Drinks(Non Alcoholic)

Cool summer drink(Thandai)

We are having a very hot summer here these days. We moved to a new apartment last week and it was extremely difficult under hot sun. All that we craved for was some cool drink which would cool down our bodies. I am not a great fan of any kind of sodas and I get bored of store bought juices very soon. I made a couple of cool drinks which I am going to post here in next few days.

I have heard so much about this drink Thandai – a cold drink made of dried nuts and some spices. This recipe was sent to me by Gowri last year. This drink also has poppy seeds which are supposed to have cooling effects on the body. The fennel seeds(saunf/badishepi) give a great flavor. I instantly became a fan of this drink. I have seen different versions of this recipe, but I really liked this version, so I am going to stick to it. Thanks a lot Gowri.

15 almonds
1 tea spn peppercorns
1 tbl spn dry grapes(raisins)
2 dates (wet)
1 tea spn fennel seeds (saunf/badishepi)
2 tea spn poppy seeds
2 cardamom with pods

Soak dates, almonds, peppercorns, raisins, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, cardamom overnight in the water(I just soak them for 2-3 hours). Next day grind to a very smooth paste. Add sugar (as per your taste) and Milk to bring it to required consistency. Strain. Serve chilled.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 15mins

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Strawberry milkshake

Who does not like the beautiful strawberries? I have this uncontrollable love for them, so I buy them almost every time I go for shopping. As far as I have seen, they have pretty short shelf life compared to any other fruits. So if I forget them for a while, I have to throw the entire stock. That happened a couple of times. So this time as soon as I bought them, I made this delicious milkshake for dinner. Yes, dinner :).

My touch to this simple milkshake was a generous amount of cardamom powder. I was not sure how it would work out. It was just out of the world. Now I know what to do with remaining strawberries.

2 cups cold milk
3-4 strawberries
1 tbl spn sugar(change according to taste)
1/8 tea spn freshly powdered cardamom

In a blender, take strawberries, milk and sugar. Blend it for couple of minutes. Now add cardamom and mix.
Serve chilled.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 2mins

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Sweet and spicy mango drink (Appe huLi)

Appe huLi is a signature dish of Havyaks. I have been searching for this recipe for a long time now. There are many ways of making this HuLi. Most of the times, it is made with a special kind of raw mangoes called appe midi, salted for a long time. Apparently ‘appe huLi concentrate’ is also available in markets.

Since aayi has tasted this dish at one of her friend’s home, she told me it is thin and many times people drink it like rasam. Recently when going through a magazine, I found a recipe for aape huLi. Since it was very simple and didn’t require any concentrate or preserved mangoes, I tried it immediately. Did I mention I drank half of it while cooking itself?. I had to make it all over again because it got over in one go.

Once my mango stock got over, I tried the same with kokum. One of my friend had told me appe huLi can be made with kokum. I haven’t heard of this version before. But call it whatever you want – either appe huLi or mango rasam or mango drink or kokum kadi, it is THE best.

This dish is perfectly suited for the kind of extreme cold weather we are having – though it is a perfect summer drink, I am making this in winter here. It has such a soothing effect for the throat.

1 cup raw mango pieces (do not include outer skin)
1 tea spn jaggery
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
2 green chilies
2 red chilies
A pinch asafoetida
3-4 curry leaves

Cook the mango pieces in water. Grind it to a paste.
Cook the paste with jaggery, salt and water. Add enough water to bring it to a consistency of rasam.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves, green chilies, red chilies and asafoetida. Add this to the dish.

Serves : 2
Preparation time :10mins

PS: Increase or decrease the amount of mangoes depending on the sourness. The mangoes available here were not at all sour.

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Pepper-jaggery drink(Panak/panakam)

Today is celebrated as “Ram Navami” by Hindus. This festival is celebrated on the 9th day from Ugadi, Hindu new year. Ram Navami is celebrated as the birth day of lord Rama, from epic Ramayana. On all the 9 days from Ugadi to Ram Navami, poojas and bhajans are performed in the temples.

