Keep your cool

FOOD FIX

Moong Dal Salad

Greengram dal (moong dal) is said to have a cooling effect on the body. For a healthy snack, take a cup of moong dal (soaked for about two hours and drained) in a salad bowl. To this, add finely chopped onions, green chillies, coriander leaves, a grated carrot and some grated coconut. Sprinkle a little salt and drizzle it with a tsp of lemon juice. Toss it well and add a tadka of oil, mustard and few curry leaves. Let it cool for about half-an-hour and serve. Whole greengram dal (sabut moong), grated cucumber and soya beans can be used as a variation.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Wash and pat dry a bunch of lettuce and spinach. Make bite-sized pieces with the greens. In a salad bowl, toss them along with tomato and cucumber cubes. 

In another bowl, whisk together a tsp of olive oil, ½ tsp of vinegar, a pinch each of salt and pepper powder. Pour the dressing over the salad. Garnish with some roasted peanuts or chopped walnuts. Serve at room temperature.

Seasonal Fruit Salad

You can toss up a fruit salad using a cup each of mango cubes, watermelon pieces, pineapple cubes and few banana slices. Halve an orange and squeeze out the juice. Add a pinch of salt and chat masala. Mix well and refrigerate for about 20 minutes before serving.

Ragi Amblee

Ragi amblee is popular in rural Karnataka. It is made by boiling ground ragi in water till the paste becomes runny without lumps. Once this mixture is cooled, a generous amount of buttermilk is added to it. You can have this as a brunch drink. Adding finely chopped onions, green chillies, coriander leaves and a pinch of cumin powder can enhance the taste. This drink can be made with left-over ragi balls, too. All you need to do is soak the ragi balls in a bowl of water overnight to soften them. 

Classic Thandai

The Thandai, which is popular in North India, is prepared by boiling milk along with ground almonds, poppy seeds, tulsi seeds, melon seeds and rose petals. A couple of whole pepper corns may be added. Once the milk mixture is cool, it can be chilled for about an hour before serving. Poppy seeds are said to have calmative properties to keep our body system cool during summer. 

Paanaka

To prepare Paanaka, add crushed jaggery to a jug of water. When the jaggery has dissolved completely, strain the juice using a muslin cloth. Add mashed musk melon, a dash of lemon juice and a pinch of cardamom powder to it. Serve chilled.

Mango Sherbet

A sweet ‘n’ sour drink ‘Mango Khatta-Meetha’ can be prepared by adding lemon juice, grated raw mango and crushed jaggery to plain chilled water. This is served as a welcome drink at many homes in north India.

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