With mercury rising with every passing day and global warming adding to the heat each year, here are some Indian drinks that not only keep one from dehydration but also are great for taste buds.
The world fears yet another hot summer as the temperature rises every year, thanks to the global warming and climate change. In 2015 a few of the European countries that have mostly enjoyed the soft summer sun so far, recorded their highest temperatures such as Germany (40.3 degree celcius) and Spain (39.9 degree celcius) after the infamous 2003 European heat wave. On the other hand India that is a warm country and temperatures go as high as 46-degree celcius has accustomed itself to it, as there is no running away. But such heat leads to dehydration and low energy level and while the west tries to cool it off with a chilled beer, the traditional Indian taste buds stick to the desi solutions.
At every village in Rajasthan, next to the bus stop is pyau (water-booth) that serves cold water stored in earthen pot to the tourists or visitors to beat the heat in the arid state that receives scarce rainfall, such is the hospitality of Rajasthan that it is famous for. In its neighbouring state of Gujarat people are fond of a cold of chachh or buttermilk that acts as a coolant and served the first thing as you enter home or as guest. Further south one finds, very frequently, vendors selling coconut water on the street in the popular beach destination Goa in the southwestern coast. Different regions of India found varied solutions from dehydration, keeping their taste-buds intact while doing so.
Nimbu pani (Indian lemonade) – This could be the easiest and most used summer drink in India. For flavour, one can add mint, roasted cumin powder, black salt to make it salty or sugar for people with sweet tooth. In the western India, this is called as nimbu pani while in the north it’s called as shikanji.
Coconut water – In the coastal region, the best way to keep you from dehydration is the coconut water. However in this age and time, they are easily available even in the landlocked states.
Jaljeera – Popular in north India, jaljeera is a spiced indian cooling drink acts as an appetizer. It is easily available in any departmental store.
Sweet lassi – This popular drink from the northern state of Punjab is yogurt based and made either sweet or salty. Although a little heavy, complementing the built of the people of the region, a glass of lassi keeps you cool and filled. Although now it can be flavoured with cardamom powder, rose water and saffron, a personal favourite is plain lassi with cream.
Buttermilk or chhach – A drink from the northwestern state of Gujarat, this too is yogurt based but blended with water. It is, therefore, lighter than lassi. You can opt to add flavour in this as well with mint, ginger, cumin powder or curry leaves and even do an oil tempering with herbs and spices.
Aam ka panna – This drink made using raw mangoes is not only delicious but also prevents from heat strokes and keeps the body cool. Reminder of many childhood summers, this straight comes from grandmother’s recipes. Raw mangoes are rich in vitamin c and iron.
Rooh afza – One of the most preferred drinks to offer the guests before the aerated drinks took over, it is sweet rose scented healthy syrup that is made with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and roots. It could be either added to milk and blended, kulfi, falooda, ice cream, phirni or simply with plain water, depending on your taste-bud and mood.
Piyush – Yogurt being a coolant, we list the third yougurt based drink from Maharashtra and Gujarat. Although similar to lassi, it is thicker, creamier and sweeter.