DIY Ayurvedic drinks for summer

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BY PUJA GUPTA

New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) In summer, dehydration is common amongst people of all age-groups. The scorching heat makes us sweat more, consequently, the average water intake (1.5l or 2l) seems too less for our body. Drinking water all the day, again and again, is what people find tiring. However, one can drink water by eating in solid, that is, fruits and vegetables. Watermelon, cucumber, cantaloupe (kharbooja), and spinach are a few of the great sources of water. All of these have nearly 90 per cent of water and anti-oxidants required to hydrate our skin and body from within. Ancient Indian scriptures recommend following an Ayurvedic seasonal regimen to maintain our energy, health and vitality during the harsh summer.

Dr. Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda shares a few summer drink recipes that can help to cool your body on a hot summer day

Amla Juice
Amla is one of the most beneficial gifts of nature. In Ayurveda, Amla finds frequent use in many formulations and treatments. Amla (Indian Gooseberry) is a rich source of Vitamin C, Calcium, potassium, iron and Vitamin B-Complex. According to Hindu mythology, God Vishnu is said to reside in Amla trees and the tree is worshipped in Amlaki Ekadashi. The reason for so much respect for the green fleshy fruit comes from the fact that besides being a wealth of Vitamin C, this is also a very rich source of anti-oxidants which fights free radicals. The abundance of Vitamin C in Amla helps in keeping the hair black and fights infections.

Ingredients
Fresh Amla (Indian Gooseberry) – 1 kilogram, Sugar – 1 kilogram, Ginger – 250 Grams, Fresh Lemon – 10 to 15, Salt – 2 Heaped Teaspoons
Method
Cut the gooseberries in small pieces and mix with salt and let it stand for two hours.
In a pan, add the sugar with water and bring it to a boil to make syrup. Set it aside to cool.
Wash the salted amla in clean water, put it in a juicer and extract the juice.
Now add ginger juice and lemon juice to the amla juice.
Finally, add sugar syrup and store in glass bottle.
Serve by adding 1-part Amla juice to 5 parts water.

Kesar Chandan Thandai Recipe
During summers or otherwise, it’s important to keep the body well. Adequate intake of fluids keeps us physically as well as mentally active and the vital organs running optimally.

A cold, milk-based thandai that is very popular in India during the summers. This one is made from kesar (saffron) and chandan (sandalwood paste), and it’s an excellent drink to have after long, tiring day at work. It’s refreshing, calms the body, and is full of essential nutrients. Sandalwood is a natural coolant. It helps bring down the body temperature. Sandalwood and saffron are extremely helpful in regulating the vatta and pitta in the body.

Ingredients
Saffron – 12-15 strands, Almonds – 100gm, Sandalwood powder – 25gm, Saunf (Fennel seeds) – 25gm, Khus-khus (Poppy seeds) – 25gm, Muskmelon seeds – 25gm, Dry ginger powder – 1 tablespoon, Black pepper – 1 tablespoon, Gulkand (Rose petal preserve) – 100gm, Sugar – 750gm, Water – 4 cups
Method
Soak the sandalwood power in water for 8-10 hours. Drain the water out and don’t throw the water away.
Soak the saffron in a cup of water. In the meanwhile, dissolve the sugar in hot water and make a thick paste. Into this, add the saffron and sandalwood water. Let it cool.
Soak almonds, fennel, black pepper, khus-khus, and muskmelon seeds in separate cups of water. After 6-7 hours, drain the excess water and peel the skin off the almonds. Grind all ingredients to a fine paste.
Add this mixture into the sugar-saffron-sandalwood paste we prepared in step 2. Now add gulkand and dry ginger powder to it.

Namkeen Sattu Cooler
Sattu is rich in fibre and aids in digestion. Sattu cooler is one of the popular drinks that originated from Bihar and it is known for its cooling properties.

Ingredients
Sattu (roasted gram) flour – 3 tbsp, Chilled Water – 2 glasses, Lemon – 1, Crushed Mint (pudina) – 8 leaves, Black Salt (kaala namak) – ¾ tsp, Cumin powder (jeera)- ½ tsp, Black Pepper (kaali mirch)- a pinch, Salt- ¼ tsp
Method
Combine the sattu flour and water together in a large bowl.
Add the lemon juice, mint leaves, black salt, cumin powder, black pepper powder and salt.
Pour into glasses, add ice cubes and garnish with mint leaves

Cool & Refreshing Falsa Sherbet
Falsa isn’t just a delicious fruit; it’s also full of goodness. For centuries, it’s been used as a treatment for liver and gall bladder problems. Since its rich in flavonoids, faalsa also helps protect against cancer. Faalsa purifies the blood, regulates cholesterol and blood pressure, prevents cough and cold, and relieves digestive problems like indigestion and acidity. Finally, it fights depression, builds stamina, cures insomnia, and works as an excellent cooling agent.

While most people enjoy having faalsa raw, you can also make a sherbet that is as delicious as it’s refreshing.

Ingredients
250 gms falsa, 1 litre water, 1tsp powdered cumin, 1 tsp rock salt, 125 gm Jaggery powder
Method
Soak falsa in water for half an hour. Dry the berries and sprinkle with salt. Leave them to macerate.
Mash well with a spoon and strain the softened berries through a sieve. Make sure you separate the seeds from the pulp.
To this falsa concentrate add powdered cumin (jeera), rock salt, and jaggery. If you want you can switch jaggery with other sweeteners like sugar or honey.
Add a litre of water and mix well.
Pour into glasses, add a few ice cubes, garnish with mint leaves, and serve.

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at puja.g@ians.in)

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