With each passing year, the temperatures in summers seem to be setting new records. The scorching heat through the summer months leaves you parched for some refreshing drinks. This summer choose some refreshing traditional Indian chillers to cool you down instead of guzzling carbonated drinks.
Every region in India, has its own unique version of a summer drink, perfected over generations, to keep the heat at bay. Made from seasonal fruits, herbs and spices, these traditional drinks are not only refreshing but are packed with nutrients too. Moreover, each of them has a unique story, which is a rich medley of ancient culture and nostalgic memories. Hope you will rediscover these amazing thirst- quenchers.
1. Aam Pana
One of the advantages of living in a tropical country like India, is that you get to indulge in mango-based drinks. Made from fresh green mangoes (Kairi), this enticing sweet-sour-spicy drink, which could easily get you nostalgic, is mostly popular in North Western India. It is very beneficial in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders and is rich in vitamin C content.
A summer drink devoured in Maharashtra and Gujrat, Piyush is a creamy concoction made from shrikhand, buttermilk, nutmeg, saffron and an assortment of dry fruits. The word Piyush, literally means ‘amrit’(drink of the Gods). Apart from its soothing taste, it is rich in calcium and vitamin E and B6.
Sherbet A sweet and sour drink that is made from Kokum, a sweet and sour fruit that grows only on the Konkan coast. It is a vibrant red drink that works as an appetizer too. Kokum is also consumed as sol kadi, a mellow coconut milk-based drink that perfectly balances the spicy food of the coast.
Native to North India, Thandaai is a popular drink associated with festivals like Holi and Shivaratri. Holi literally means ‘cool drink’. It celebrates the onset of Spring followed by summer. It a tantalising version of milk energised with almonds, rose petals, pepper, vetiver seeds, cardamom, fennel seeds, magaztari seeds (watermelon kernel), saffron and sugar. This decadent drink is a soothing refresher.
5. Gulab Sarbat
A brilliant melange of lemon juice, cardamom seeds, rose petals and sugar. Gulab sarbat is traditionally consumed in Rajasthan to bring respite from the rising temperatures. It helps cool the body and mind.
6. Sattu ka Sharbat
Sattu drink is very popular in Eastern India. It is a sweet drink made from roasted black chickpea. This drink is popular not only for its cooling properties, but also for its nutritional quotient. Rich in protein, fibre, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium, it is a wholesome drink in the summer. The high amount of insoluble fibre helps cleanse your colon, rejig your digestive system and relieve you from constipation and acidity. Sattu is a low-glycaemic index food and is a great option for diabetics.
7. Gondhoraj Ghol
Bengal’s own version of the buttermilk. Gondhoraj Ghol is a refreshing mix of curd, sugar, black salt, iced water and the pulpy juice of Gondhoraj lime. It is a subtle aroma and an unusual flavour, that gets most Bengalis ecstatic.
8. Sambharam/Neer Mor
A summer favourite in south India, sambaaram (also called neer mor) is a delicious spicy buttermilk made from curd, green chillies, ginger and yoghurt. Every state in the south has its own version of this summer staple which is believed to have digestive, probiotic, hydrating and reviving properties.
9. Ragi Ambali
Ragi(finger millet) ambali, also known as ragi java, is a popular drink in south India (particularly Karnataka) to beat the searing heat during summer. This traditional drink is packed with protein and gives instant energy boost.
A savoured household drink in south India, Panakam is concoction of jaggery, cardamom, pepper and ginger. With a great balance of essential electrolytes, it is a refreshingly tasty drink that can get you asking you for more.
So, remain cool and healthy with these homemade summer drinks which are not only delicious but are extremely nutritious too.