Summer is here, and most of the tropical zone in the North ( between 0 degrees and 23and a half degrees North), is reeling with temperatures rising. Its best to stay indoors if possible, to stay hydrated, and never to step out empty stomach, especially where the hot winds called the Loo ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loo_%28wind%29 )blow. Nature has provided with natural coolants, and we must make use of these to keep our body and soul cool.
There are some concentrates which we get in the market. They seem good, but are loaded with sugar, and preservatives, so maybe if possible, we can make them at home.
1. COCONUT WATER : One of my favorites. Natures bounty! The coconut tree is known as the kalpavriksh, which means the tree of life. Every part of this tree is used by man, for his benefit, including this delicious drink. Packed with electrolytes, sodium and potassium, calcium, and more, it works well when we are sweating up a storm. It maintains the electrolyte balance in our bodies and quenches our thirst, keeping our tummies full for some time. It has several health benefits. Enjoy the drink, right from the fruit and help the coconut seller standing in the heat to earn a living. Its the ultimate health drink.
3. THANDAI (SARDAI) An energy drink, is widely used in many parts of India, as a special drink, which almost suffices for a meal, and is a quencher. It is made from almonds( soaked and peeled), pistachios, rose petals (or rose essence, Khus (vetiver) esssence, watermelon seeds, cardamom, fennel, black pepper, khus-khus(poppy seeds), saffron, milk and sugar. Grind together all of these, except the sugar, with a little milk. Boil the rest of the milk, and add the paste and sugar, mix it well. Cool the drink, and serve it chilled. The quantity of sugar and milk has to be the same. You can chuck your dieting out of the window, and indulge in this yum drink once in a way.
Now for the sweet lassi, add sugar to taste or caster sugar, and mix it with a hand blender. You can add rose essence, any flavoring, like Khus juice or Roohafza, pieces of any fruit you like, could be strawberry or mango and water, and run it through a blender. Your sweet, yummy flavored fruity lassi is ready to be enjoyed chilled.
6. FRUIT JUICES : Try and have all these juices without sugar, and in a few according to taste you can squeeze in half a teaspoon of lemon juice. Some can be enjoyed sweet and some with salt and pepper. For example,mango juice is sweet, grape juice can be savored with salt and little sugar, or as it is.
Another very interesting juice is Phalsa Juice. These small fleshy purple colored little fruits, are grown in the tropical regions, mainly India, Philippines, Bangladesh and around. It comes in the market only for a few days. It is a natural coolant. It needs to be washed well, and put in the blender with a little bit of water, sugar and salt. Strain, chill and enjoy the drink. The fruit is known for its medicinal properties. It reduces thirst, cures fevers, and inflammation among other uses.
There are many more, and can be added here. I will do so, as time permits. Till then keep well hydrated, and stay cool. Enjoy the summers, and what it has to offer.