Approach summers, temperatures start to rise high leaving everyone feeling fatigued, sweaty, and messed up. Staying hydrated is the most significant part to keep going in this scorching heat and keep good health. Your body tends to lose water at a quicker speed because of excessive sweating. While water is the most important liquid to satisfy your thirst, you can seek other summery drinks that not only satiate your thirst but also maintain your body cool.
Ragi Ambli; a healthy drink, popular in Karnataka during summers. Pavithra Raj, a Bengaluru-based dietician, says, “Ragi or finger millet is a rich source of fibre and helps in lowering cholesterol and controls weight. This is good for diabetes and is a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals. The phytochemicals present in ragi help slow down digestion and aid in controlling blood sugar levels.”
Water 1 glass
Ragi powder 2tbsp
Butter milk ½ glass
Salt to taste
Method: Boil water and add ragi powder to it. Cook on a low flame till the ragi powder gets cooked completely. Once the mixture cools down, add buttermilk and salt as required.
Sattu sherbet; Sattu is a staple of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and has many cooling benefits and a high nutritional value. “There are two variants — one made from roasted chana dal and the other from roasted jau (barley). Both contain insoluble fibre that address Vata issues,” says Roopashree Sharma, founder, Atharvanlife.com.
Roasted sattu powder 250gm
Jaggery/coconut sugar/palm sugar 50gm
Jeera powder 2tbsp
Himalayan salt 2tsp
Lemon juice ½ tbsp
Method: Blend all ingredients to make the sattu mix powder. In a glass of water; add 2 tbsp of this powder with ½ tbsp lime juice. Stir well and serve.
Nannari sherbet; Popular in South India, Nannari has cooling medicinal properties. The herb sarsaparilla, called Nannari in Tamil or Naruneendi in Malayalam “helps keep the body cool, reduces urinary infections, arthritis and constipation and is a blood purifier. Drink this in morning on an empty stomach,” says Chef Raji, Beyond Dining Co.
Nannari root powder 100gm
Water 1 litre
Jaggery 200gm (optional)
Lime juice 1tbsp
Method: Boil water and Nannari powder. Leave it overnight. Add to it jaggery and some lime juice. Strain and serve chilled. This powder is available online.
Jigarthanda; A popular drink from Madurai, is known for its cooling properties. Himanshu Rai, chief dietician and nutritionist, Think You, says, “This is helpful in easing different body pains and good to counter acidity.”
Full fat milk 1 cup
Condensed milk 1 tbsp
Nannari syrup (available online) 1tsp
Badam pisin or almond gum or katira gond 1 tsp
Ice-cream of any flavour 1 scoop
Method: Soak badam pisin overnight. Next morning, discard water and refrigerate. In a pan, add milk and condensed milk, mix well and keep aside. In a glass, add badam pisin, Nannari syrup, mixed milk and a scoop of ice cream. Blend all ingredients together. Add chopped almonds or cashew nuts. Serve chilled.
Piyush; A popular in Maharashtra and Gujarat, is made with shrikhand. “ Rich in probiotics, it helps with digestion, has protein and calcium and keeps the body cool and develops immunity,” says Neha Mathur, founder, WhiskAffair.
Plain shrikhand (chilled) 2 cups
Yogurt (chilled) 1 cup
Milk (chilled) 2 cups
Cardamom powder 1tsp
Nutmeg powder ½ tsp
Saffron (soaked in 2tbsp milk) 10-15 strands
Almond and pistachio slivers for garnishing
Method: Add all ingredients in a blender and blend. Add sugar if needed. Serve chilled with almond and pistachio slivers.
Taal/Nongu sherbet; Palmyra fruit or nongu or tadgola is seasonal and local fruit but is available across the country. The British called it ‘ice apple’ for its cooling and hydrating effects. “A rich source of electrolytes, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins C and B, it is anti-inflammatory and has healing powers to soothe the digestive tract, inflamed skin, acidity and nausea,” says Manasa Rajan, a holistic health coach.
Tender nongu/palm fruit (chilled) 5
Liquid palm jaggery 1.5tbsp
Pulp of passion fruits 2
Method: Peel and scoop out gel-like pulp. Mash with a spoon. Add liquid palm jaggery and passion fruit pulp. Mix and serve with mint leaves.
Imli ka amalana; A popular drink in Rajasthan, is ideal for summers. It aids in digestion and helps in checking bloating. It’s also a natural painkiller for stomachache. Imli or tamarind is also good for skin and boosts immunity, says home chef Swati Mane.
Ginger 2-inch piece
Cinnamon powder 2tsp
Cardamom powder 1tsp
Black pepper 1tsp
Water 0.5 litre
Salt to taste
Mint leaves for garnishing
Method: Soak imli for 30 minutes and boil in hot water. Add all ingredients and boil for 20 minutes more till the jaggery is melted. Cool, strain. Add to water and serve chilled with mint leaves.
Green delight; Kamalika De, a Mumbai-based food blogger, says, “Khus khus is known for its soothing effects, checks inflammation and boosts immunity. Cucumber contains antioxidants and lemon is a good source of vitamin C.”
Khus sherbet (available in supermarkets and online) 2tbsp
Cucumber juice 1tsp sherbet
Lemon juice 1tsp
Mint leaves 1 sprig
Sugar syrup 1 tsp
Water 1 ½ cup
Method: In a glass add all ingredients to water. Add ice cubes and serve.
Mango lassi; Mango is rich in vitamin C and fibre, while yoghurt is rich in calcium and is good for bone health.
Mangoes (chopped) 2 cups
Yoghurt 2 cups sherbet
Sugar 2 tsp (optional)
Method: Blend mangoes and yoghurt in a blender. Add sugar if needed. Garnish with chopped mango and mint leaves.
Pyar Mohabbat Ka Sherbet; It is Old Delhi’s popular summer drink. Godhuli Sengupta, a fitness and nutrition coach, says, “I use falooda-flavoured whey protein as it’s low in calories.”
Milk 1 cup
Sugar 1tsp sherbet
Watermelon cubes ¼ cup
Watermelon juice ¼ cup
Rooh Afza sherbet 1 tbsp
Method: Add sugar, Rooh Afza, ice to milk and blend. Add watermelon cubes and juice and mix. Serve chilled.