Check out these homegrown summer coolers that’ll cool you off in the summer heat
Indian summers bring along a lot of reasons to be happy – vacations, holidays, travel, and most importantly, the official season to survive on chilled juices, milkshakes, smoothies, ice-creams, kulfis, and faloodas. But at the same time, as the temperature across the country soars to a maximum of 40 to 45-degree centigrade, the convenient options of packaged juices, squashes, fizzy drinks, and artificially flavoured concoctions take precedence over traditional homemade options that, in reality, help in hydrating our bodies and quenching thirst.
In the present day and age where the luxury of time is often found missing, it appears apparent that we have forgotten our Indian traditional summer drinks that not only do the job of cooling the system without any side effects but also offer unique flavors and tastes without hampering the waistline. Here are a few – some popularly-made, others less-known – that top my list of favourites.
Buttermilk, also called as chaas, is a healthy and refreshing curd-based drink. Owing to its versatility, it can be consumed at any hour of the day – be it during lunch, after dinner, or as a substitute for tea and coffee in the evening. Buttermilk has cooling effects on the body and the good bacteria in it aids in digestion, reduces fats, and offers proteins and vitamins. Like me, if you’d like some extra flavour to it, add black salt or roasted cumin powder.
There is no way summers can be spent without welcoming the king of fruits, mango. Whether it is in its raw form or ripened, we all make the most use of it in desserts, milkshakes, pickles, or tangy refreshing drinks. Aam Panna, which is typically made from raw mango, helps in fighting diabetes and easing constipation. This liquid iteration involves sweetening the cooked pulp of raw mangoes with jaggery or sugar and stirring in roasted cumin powder or black salt.
Sattu ka Sharbat is something we’ve all heard but barely tried. Originated from the eastern state of Bihar, this drink can be consumed in three ways – with sugar-sweetened chilled water; buttermilk with a hint of black salt, lemon, and coriander leaves; or with water topped with grated jaggery. Make a glass of Sattu and consume it as a morning beverage to reap maximum benefits.
Lassi, the popular drink from the streets of Punjab, has always been our go-to saviour during summers as well as other days of the year. Made from smooth yoghurt, this drink can be made in variants like Kesar, mango, mint, strawberry, banana, or litchi. Lassis involve absolutely no preservatives or harmful ingredients and can be consumed on a regular basis in moderate proportions.
Rooh Afza has been the most prepared and preferred drink in a majority of our households, thanks to its refreshing ingredients that not only give the cooling effect to the body but is also quick to make and saves time. The syrup of Rooh Afza can either be mixed in chilled water with black salt or cold milk. It is even used in many other recipes like faloodas, kheer, pudding, milkshakes, and kulfis. A glass of this summer drink can improve hydration, haemoglobin, indigestion, and feeling of nausea.
Well, these were some of my top picks that not just taste good but also quench thirst, are good for health, and boost energy levels. For your next house party, replace the aerated drinks with any of these options and make your family & friends crave for more!