The main attraction for the kids in this festival is prasad that is served after the pooja. A very tasty spread of food (naivedya/naivedyam – food which is offered to god) is prepared and offered to god and then distributed among the people gathered for the pooja. Obviously the food offered is purely vegetarian without onions and garlic.

At my native, naivedya for this festival usually consists of
muga dali usli (a dry dish prepared with moong dal) – right in the below picture,
chane usli (a dry dish with black chickpeas) – left in the below picture,
ambli pachdi (spiced shredded mango dish),
– panak (a sweetish, spicy drink)

Usually panak is a must during this festival. Other dishes vary from temple to temple. I will post recipes of other 3 dishes soon. After the pooja, god’s idol is taken in palanquin in a procession. The palanquin is placed on many of the Ashwatha katte(a round structure created around the Ashwatha tree) in many places across the village and different people offer pooja to the idol. In many small villages, towns and cities all across India these Ashwatha katte can be found. Devotees, believers normally are found making pradakshina (rounds) in the morning, which is also beneficial to health because of the fresh air around trees.

2-3 tbl spn jaggery
2 cups water
1/4 tea spn cardamom powder
1/2 tea spn pepper powder
1/2 tea spn grated ginger(optional)
1 tea spn lemon juice(optional)

Ginger and lemon is not added in panak at my place. But in many temples, it is a must.

Mix all of the above till jaggery is dissolved in water. Make a paste of ginger and add it. Mix well.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 5mins

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Mashmelon milkshake(Chibda/karbooja milkshake)

This recipe was sent to me by Aruna. She has sent me a lot of recipes and I owe her for the immense support she is giving to Aayisrecipes. I have been trying many of her recipes in last few days and loved this milkshake. Here is what she said about this milkshake, “It is summer and the heat is killing. This is good milkshake, and in case it fruit is sweet then no need of sugar”.

Mashmelons are called as ‘chibbad’ in Konkani. The Indian name for mashmelon/musk melon/cantalope is ‘Karbooja’. They are used in a sweet dish called as ‘HashaLe’ (I will post the recipe soon). But I had never bought it here before. With the kind of heat we are experincing here these days, any kind of milkshake would catch my immediate attention.

Updated on August 21
I used ‘Honey dew melons‘ for this milkshake (Thanks Shobitha for the information). Read here about different melons available in American grocery stores.

I tweaked the proportions to suit our taste. This had the distinguising flavour of melon. Increase the amount of melon if desired.

Note: Honey dew melon leaves a tinge of bitter taste to the milkshake, so be careful if using this melon, since I had used this melon, I have reduced the amount of fruit considerably(have used just 2 pieces) in the milkshake. I think cantalope should solve this problem.

Updated on 29th August
Today I tried this milkshake with cantalope. It tasted amazing (no bitter taste at all)

Honey dew melon (around 2″ cubes) 2 pieces or Cantalope pieces  1 cup
Sugar 2 tea spns
Cardamom powder 1/4 tea spn
Milk 2 cups

If melons are too sweet, don’t add sugar.

Blend all the ingredients in mixer/blender. Strain through a tea strainer.
Serve chilled.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 5min

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Mango lassi

I am not a very big fan of sweet lassi, but I absolutely loved the spicy/salted version of it served with meals in almost all restaurants in Bangalore. When I saw ‘Mango lassi’ here at almost all Indian restaurants, I never actually thought of trying it. Then our friend told us that the mango lassi tastes absolutely yummy, so when I tried it, I could not stop at one glass. Mmmmm it was heavenly. Now I never miss any opportunity to have it at home and at restaurants. So when Sunil asked about this recipe, I bought a tin of mango pulp (I used ‘Kesar mango pulp’ for this, but any mango pulp can be used) so that I could continue to enjoy this heavenly drink atleast for 1 week :D.

Mango pulp 3/4 cup
Curd/yogurt 1 cup
Milk(optional) 3/4 cup
Sugar 2-3 tea spns
Cardamom 1/2 tea spn

Ripe mangoes can also be used instead of ‘mango pulp’. Peel mangoes and blend them in a blender/mixer to get a smooth pulp. Increase/decrease the amount of milk and sugar to get desired consistency and sweetness.

