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There’s nothing better than guzzling a refreshing drink on a hot summer day. To ensure that you stay hydrated 24/7 and also stay away from bubbly drinks, we bring you five healthy yet flavorsome cool summer drink recipes that have been the traditionally handed down to generations in our households.
Nimbupani / Shikanji
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The evergreen nimbupani is packed with vitamin C and acts as a natural detoxifier. Traditionally, this drink is made by adding lemon juice, salt and sugar to water. But a healthier version would be to replace the regular salt with black/rock salt and sugar with honey. Add a pinch of roasted jeera powder and dry mint leaves to make it tastier. If you are too tired to make nimbupani, then you can throw a few slices of lemon in a pitcher and sip it every half an hour.
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Ooh, this one is my favourite summer drink. Made from raw mangoes, aam panaa is considered as the best anti-heat thirst quencher and has an instant rejuvenating effect on our senses. Boil raw mangoes with jaggery. Then, squeeze the pulp of the raw mangoes, add rock salt and blend it well. Drain the mixture and then add roasted jeera powder and dry mint leaves. Refrigerate for half an hour and serve chilled. Garnish it with boondi to make it wholesome. You can also replace dry mint leaves with fresh mint paste and savour it a standalone drink or with golgappas!
Chhach or buttermilk is a wonderful low calorie alternative for lassi during the summer. It’s not only nourishing but also aids in digestion. It’s believed that thinner the consistency of chhach, better it is for health. Adding a pinch of black salt along with roasted jeera powder and a few chopped coriander leaves to chhach will take its taste to the next level.
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A popular drink in Maharashtrian homes, kokam sharbat is a great coolant. Ready to make kokam sharbat concentrates are easily available in the market but nothing beats the taste of aromatic, homemade version. Soak kokam in hot water for about 5-10 minutes. Blend it in a mixer and drain the juice concentrate. Make a fine powder of black salt sugar, roasted jeera and roasted black pepper. Mix this powder with juice concentrate, add cold water and serve chilled.
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Bael or wood apple is a delightful fruit known for its digestive properties. It is also known as bilwa. The recipe is almost similar to aam ka panaa except that the apple wood is not required to be boiled. Scoop the pulp out of wood apple and allow soaking it in water for about 2-3 hours for softening it. Mash the pulp further if required and strain the mixture to remove the excess fiber. Add jaggery and black salt. You may or may not add water, depending on what consistency you prefer. Serve chilled.
In case you want to add a contemporary twist to the above drinks, then you can freeze them in ice cubes trays. Pour 1-2 ice cubes in a glass of cold water and drink as and when you want to douse your summer thirst.
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