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Food special: Summer coolers, with an Indian twist

It's as hot as it can get. And we all know that sugary drinks are best avoided to quench thirst, so this time around, instead of the usual lime juice or plain coconut water, go different. If you can't think beyond khus and nimbu, no sweat. We've got chefs to create offbeat, yet effective thirst-quenchers to try out, says Ismat Tahseen

Whether you're outdoors or stuck in a desk job, you're bound to be reeling under the summer heat. It's crucial to stay hydrated and increase the fluid intake at this time. A smart way to battle the weather is to use these ingredients found in your kitchen and conjure up drinks to stay cool.

Imlidana Neer
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
180 ml pomegranate juice
A few ice cubes

For seasoning
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp brown sugar
Few pomegranate seeds and a lime wheel for garnish

Imlidana Neer 

Method
Blend tamarind pulp and pomegranate juice to a smooth consistency. Place generous amount of ice cubes in a serving jar. Add the mix to it. Add the seasoning and stir until combined. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and a lime wheel. Serve chilled.

Tarbooz Pudine ka Mel
250 ml watermelon juice
1 tsp freshly squeezed mint juice
1 tsp finely shredded lime peel
A few ice cubes

For Seasoning
½ tsp black salt
¼ tsp jaljeera powder
Honey to taste
Mint sprig and watermelon scoops for the garnish

Tarbooz Pudine ka Mel 

Method
Add watermelon juice, mint juice and lemon peels in a processor. Blend it to a smooth consistency. Place generous amount of ice cubes in a serving jar. Add the mix to it. Add the seasoning and stir until combined. Garnish with watermelon scoop and mint sprig and serve chilled.

Bhuna Aam Adraki
Ingredients:
1, green mango
A few ice cubes
2 ½ cups water

For seasoning
½ tsp roasted cumin powder
½ tsp black salt
¼ tsp ginger juice
2 tsp powdered jaggery
A few mint leaves for garnish

Bhuna Aam Adraki 

Method
Roast a raw mango, peel and puree it. Put ice cubes in a jar. Add the puree to it. Add the spices with jaggery (Adjust according to the taste of mango and your spice preference). Add water and stir until combined. Garnish with mint and serve chilled.

Recipes: Pradeep Dutta, Food and Beverage Manager, Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport

Coriander and Coconut Mojito
Ingredients:
100 ml coconut water
8/10 pieces coconut, diced
8-10 coriander sprigs
2 tsp castor sugar
10 ml lime juice

Coriander and Coconut Mojito 

Method:
Put castor sugar, diced coconut, lime juice and coriander in a glass and muddle it. Put cracked ice into the glass and add coconut water. Stir the drink and serve. Garnish with coriander sprigs.

Recipe: Raj Panda, Food and Beverage Manager, The Orchid Hotel

What the dietician Suggests...
Consulting dietician Sheela Tanna shares more tips. "Watermelon is the best bet. It not only helps to quench thirst, but is also a good source of beta carotene, vitamin C, pectin, potassium and iron. Mangoes are excellent, too. A sufficient amount gives the body a rich store of vitamin A, which lasts for months. I also like tadgolas as they are low in sodium (helps control blood pressure) and help maintain electrolyte balance. You can also try homemade ginger ale, which soothes digestive disturbances. Diabetics can have jamun pulp with ice, soda and mint leaves or apple citrus juice, where you blend apples with orange juice, grapefruits and serve it with ice and mint springs," she says.

Gulkhand Smoothie
Gulkhand and yoghurt combination makes for a powerful antioxidant and acts as a good rejuvenator. It is also the best treatment for heat-related problems and is recommended to be had once a day in the summer.

Ingredients:
500 gms yoghurt
100 gms (gulkhand) rose petal spread
10 ml rose water
5 rose petals for garnishing

Gulkhand Smoothie 

Method:
Take a mixing bowl and make a fine paste of yoghurt with the help of blender. Add rose water and gulkhand to this and stir well. Garnish with rose petals and serve cold.

Tadgola Neera Sharbat
Tadgola (palm fruit) and kheera (cucumber) are effective to cool your body during the summer. They also help in maintaining electrolyte balance.

Ingredients:
4 tadgolas, peeled
4 peeled green cucumbers
15 mint leaves
20 ml honey
Rock salt to taste
200 ml cold water

Tadgola Neera Sharbat 

Method
Take a mixing bowl. Add grated cucumber, finely chopped tadgola, mint leaves, honey and a little rock salt. Mix all this well. Add some water and rest for ten minutes. Stir well. Serve cold.

Sabja Kharbooje ki Thandai
This recipe involves two main ingredients sabja and kharbooja — a combination that helps to manage body heat and heat-related health disorders, because of their cooling effect.

Ingredients:
25 gm sabja (basil) seeds
1 muskmelon
10 tulsi leaves
50 gm misri (optional)
100 ml water
300 ml milk

Sabja Kharbooje ki Thandai 

Method:
Soak sabja seeds for 10 minutes in 100 ml water. Cut, clean and grate the muskmelon, then take a mixing bowl add sabja, grated muskmelon, finely chopped tulsi leaves, and milk. Stir well. Serve cold.

Ananas Dhaniye ka Thanda
To keep skin natural, soft, glowing, healthy and younger looking, ananas-dhaniya is one of the best combinations. It is a well-known fact that skin health depends upon internal heath.

Ingredients:
1 pineapple, peeled and diced
50 gm coriander leaves
5 gm roasted cumin
Rock salt to taste
200 ml water

Ananas Dhaniye ka Thanda

Method:
Add the diced pineapple, fresh coriander, mix and blend this. Add water, rock salt, cumin powder and stir well. Serve cold.

Bael Rass
This recipe is beneficial for removing toxins from the intestines. It thus provides relief from constipation and improves digestion.

Ingredients:
2 Bael fruit (pulp)
400 ml water
40 gm tal misri (made from palm tree and widely used as a body cooler in naturopathy)
10 black pepper pods
Rock salt to taste

Bael Rass 

Method:
Grind the bael fruit pulp, water and misri. Add rock salt and freshly crushed black pepper and stir well, Serve cold.

Neem Sounf ka Sharbat
Both fennel and neem are known to play a very important role in improving digestion and purifiying the blood.

Ingredients:
10 neem leaves
100 gm fennel seeds (saunf)
100 gm tal misri
500 ml water

Neem Sounf ka Sharbat 

Method:
Soak fennel seeds for one hour in 200 ml water. Make a fine paste of neem leaves, misri and saunf. Add 300 ml water, stir and strain. Serve cold.

Recipes: Bhairav Singh, Master Chef, Novotel Mumbai, Juhu Beach

 

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