Blend all the ingredients in a blender/mixer for around 2 mins to get a smooth mixture.
Serve chilled.

Makes 2 glasses
Preparation time : 2-3mins

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Watermelon juice

When I was a kid, watermelon was a must at home during summer. Since I absolutely love the chilled watermelon pieces (my mom used to cut them and keep in refrigerator, but she never knew how the pieces disappeared within an hour!!!), my father brings watermelon whenever he comes across them anywhere in the market. My mom never wasted the white part of watermelon, she makes the delicious sweet dosas and normal dosas with them.

Recently, when I bought watermelon here, the guy who was selling them told me, the watermelons having green color and a yellowish patch on one side are the sweetest ones. He was right, the one which I had bought was very very sweet. So now, I am daily having a glass of watermelon juice for breakfast :).

Watermelon pieces(chilled) 3 cups
Sugar 1/2 cup
Ginger 1″ piece
Pepper 3-4

Blend all the ingredients together. Serve with ice.
Serve this immediately after preparing it, otherwise it becomes watery.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 5mins

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Pineapple juice

I found a very good article about summer juices and drinks a few days back. These days we get very good pineapples here. I never really liked pineapple juice before. But this one tasted just amazing. Chilled pineapple juice for a hot day, what else can I ask for?

Pineapple pieces    1 cup
Saffron strands     4-5
Sugar   2-3 tea spns
Water    1 and 1/2 cups

Blend all together in a blender to a smooth mixture. Strain the juice.

A few variations to this juice are –
– Use cardamom instead of saffron.
– Add few  pepper corns while blending.
Serve the juice chilled.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 5mins

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Carrot juice

These days the temperature has become unbearable here. Even if we go out for 5mins in the sun, we feel like almost dead by the time we reach home. So I am preparing a lot of healthy juices at home instead of drinking any artificial ones. I would like to post as many juices as possible in this summer.

Medicinal values of
Carrot : High in beta carotene, a powerful anticancer, artery-protecting, immune-boosting, infectionfighting,antioxidant with wide protective powers. A carrot a day slashed stroke rates in women by 68 percent. The beta-carotene in one medium carrot cuts lung cancer risk in half, even among formerly heavy smokers. Improves the eyesight. Beta carotene, as found in carrots, substantially reduces odds of degenerative eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. The high soluble fiber in carrots promotes regularity. Cooking can make it easier for the body to absorb carrot’s beta-carotene. Builds healthy skin and tissue. Good for heart disease. Reduces the risk of cancer.

Ginger : Ginger is a classic tonic for the digestive tract. It stimulates digestion and keeps the intestinal muscles toned. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and is useful with symptoms of arthritis. It also supports a healthy cardiovascular system.

Carrot 2
Ginger 2″ piece
Sugar 1 tbl spn
Cardamom 1/2 tea spn

Cut carrot into small pieces and grind along with all the ingredients and 3 cups of water.
If required, strain the juice before serving (but to retain the fibres in the juice, do not strain it).
Serve chilled.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 5min

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Raagi Neeru (Nanchne udak)

Raagi/nanchne (Finger millet) Neeru (water) is a drink served at almost all homes in North Kanara during summer. It is supposed to be the best drink to beat the heat. Since the heat becomes unbearable in the coastal areas, people usually drink this after working for long hours under the sun.

The raagi powder is prepared fresh by frying the raagi(without oil) for a few minutes and then grinding it to a fine powder. But these days everybody uses the ready made raagi flour for this.

The black liquid jaggery usually found in North Kanara is used for this drink, but if it cannot be found, the normal jaggery can also be used.

These days, as any other traditional dish, this heavenly drink is substituted by more and more commercial drinks. But I bet this is the best to beat the heat compared to any other ready made juice or drinks that we get in market.

I remember my aayi used to give us the chilled nanchne udak when we came back from playing during sunny days. We preferred this to any other juice.

I will post the picture soon (once I find raagi here).

Raagi/nanchne powder 1/2 cup
Jaggery 2 tbl spns
Cardamom powder 1/2 tea spn
Water 2 cups

Mix all the ingredients and blend it for a few minutes. Chill.
Before serving, mix once again with a spoon.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 5min

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