It’s just a few days that we have entered the month of Baishakh (Indian summer comprises of Baishakh and Jaistha months) and the mercury has already crossed 40 degree Celsius in most places of the country.
More than 100 people, mostly from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, have reportedly been killed by heatwaves in the last few weeks. The deceased also include four people from Odisha.
According to The Washington Post, as many as 2,422 people were killed by a heat wave in India in 2015.
While you smoulder in the heat, here’s 10 beverages to cool you down naturally:
1. Nimbu paani (Indian lemonade)
Squeeze some lemon juice in a glass of water, add a pinch of salt and sugar to taste, stir, put a few ice cubes and your refreshing, Vit C enriched natural booster is ready.
2. Coconut water
Definitely the ultimate thirst quencher during summer. It has been medically proven years back that a glass of coconut water contains 294 mg of potassium and 5 mg of natural sugar that boosts hydration.
Originated in Punjab, this traditional drink is a blend of yogurt, water, spices and you may add fruits like mango, strawberry or papaya to taste. You may also add flavours like rose and vanilla, along with honey or sugar,. if you have a sweet tooth.
This Indian beverage acts as an instant appetizer and has a cooling effect on the stomach. Easy to make, all you have to do is mix some jal-jeera powder to a glass of chilled water and enjoy the drink.
The jal-jeera powder is made with cumin, ginger, black pepper, mint, black salt, some fruit powder (like mango or one with citrus taste), and chili/hot pepper powder.
5. Chaas (buttermilk)
Made of curd and spices like jeera, kadi patta (curry leaves), ginger and salt, chaas helps in digestion and is extremely cooling during summer months.
6. Aam panna
Popular for resisting heat-stroke, aam panna is made from green, unripe mangoes. Cardamom powder, salt and jaggery are added to taste. Aam panna checks excessive loss of sodium chloride and iron caused due to excessive sweating.
7. Rose milk
It is a milkshake made with rose syrup and chilled milk. An ideal drink for summer as rose syrup is known to prevent heat fever.
8. Iced tea
In simpler words, it is cold tea served with ice cubes. It comes in various flavours like lemon, raspberry, lime, passion fruit, peach, orange, strawberry and cherry, and is extremely refreshing in summer.
9. Watermelon juice
Put freshly cut watermelon, ginger and lemon juice in the mixer and blend until smooth. Strain the juice, add sugar (if required), mint and ice cubes, and here is your perfect drink ready to beat the heat.
10. Khus Sherbet
Made from the root extract of vetiver grass ((Vetiveria zizanoides, aka ‘khus’) grass, this green colour drink not only quenches thirst but also eases the burning sensation due to heat exposure and prevents dehydration.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.