Happy drink

Happy drink

Summer time and cool drinks go together. The ‘thanda’ drink is relished as much by guests who drop in for a chat as by family members. But for most home-makers coping with the summer thirst is just a hop to the super market to load their fridges with fancy, caffeinated drinks. This year, for a change, sift through your kitchen spices and make your own drink for reasons of health, novelty, variety and taste.
Here are some innovative ideas that are easy on the pockets too.

Ragi drink: Ragi is calcium rich and has good protein content. It is not only nutritious but soothing and cooling too.     

Take two tea spoonful of ragi powder, mix with water and boil for a few minutes, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Allow it to cool. Add enough normal water to make it thin. Mince a piece of onion and mix it. Add some curd, salt and chopped coriander. Keep the drink cool and serve it in tall glasses.
A sweeter variation of this could be had by soaking a few dates in hot water, grinding them to a paste and mixing it with the ragi drink. Honey and jaggery are other choices to sweeten purees, coriander and mint juices.
Tamarind-jaggery drink: Tamarind is a good antidote for sun strokes, while jaggery is an instant energy booster that peps you up from the heat. Heat a lemon-sized lump of jaggery along with two strands of tamarind till the jaggery dissolves. When cool, mash the tamarind, strain the liquid, add salt and jeera powder. The drink is ready.
Spicy dal water: Dals are full of proteins and other nutrients.  Turn the water in which dal is cooked into a delectable drink.     Boil dal water with a piece of onion and two to three flakes of garlic. When cooked, mash the onion and garlic well, strain the water, cool it. Spice it with lemon, jeera powder, hing and pepper.
Green tea: It is rich in folic acid niacin, vitamin C, polyphenols, etc. It has antioxidant properties that fight cholesterol, carcinogens and cell mutations, raises immunity (half tea spoon for one cup). Keep covered for a while, strain, add lemon juice and honey. Serve cold or hot.

Barley water: Barley is one of the first cereals to be discovered. It is said that kidney and urinary problems are less among communities that consume barley in plenty. Its bland Taste puts off many. But spicing it with lemon juice, jeera powder, etc and adding sugar and salt makes it tasty. Boil a few grains of barley in water till the grains puff up and are soft like cooked rice. Strain the water, cool it, and add lemon juice, sugar, salt, etc and serve.

Rice ganji with salt and ghee: Rice consists of the three constituents of food viz fats, carbohydrates and proteins. The water in which it is cooked deserves to be put to use and is a good thirst quencher. Add a pinch of salt and a drop of ghee to the water you get after draining the cooked rice. If it is preferred cool then add only salt because ghee solidifies when cooled.

It’s time to use your imagination to breeze through this summer and make your guests and family members also happy!