A full blown summer season has officially begun for everyone in Karachi. With multiple heat wave warnings and insane hours of load-shedding, it is really hard to keep your cool. When the weather is not being so kind, it’s really important that we be super kind to ourselves and go that extra mile to keep our bodies healthy and well-hydrated.
So I came up with a few tried and tested recipes collected from friends and family to help all of us beat the heat this summer season. Now these aren’t the traditional nimbu pani or Rooh Afzah type recipes, so I hope you would enjoy the innovation these bring to your table spread 😀
Please note that it is very important to keep yourself hydrated with as many natural drinks as possible. You must avoid all types of packaged fruit juices and sodas as much as possible as they bring no nutritional benefit and only cause problems in the long run.
A Note On Sugar
Most of the following recipes include a little bit of sugar for sweetness (duh). If you want to skip it, go ahead. If you want to add honey, go ahead. If you want to add jaggery, I’m going to stop you right there and suggest you add sugar instead because sugar is a natural coolant and is great for summers whereas jaggery has a warming affect to the body and is best suited for consumption in winters. This goes out to everyone who adds jaggery to tea or coffee. I would also highly discourage you on adding any kind of artificial sweeteners to any food or drink because science keeps changing its mind about their merits and demerits. It’s a lot better to add a few teaspoons of natural cane sugar to your drinks instead of any other sweetener. Sugar that is derived from High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) or beet sugar is also to be avoided. This is the kind of sugar that is added to most soft drinks and colas. And we agree now that those beverages are bad for our health and are linked to metabolic ailments. If you want to learn more on this topic, please read the chapter on Sugar in the book Indian Super Foods by Rujuta Diwekar.
Without further adieu, let’s dive into the recipes!
Honeydew Melon (Kharbooza) Juice
Serves: 4-6 people
Method: The method is really a no-brainer. In a food processor/blender, add one whole honeydew melon (peeled and cubed) with some water. The amount water you add will determine the consistency of the juice. If you like to keep it dilute then add more water. Also squeeze two small sized lemons or one medium sized lemon in it. Add a bunch of mint leaves and lastly, add sugar as per your liking. Give it a good spin in the blender and your drink is all ready!
Recipe by my dearest Ammi.
Cucumber Mint Cooler
Serves: 2-3 people
Method: Peel, slice and roughly cut in cubes, 2-3 medium sized cucumbers. To your food processor/blender, add the cucumbers, half a lemon, a couple of mint leaves, a few slices of ginger for the *zinggg* (or half tsp of ginger paste if you have it in a paste form) and 2 glasses of water. Add sugar or honey as per your liking and blend away until you see no more chunks. This drink is super refreshing and very high in water content!
Recipe by A Food Tale.
Raw Mango Juice (Kairee ka Sherbat)
Serves: 4-6 people
Method: Take about 4-6 well-washed kairees (raw mangoes) and add them to a pot of boiling water. Let them boil for 10-15 minutes until you feel they have become soft. Take them out of the water and let them cool. You can throw away that water or use a little bit of it to moisten the kairee when you extract its pulp. After the kairees have cooled down, peel off the skin and extract all the pulp. Add some mint leaves and sugar (preferably lots of it because this one is a bit sour) to the pulp and blend the mixture in a food processor or with a hand blender. Now your concentrate is ready. You can store this concentrate in a bottle in the fridge for upto 3 days or in the freezer for upto a few weeks. When you wish to serve it, just add the concentrate to a jug and add chilled water to it and mix thoroughly until all the concentrate dissolves. Adjust the water and pulp ratio as per your taste.
Recipe by Shazia Yousuf.
Serves: 4-6 people
Method: This one is a family favorite and it works wonders when it comes to treating dehydration 🙂 In your food processor add one cup fresh yogurt, a few coriander leaves, 2 tsp of cumin powder, half tsp of salt, a pinch or two of black pepper, half tsp of sugar (just to enhance the tangy flavor), 4 glasses of water and blend away. Serve chilled and if you are not serving immediately, then give it a good whisk before serving as the yogurt tends to settle down at the bottom of the jug after a while.
Recipe by Meeee.
I hope you enjoyed all these recipes. Let me know if you try any of them! Don’t forget to give me a shout-out when you do 🙂
Header Image Courtesy of Tehreem of El Arte.