When the sun is blazing overhead, the best way to cool down is to sip summer drink such as a tall glass of Masala Chaas or Buttermilk. A curd and water-based drink that is probiotic and a natural traditional refresher are ideal for summer. It soothes the stomach after a spicy meal and aids in digesting that hearty plate of Biryani. It is known by various names in different parts of India and the method too may be different but the benefits are the same.
A simple recipe for a simple drink you can add or remove whatever ingredients you choose. The basic recipe is made with yogurt churned with spices like cumin powder, black salt, chaat masala, salt, even ginger and green chillies but I limit mine to fresh mint, coriander and curry leaves.
My lunch in summer is incomplete without buttermilk and I like mine churned nicely with an inch of froth on top. How do you like yours?
Recipe for Masala Chaas or Buttermilk
- 2 cups yogurt
- 2 tbsp. fresh mint leaves
- 2 tbsp. fresh coriander leaves
- Pinch of ordinary salt optional
- ½tsp. black salt/kalanamak
- ½ tsp. roasted cumin powder
- 2 glasses chilled water
- Ice cubes optional
- In a hand blender jar add mint leaves, coriander leaves, black salt.(I avoid salt in buttermilk)
- Blend this mixture well.
- Add the yoghurt and blend well.
- Add chilled water and churn until frothy. The colder the water the more froth will you get.
- Take a tall glass, pour the chaas and sprinkle the cumin powder on top.
- Serve Masala Chaas or Buttermilk chilled.
Beat The Heat With Sugarcane Juice
Another summer drink that can protect you from the sweltering heat or a heatstroke is Sugarcane juice. It contains a lot of glucose and gives you instant energy. It has natural sugars and a low glycaemic index which makes it the perfect energy drink for diabetics. The ubiquitous vendors pop up at almost every street corner and there is always a queue for picking up a glass.
The vendor near my home used to have two different mug sizes; one tall and another short and he used to call them Amitabh and Jaya glasses. He would operate an old juice machine that slowly pressed out the delicious green colored cane juice that is cloyingly sweet but exceptionally nourishing and is considered to be a goldmine of health.
When you are sipping a glass of cane juice, keep a couple of spoons aside to use as a face pack or to get rid of zits or even use it as a natural and inexpensive mouthwash.
Sugarcane juice is cloyingly sweet and to neutralize it, the vendor places slices of lime, ginger and fresh mint leaves on the cane while pressing out the juice and this makes it more palatable. The fresh is very refreshing and appetizing with the squeeze of lemon, the tarty ginger and the aroma of fresh mint leaves. The vendors here strain and make it frothy before serving in a glass and adding crushed ice if you ask for it.
Sugarcane juice is full of the right kind of carbohydrates potassium, iron protein, and this makes it the ultimate and cheap energy drink. In the summer months, a glass of sugarcane juice can boost your health and your draining levels of energy due to the heat. It replaces body fluids and helps fight fatigue; I specially go for a drive to have a glass of sugarcane juice every day in summer and it really peps me up.
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