Summer is beating down harshly upon us. Marked with rising temperatures and intense heat, this season is the perfect time for fresh juices. Has the sun got your tempers flaring? Then, it’s time you cooled down with some refreshing drinks. But before you pick up that carbonated drink, just know that there are healthier options that you could create right in the confines of your kitchen. Raid that refrigerator for some fresh veggies and you are good to go. To help you get started, here are some quick and simple recipes.
Ingredients: 4 cups grated carrot, 4 tbsp jaggery syrup, 1/8 tsp cardamom powder (optional), 4 tsp lemon juice.
Method: Grind carrot gratings to a smooth paste and add 4 cups of water to it. Mix it well and then strain. Add the rest of the ingredients and serve chilled or with ice cubes. For a variation, add salt, pepper instead of jaggery, and serve with lime juice.
Ingredients: 4 glasses chilled buttermilk, 4 tsp sesame seeds (toasted and crushed), few
coriander leaves (chopped), a pinch of asafoetida, salt to taste.
Method: Add salt and asafoetida to buttermilk and mix well. Stir in a tsp of sesame seeds in each glass and serve garnished with coriander leaves.
Dry fruit lassi
Ingredients: 4 glasses thick chilled curd, sugar or jaggery syrup to taste, a pinch of salt, 8 tbsp or 1 cup chopped mixed dry fruits like almonds, cashew nuts, pista, raisins, wet dates.
Method: Soak the dry fruits in just enough warm water for an hour so that they soften. Whisk the curds well with sugar or jaggery syrup till smooth & fluffy. In a tall glass, put 2 tbsp of dry fruits, some ice cubes, and then pour the lassi over it. Stir once and enjoy.
Fresh fruit lassi
Ingredients: 4 glasses thick chilled curds, sugar or jaggery syrup to taste, 8 tbsp or 1 cup finely chopped fresh fruits like banana, orange segments, sapota, apple, grapes.
Method: Blend the fruit mix first and then add curds and a few ice cubes and serve.
Minty ragi relish
Ingredients: 4 tbsp ragi flour, 4 glasses buttermilk, salt to taste. For the paste: 1 tbsp grated coconut, 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves, a small green chilli, ¼ tsp cumin seeds.
Method: Make a smooth paste with the flour and water. Add the ground paste to this mixture and mix well. Stir in buttermilk, salt and blend well in a mixer. Serve chilled. Note that frozen cubes of coriander juice can also be added to this drink to make it healthier.