India, popular for its cuisines and road side indulgences, has a lot to offer to the people to ‘Beat the Heat’ in the summers. If you are looking for options that are light and easily available on the go, here is the list of some simple yet captivating liquid delicacies..
1. Nimbu pani/ Shikanjee
photo by ANBI, CC BY-SA 3.0
Few drops of lemon, salt, sugar, water/soda and chaat masala is all you need to make this drink. One of the most consumed beverage in the country, Nimbu Paani or Indian Lemonade is easily available around most street corners in India. But somehow the street vendor gets it all right for everyone’s taste. A glass of this drink probably costs less than a bottle of mineral water but the wonders it does is beyond explanation. With a variety of drinks available in the market, this cooler tops the chart being the Indian version of virgin mojitos. And mind you, even if you are on a diet, this drink falls well in your charts without adding any extra calories.
photo by Ukko-wc, CC BY-SA 3.0
Buttermilk, popularly known as chhach is another thirst quencher famous around the country. Also known as Majige, Tak or Moru around different parts of India, the essence of the drink remains the same. Tracing its origins back in Rajasthan the drink is rich yet easy to get. This curd based drink is easily digestible due to its water content. Ideally, the curd to water proportion is 1:3 but it again varies from place to place. One can have this drink with either salt or sugar but the rejuvenating properties and freshness it imparts remain the same. The preparation is generally enjoyed with ice during the heated months but it could be consumed round the year. Usually mint leaves are added to the drink to make it cooler and more refreshing. A variation to this drink is the ginger buttermilk or Adrak Chhach, with a kick of ginger leaving your taste buds enjoy the twist. The drink is also popular for its nutritional value and probiotics. Have the drink regularly for a fortnight and you can see your skin glowing regardless of the heat.
photo by Gupchup, wikicommons
The quintessential drink of Punjab, one has to try it out. The heavy base of yogurt sweetened either with sugar or jaggery and topped with a layer of cream is just the ‘wow factor’ that one needs to skip the season’s heat. This delicacy from Punjab is relished in all households across India. Though the drink might be a little heavy on the stomach, it fulfils all the nutritional values and has a soothing effect because of the yogurt. There is a variety of flavours available in the market including mango, strawberry, mint, badaam (almond), rose amidst others. But the favourite still remains the original. Also, if you want a pink tinge to this lip-smacking sweetened drink you can add RoohAfza (rose syrup) making it all the more delicious. The drink is available easily in the markets and you won’t have to look hard to find a lassi stall in India.
There are other drinks as well to quench your thirst but these three are our Indian drinks giving the palate a satisfactory taste and replenishes all the heat and minerals and energy lost with rising heat. Next time if you are looking for a substitute for water to beat the scorching Indian heat, you now know what to pick.
Rohit, an architect by profession is a travel lover and food-junkie. While travelling around the world he not only loves to write about the curious travels but also about the cuisines and delicacies he encounters while travelling. Being on the go most of the times, trying food and local delicacies has become his new hobby.