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Sunday, September 11, 2011


Thandai is a North-Indian drink made especially when the hot, dry summer winds blow through the region leaving everything and everybody parched. This thirst-quencher is tasty and cooling.


1 liter milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
30 almonds blanched
6 tsp whole pumpkin/sunflower seeds (unsalted)
1 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
3 tsp rose water (optional)
Crushed ice
Rose petals to garnish


Grind the almonds, sunflower/pumpkin seeds, cardamom powder and rose water into a fine paste in a food processor. 

Add the milk, condensed milk and crushed ice to the paste and blend well.
Strain the drink through a fine sieve or muslin and serve in glasses, garnished with rose petals.


 Badam Milk


1 cup almonds
1 cup pistachios
3 cups chilled/ warm milk
Sugar to taste
2/3 tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsps kewra essence (available at Indian groceries) - optional
2 tsps rose water


Grind the almonds and pistachios to a smooth paste in your food processor. Add a little milk to do this. A lot of people like to remove the skin from the almonds before grinding them.

I don't do this as the skin contains many nutrients. You can do it if you wish, by soaking the almonds in hot water for 5 minutes.

When soaked, press the almonds between your thumb and index finger. 

The skin will slip off quite easily. 

Add the milk, sugar, cardamom powder, kewra essence (if using) and rose water. Blend well. 

Serve chilled/ warm in a tall glass.
Kayree Panha (raw mango drink) 

Made with fresh raw mangoes, abundant in the summer months, Kayree (raw mango) Panha is from the state of Maharashtra in Western India. It is a sweet-sour-spicy drink! 


4 medium-sized raw green mangoes
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tbsp coarsely ground black rock salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper 2 tbsps Aniseed/fennel seeds ground coarsely
2 tbsps cumin seeds roaste d and ground coarsely
Chilled water
Crushed ice
Sprigs of mint to garnish


Wash, peel and grate the raw mangoes. Mix the mangoes, sugar and water in a deep saucepan and boil till the mangoes are soft. 

Put this mixture into a food processor and blend till smooth. 

Put the blended mix back into the saucepan and on a medium flame. 

Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another 20 minutes. 

Take off from the fire and allow to cool completely. 

Pour into glasses, dilute with a little chilled water if needed, mix well and add crushed ice.
Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve.

Lemon Ginger Squash
This concentrate makes a really tasty, thirst-quenching drink that is perfect for summer! Make up a bottle of it and keep in your fridge for those hot days. 

12 lemons, juice removed and strained
Rind of 1 lemon
3" piece of ginger, grated and then pulp squeezed to remove juice
8 cloves
1/2 a nutmeg
1 tbsp aniseed/ fennel seeds/ saunf
1 kg sugar


Put the cloves, nutmeg and aniseed in a clean, dry coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder. 

Put 1 liter of water in a deep pan and bring to a boil on high heat. Add the powdered spices, simmer and boil for 5 minutes. 

Add the sugar and boil till you get syrup of half-thread consistency. . Once syrup is ready, remove from heat and allow to cool. The spice sediment will settle during this time. 

Strain the spiced syrup into another bowl. Add the lemon and ginger juice to the syrup and mix well. 

Pour into a bottle (use a funnel) and store in the refrigerator. 

To serve, pour Lemon Ginger Squash into a tall glass, according to taste and add crushed ice and chilled water. 

Stir, garnish with a slice of lime/ lemon and serve!


Masala Chaas
This drink goes well with a meal. The asafoetida and ginger in it aid digestion. 


4 glasses of slightly sour buttermilk (subsitute buttermilk with 2 glasses yoghurt and 2 glasses chilled water)

1 tbsp vegetable/sunflower/canola oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
10-15 curry leaves
2" piece of ginger grated fine
1/2 tsp asafoetida
2 green chillies chopped fine
Salt to taste
A handful of finely chopped coriander  leaves


Put the buttermilk/yogurt, ginger, green chillies, 5 curry leaves chopped finely, coriander and salt to taste into a food processor and blend well. 

In a small pan heat the oil. When it is hot add the mustard seeds. 

They will splutter. When this happens add the remaining curry leaves and asafoetida. 

Remove from the fire in another 30 seconds. 

Add this to the buttermilk mixture and mix well. 

Serve in glasses.

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