempering with herbs and spices. another variation is this mint chaas.

6. rooh afza – it is a sweet rose scented healthy syrup that is made with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and roots. you can add it to milk, kulfi, falooda, ice cream, phirni or have it simply with plain water.

7. aam ka panna – it is made using raw mangoes. helps in preventing heat strokes and keep the body cool. raw mangoes are rich in vitamin c and iron.

8. piyush - this is a smooth and creamy beverage popular in the maharashtrian and gujarati cuisine of western india. piyush is a bit similar to the popular beverage lassi. but in comparison, piyush is thick, creamy and sweeter than lassi.

watermelon orange juice

fruit juices and sherbets

1. watermelon juice - watermelon is cooling and is rich in vitamin c. you can give different flavor to watermelon juice by combining mint, gulkand, rose petals or fruits like pomegranate, oranges with it.

2. musk melon juice - musk melon also known as kharbuja in hindi reduces heat in the body. it is high in fiber, anti oxidant and  helps in controlling blood pressure.

3. sugarcane juice – the ever popular indian juice to quench your thirst and give you a boast of energy. excellent for jaundice. has digestive properties, thirst quenching and keeps the body hydrated.

4. kokum sherbet - kokum fruit is available mostly in goa and maharashtra side. it is one of the best summer coolant, reduces heat in body, anti oxidant and helps in digestion.

5. mint sherbet – mint is excellent to beat summers. you can add mint in many drinks as well as can use it for garnishing. apart from cooling properties mint is good for digestion, cures morning sickness and nausea and detoxifies the body and a good source of vitamin C, B complex vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorous, zinc and copper.

6. mango juice – made from fresh ripe mangoes. thirst quenching and healthy and full with flavors of mangoes.

7. mosambi or sweet lime juice – refreshing, healthy fruit juice rich in vitamin C.

nimbu pani indian lemonade

cooling ingredients for your drinks:

1. holy basil or tulsi – you can use it for garnishing or add in various sherbets or even make a drink or sherbet.
2. rose petals or rose water meant for culinary uses – can be added to many drinks
3. gulkand or rose petal preserve – you can add it to milkshakes or sherbets.
4. fresh mint leaves  - you can use their juice or leaves. also can be added as garnishing while serving.
5. sabja seeds – also known as falooda seeds or basil seeds. they need to be soaked for half an hour and then can be added to falooda or nimbu pani or other drinks. they are very cooling.
6. saffron – saffron is expensive but adds a good flavor to any drink or dish. it has cooling properties so you can add few saffron strands to your summer drinks.
7. cardamom powder – add it to milkshakes.
8. almond milk – it is cooling as well as healthy and you can use it in your milkshakes.
9. sattu ka atta – flour made with roasted chickpea and barley. famous in bihar region of india for it cooling properties. you can make drinks or make stuffed parathas out of it.
10: barley water – made with barley grains.

few more names which i must mention here are thandai drink, khus roots and betal leaves,




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  1. Haldirams says

    Nicely assorted, really refreshing drinks and healthy too ! Indian flavors are natural keep you active in summer !