Lesser known Indian Summer Drinks by Harsha Khanna.

India has always been known for its understanding of relation between seasons and food. Every season, has a list of food to be taken or to be avoided.
Summer in India is long and intense. We need to stay hydrated and also make sure that we don’t lose out on salt and sugar. Our ancient scriptures recommend many such drinks. Every region has its own Summer Drink.
Chaach, Aam panna, Kokum sharbat,
Shikanji, Sattu ka Ghol, Ragi Ambali, Lassi , Imli ka Amalana, Bel sharbat, Phalsa sharbat, Gondha Raj lebu er Ghol are a few of them.
Sharing with you the lesser known recipes.

1. Ragi Ambali

4 tablespoons ragi flour
3 cups water
5 cups plain buttermilk
salt to taste
¼ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
10-12 curry leaves
2 tablespoons chopped onions
1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
Add 2 and ½ cups of water to a pot to boil. Meanwhile, mix 4 tablespoon ragi flour in the remaining ½ cup of water using a small wire whisk. Make sure there are no lumps in the mixture.
Once the water comes to a rolling boil, slowly add the ragi mixture to the boiling water.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid the formation of lumps. Remove the pot from heat and let this mixture cool completely.
Add the cooled ragi mixture to 5 cups of buttermilk and whisk nicely until smooth. Add salt to taste, ¼ teaspoon roasted cumin powder, ¼ teaspoon asafoetida, 10-12 curry leaves, and 2 tablespoon chopped onion, and mix well.
Chill for a few hours. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve chilled.

2. Masala Chaach

1 cup Dahi
2 cups chilled water
salt (to taste)
¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
8-10 chopped mint leaves
1 teaspoon chopped coriander
1 green chilly
5-7 Curry Leaves
1 inch ginger
Grind together Mint leaves, Coriander leaves, Green chilly, Ginger and Curry patta.
In a bowl of Dahi and water add the above made paste. Blend with a hand mixer. Add salt, black pepper and bhuna jeera to taste. Chill for a few hours.

3. Sattu ka Ghol

¼ cup Chana sattu
4 cups Chilled water
2 teaspoon Lemon juice
½ teaspoon Roasted Cumin powder
2 teaspoon Mint leaves (Chopped)
Black salt to taste
Add all the ingredients in a jug and mix well.
Serve in glasses along with some ice cubes.
Garnish with more mint leaves.

4. Imli ka Amalana

1/4 Cup Tamarind Pulp
4 Cup Chilled Water
1/4 Cup Sugar Powdered
Black Salt to Taste
1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper Powder
1 Tsp. Roasted Cumin Powder
1/2 Tsp. Green Cardamom Powder
2 Tsp. Lemon Juice
Few Mint Leaves, Chopped

Combine all ingredients together in a glass container and mix well.
Serve in individual glass with ice cubes.

5. Gondha Raj lebu er ghol

Curd – 250 gms
Gandharaj Lebu – 1
Gandharaj Leb leaf – 2
Sugar – 2 tbsp, as per taste
Rock Salt – a fat pinch
Mint leaves
Mix all the ingredients except lime leaves in a blender. Pour to individual glasses and garnish with lime leaves and serve chilled. You may add ice cubes too,.

My childhood favorite was Doodh Cold Dink, which was Rooh Afza sharbat added to cold milk topped with Sabja seeds. I still love it.