India's climatic diversity and rich cultural heritage have given birth to various refreshing summer drinks. Here are 11 refreshing and hydrating Indian beverages you must try to beat the heat:
Lassi is a popular traditional dahi (yogurt)-based drink originating in the Punjab region. It's made by blending yogurt with water and often adding sugar and spices like cardamom. A variation includes mango lassi, which includes mango pulp. Lassi is rich in probiotics, which promote a healthy gut. It's also an excellent coolant and helps in digestion.
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Nimbu Pani (All over India):
Nimbu Pani, or Indian lemonade, is perhaps India's most common household drink. It's fresh lemon juice mixed with water, sugar, salt, and often a pinch of black pepper or cumin powder. This drink is an excellent source of Vitamin C and helps keep your body cool and hydrated.
Aam Panna (North India and West Bengal):
A tangy drink made from raw mangoes, sugar, and an assortment of spices. Aam Panna is known for its heat-resistant properties and is an excellent source of vitamins B1 and B2, niacin, and Vitamin C. It helps prevent excessive loss of sodium chloride and iron during summer due to excessive sweating.
Coconut Water (Coastal Regions):
Coconut water is nature's own isotonic drink, loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. It is a natural energy drink that has a high electrolyte content, perfect for rehydration.
Buttermilk or Chaas (North India, Rajasthan, Gujarat):
Chaas is a savory drink made with yogurt, water, and a mix of spices like cumin and ginger. It's excellent for digestion, high in calcium, and a perfect coolant for summers.
Sugarcane Juice (All over India):
Sugarcane juice often served with a dash of lemon and mint, is an instant energizer. It's high in calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. It's excellent for ensuring kidney health and the proper functioning of the liver.
Jal Jeera (North India):
Jal Jeera, which translates to 'cumin water,' is a popular Indian summer drink that's both refreshing and healthy. Made from cumin, mint, and lemon, it acts as a fantastic digestive and an excellent way to hydrate in the summer heat.
Rooh Afza (All over India):
This is a concentrated syrup made from fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and roots with a sweet rose scent. Mixed with cold water or milk, it creates a sweet, rose-scented drink. It is known to combat dehydration and indigestion.
Shikanji (North India):
Also known as Indian Lemonade, Shikanji is a type of traditional limeade or lemonade from North India. Besides lemon or lime juice, it contains ginger juice, salt, saffron, and cumin. It's a wonderful source of vitamin C and a refreshing drink.
Sol Kadi (Western India, Goa):
Sol Kadi, a drink made from kokum (a type of plum) and coconut milk, is known for its cooling properties and ability to aid digestion. To make it, soak some kokum in water, then blend with coconut milk, garlic, and spices. It's usually consumed after meals.
Thandai (North India, especially Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan):
Thandai is a chilled almond-flavored beverage that is rich in protein and helps in cooling the body. It's traditionally associated with the festival of Holi and made with a mix of spices, seeds, rose water, and often cannabis.
Remember, while these drinks are refreshing and have multiple health benefits, they should be consumed as part of a balanced diet.
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