Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Summer coolers

There is nothing like summer coolers to quench your thirst and put out the heat. It may be 100 degrees and sweltering heat outside but summer brings along with it the fresh fruit juice stalls, the sugarcane juice vendors, the lassi wallahs, the spiced minty buttermilk vendors and the almond milk carts. From the tangy Rajasthani chaas, spiced buttemilk spiked with curry leaves and green chilis, to sweet sugarcane juice infused with ginger and lime to the almost dessert like almond milk laced with saffron.....a glass will cool you and refresh you in no time! To summer I say - bring it on!

Watermelon juice
1/4 watermelon, 10 mint leaves, 1 pinch pepper
Cut a thin slice of watermelon and keep aside. Scoop the rest of the watermelon flesh into a mixer and run it in the mixer along with mint leaves and pepper. Stain and allow to cool in the fridge. Remove the seeds from the watermelon kept aside and cut it into small pieces. Serve the chilled watermelon juice after adding the small pieces inside.
Sweet Lassi
1 green cardamom pod , 100 ml natural unsweetened yoghurt , 1½ tsp caster sugar , 1 tsp rose water , 200 ml cold water, 1 tsp crushed pistachios and rose petals, 4 mint leaves
Use the back of a spoon to gently crush a green cardamom pod, until it splits. Remove the seeds with your fingers, and put the seeds into a mixing bowl or jug, along with the yoghurt, sugar, rose water and water. Use a blender to blend the mixture into a smooth paste. Pour into glasses. Top with crushed pistachio and rose petals.Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Mango Lassi
1 cup plain yoghurt, ½ cup mango pulp or pieces of mango, 1 cup crushed ice, 3 tbsp sugar / use sugar substitute if desired
Blend all of the above ingredients. Add a little water if the consistency is too thick. Keep refrigerated. Serve chilled., Garnish with a sprig of mint or slice of mango 
Thandai/Almond drink
20 pieces almonds, soaked overnight 20 gm poppy seeds, soaked overnight , 1 cup milk , 5 pieces pistachios, chopped , 8 tbsp sugar , 2 pieces cardamom, a few strands of saffron
Peel almonds and crush them in blender till a fine paste is formed. Add 2 cups of water so that paste is not so thick and strain it through a fine cloth (mul-mul).Pour the strained water into blender jug. Add one cup of milk to the jug and few ice cubes. Crush poppy seeds to make a liquefied paste and strain through fine cloth. Pour that into jug too. While putting poppy seeds into blender make sure not to use the residue because they are not pure. Add sugar and cardamom. Mix them well. Add more water if desired. Garnish with pistachios and saffron. Serve chilled.
Aam Panah/Raw mango drink
6 medium sized Green Mango, 3 3/4th cup Water , 1 tsp dry-roasted and grounded Cumin Seed, 1/2 tsp Red chili Powder, 1 tsp Salt, 3 tblsp Sugar , 3 tblsp chopped Mint Leaves, 12 crushed Ice-cubes
Place the mangoes in pan, cover , with enough water and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 mins. Drain water, peel, stone and pulp the mango.Add water, salt, sugar, chili and cumin to pulp. Whisk. Stir in mint, whisk again. Pour into jug and serve chilled with ice cubes.
Classic Lemonade
6 lemons, 6 cups cold water, 1 cup sugar
Juice the lemons. In a large pitcher mix the juice, water and sugar. Serve over ice garnished with a lemon slice or two.
4 glasses slightly sour buttermilk, 1 tbsp veg oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, a sprig coriander/cilantro leaves, 10-15 curry leaves, 2' piece ginger, 1/2 tsp asafoetida, 2 green chilis
Put the buttermilk, 1/2 the curry leaves, ginger, chilis and coriander and salt to taste in a food processor, blend well. In a small pan, heat the oil. When hot add mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida.  Add to buttermilk and mix well. Serve.
Sugarcane juice
Go to the nearest sugaecane juice vendor. Make sure he adds ginger and a squeeze of lemon.
Tender coconut water
Again, go to nearest cart selling coconut water. After drinking the water have the soft sweet coconut meat inside!

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