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Four Indian Health Drink Recipes to Keep Cool This Summer

Four Indian Health Drink Recipes to Keep Cool This Summer

Many parts of the world, including the UAE, are experiencing a heat wave.

While some people still have the luxury of working from home, others have to get outside and brave the heat, which can often cause dizziness and dehydration if preventive measures are not taken.

Fortunately, nature has blessed us with certain plants and herbs that are especially helpful when mercury levels rise. They can help lower our body temperature and keep us cool, hydrated and healthy, especially when consumed in drink form.

Here are four to try, with each recipe providing a single serving.

Kokum

Kokum, or garcinia indica, helps control body heat and acidity, also known as pitta. Its cooling properties make this plant from the mangosteen family ideal for summer consumption. It also improves digestion and can be consumed as a juice or used to flavor curries.

Recipe: sol kadhi (kokum coolant)

ingredients

6-8 pieces dried kokum, unsalted

Pink salt, to taste

Pinch of hinge (asafoetida)

½ tsp green chilies, crushed (optional)

3-4 curry leaves

1 cup light coconut milk

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp grated ginger

½ tsp crushed garlic (optional)

Coconut oil, to temper

Flaxseed and coriander, to garnish

Method

Soak the kokum in warm water for a few minutes and then remove the kokum water with a sieve

Put the coconut water in a bowl, add the coconut milk and salt and mix well.

Add the crushed peppers, ginger and garlic in a strainer and then dip into the kokum water to extract their flavors.

Heat some coconut oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and curry leaves and stir in the kokum mixture.

Garnish with freshly ground flaxseed and coriander.

Serve hot or cold.

Pro tip: Avoid reheating this drink. Refrigerate to store, then remove an hour before consumption.

Sattu

I call sattu the great Indian protein shake. It involves roasting Bengali gram or chana dal flour and mixing it with some cumin powder or even coriander.

This superfood has been around in India for decades. Sattu is a cooling agent that naturally lowers your body temperature, it is also a pure protein source and is rich in fiber, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium.

A combination of buttermilk and sattu works well as a summer drink and one glass can be consumed daily.

Recipe: spiced sattu buttermilk

ingredients

2 tablespoons sattu powder

3 tbsp fresh A2 organic yogurt

2 cups of water

Pinch of black pepper

¼ tsp roasted cumin powder

Pink salt, to taste

1 tsp lemon juice

Coriander and mint leaves, ginger, mustard seeds, curry leaves, for garnish

Method

Whisk the yogurt until smooth, then add the rest of the ingredients (except those recommended for garnish).

Dilute with water, adding more if you prefer the buttermilk thin, while stirring well.

Garnish with chopped coriander and mint leaves; half a spoon of freshly grated ginger; or mustard seeds and curry leaves tempered in oil.

Serve immediately.

Pro tip: You can make a simple version of this drink with just cumin powder and pink salt added to curds and water.

jeera

Cumin seeds are a natural antioxidant that stimulates the digestive process and relieves intestinal gas, acidity and bloating.

When mixed with water (jal), the resulting drink, known in India as jaljeera, is extremely cooling and refreshing. It is traditionally made in a matka (mud and clay pot), which makes this concoction more alkaline.

Jaljeera aids in digestion and reduces the occurrence of bloating and wind.

Recipe: jaljeera

ingredients

3-4 cups of water

2½ tsp roasted cumin powder

1 tsp fennel seed (saunf)

2 tsp lime juice

½ tbsp dried ginger powder or grated fresh ginger

1 bunch of fresh mint leaves

½ tsp black pepper

Pinch of hinge (asafoetida)

Black salt or rock salt, as needed

1 tbsp finely chopped raw mango, for garnish

Organic cane sugar or honey (optional)

Method

Combine all ingredients (except water) in a processor. Grind until everything is mixed and then pass through a sieve.

Add water or as needed, between 3 and 4 cups.

Serve chilled in a clay pot, garnished with finely chopped raw mango, lime wedges and more mint leaves.

Add organic raw honey or cane sugar to sweeten.

Pro tip: Adding mint to jaljeera can help cool the stomach and is also great for keeping you hydrated.

Raw mango (kairi)

Unripe mangoes are a source of vitamins B and C, as well as bioactive polyphenols that help fight oxidative stress. The fruit is also rich in flavonoids such as mangiferin and quercetin, which have potent anti-inflammatory effects.

Mangoes have a bad reputation when it comes to heating up those who eat them, but raw mango – if consumed properly – can actually lower body temperature.

One way to consume raw mango, other than in a crisp Thai salad, is in an Indian summer favorite called aam panna.

Recipe: aam panna (raw mango drink)

ingredients

½ cup raw mango or green mango

1 tbsp organic cane sugar powder

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper powder

5 to 6 mint leaves, crushed

¼ tsp roasted cumin seed powder

1 cup of water

Method

Add the mango, cane sugar powder and a cup of water to a pressure cooker. Cook for four to five whistles.

Release the steam and let the cooked mangoes cool completely.

Peel them and remove the soft flesh.

Place the pulp in a jar, stir in some salt, black pepper powder and toasted cumin seed powder and mix well.

Add the crushed mint leaves or a mint leaf paste.

To serve, add two tablespoons of this concentrate to water.

Pro tip: Don’t skimp on the cumin powder and black pepper, these help ease digestion.

Luke Coutinho is a lifestyle coach specializing in integrative medicine and co-author of ‘The Great Indian Diet’

Updated: June 19, 2022, 11:34 AM

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