These regional drinks from across India contain simple ingredients but incredible flavours. Beat the rising heat with these traditional options.
Summer is currently in full swing around the country. Temperatures are being described as record-breaking and we are trying our best to cope with the harsh weather. Hydration is the keyword we are seeing and hearing everywhere – for good reason. It is essential that we consume water and other hydrating liquids to take care of our bodies in the heat. Thankfully, there is no shortage of options for cooling summertime drinks. Nowadays, you may come across recipes for everything from simple nimbu paani to fancy kiwi mocktails. But if you’re looking for a desi way to stay hydrated, we have some great choices for you. The best part is that these drinks can be easily made at home. Check them out below:
Here Are 10 Traditional Indian Drinks You Have To Try This Summer:
1. Sol Kadhi
Made using kokum and coconut milk, Sol Kadhi is a speciality of Konkan cuisine. It is especially popular in the western states of India such as Maharashtra and Goa. Sol kadhi has a lovely pinkish colour due to the addition of kokum. It is considered a soothing and digestive-friendly drink. It also has a range of other health benefits. You can easily make it at home. Watch the recipe video for Sol Kadhi here. For a Keto-friendly recipe, click here.
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If you want a deliciously sweet summer drink, opt for Piyush. This Maharashtrian drink is made using buttermilk, curds, shrikhand and sugar. It is typically flavoured with saffron, cardamom powder, and nutmeg. This thick and creamy drink has a wonderful yellow colour that makes it stand out. Why not try preparing it yourself? Click here for the step-by-step recipe for Piyush.
Also called Panakam, this traditional South Indian drink combines the goodness of jaggery, lemon juice, dry ginger powder, pepper and cardamom in water. This flavourful drink is especially associated with Ram Navami, but it is also a nutritious way to stay hydrated during summer. Panagam may have slight variations in spices, but jaggery and lemon tend to remain constant. Click here to know more about this drink and read its recipe
This drink is also from South India. It is made by boiling Nannari roots (Indian Sarsaparilla) with sugar, water and lemon juice. This concoction is then mixed with water and consumed. In some places, the concoction is mixed with milk. The roots are believed to have a range of medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory ones. A traditional way to beat the heat if ever there was one!
Coming to North Indian cold drinks, what immediately comes to mind is creamy lassi. Classic Punjabi lassi can be made using just three ingredients: curds, chilled water/ice cubes and sugar. Some people also prefer a salty version instead of a sweet one. Lassi is one of the most popular summer drinks in India and people love experimenting with it. Mango lassi is one of the most famous flavours and it infuses the goodness of this seasonal fruit into sweetened lassi. Want to make a perfect glass of lassi? Follow these tips. Also, check out these 6 yummy lassi recipes you can try at home. Click here.
Kanji is a North Indian water-based drink traditionally made using carrots, mustard and salt. Some recipes also used beetroots. Many people think of Kanji only as a Holi drink. However, this fermented drink is loaded with nutrients that can help you stay healthy all year round. It is also a great digestive aid, as it has probiotic properties. Click here for the full recipe for Gajar Kanji
7. Chaas (Buttermilk)
Buttermilk or chaas is widely consumed in numerous regions in India. You will find many varieties, traditional and otherwise, to enjoy during the summer. For instance, Maharashtrian Taak is buttermilk generally spiced with jeera powder, hing, green chilli, ginger, coriander, and rock salt. South Indian Neer Mor is similar but also contains a tempering of curry leaves and mustard. Then there are other versions like masala chaas, cucumber chaas, beetroot chaas and more. Click here for a few delicious recipes for this drink.
8. Aam Panna
How could we talk about summer without mentioning aam panna? This deliciously sour drink is made using unripe green mangoes (kairi). Consuming aam panna provides ample hydration and is considered to be a good way to avoid heat exhaustion. There are a few different recipes to make this drink, and instructions differ slightly in terms of spices and ways of cooking the mango. You can watch an easy recipe video for Aam Panna here.
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9. Jal jeera
Jal jeera is a refreshing concoction made using cumin, tamarind, lemon, mint, black salt, chaat masala and other ingredients. People tend to come up with their own versions of this drink and different varieties can be found across the country. Some also like making jeera-flavoured sodas, though the original drink is water-based. Jal jeera has many digestive-friendly properties and is also not overly sweet. Hence, it is a healthy drink that you can add to your summer diet. Click here for the step-by-step recipe for Jal jeera
Although thandai is most commonly associated with Holi, this milk-based drink is a good option to stay hydrated throughout the summer. The milk is typically flavoured with rose petals, almonds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, watermelon kernels, cardamom, saffron and sugar. Most of the ingredients enhance the cooling potential of the drink even further. If you want an aromatic drink, you can’t do better than this one! Click here for the full recipe for Thandai.
NOTE – This article was originally published in food.ndtv and can be viewed here
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