Beat the heat with these cooling foods
The sun is out and the temperature is constantly rising! The scorching heat causes headaches, dehydration, and constant irritation. This is where air conditioners and coolers come in handy; however, this is only a momentary solution to the months-long dilemma. As the weather gets hotter, staying cool from within becomes an even greater priority for all of us.
Here are a few ways to keep your cool when it comes to food because what you eat could help you beat the heat.
- Buttermilk or Chaas – Buttermilk, also known as chaas in the north, is the perfect drink to wash away the burning heat sensation in our bodies. The basic principle of making buttermilk is a spoonful of curd mixed with water, though different homes and regions add different ingredients to create different variations. Ginger, curry leaves, salt, jeera, pepper, mustard seeds, chilli, lemon, and coriander leaves can all be added and combined to give the existing buttermilk a new flavour.
- Aam Panna – Summer is mango season, and Aam Panna made from unripe mangoes is a cooling antidote to the heat waves of summer. This drink, made from the pulp of the Kacha aam or Keri (mango) and mixed with sugar, jeera, mint and a pinch of salt, is also known to keep stomach related problems at bay.
- Panakam – A South Indian speciality made from jaggery, water, ginger powder, salt, and powdered cardamoms. A variant of it, known as gol pani or jaggery water, is also popular in many Gujarati households. Jaggery is combined with water and a little lime juice in this recipe. This beverage provides quick refreshment.
- Bel Sharbat – Bel sharbat or juice is a naturally healthy and tasty drink for the summer season. Wash the ripened fruit, cut it, and remove the pulp. In a utensil, combine the pulp and water doubled in volume. Mash them and put them in the water. Sieve this mashed pulp through a heavy strainer and extract the juice by pressing it with a spoon. Add sugar to the juice and, once thoroughly combined, add cold water. You can adjust the salt and cumin (Jeera) power to your liking.
- Kulfa Saag – This is a very nutritious Hyderabadi vegetable. Boil leaves with a little salt until soft. Ground into a paste. Heat mustard oil. Splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chillies, coriander seeds and red chillies. Add kulfa paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Adjust salt and water as per taste and consistency required. Serve kulfa saag with roti.
- Shrikhand – This sweet yoghurt dessert is famous in the western states of Gujarat and Maharashtra in India, served as a dessert or a side dish along with Puri. To make this delectable dessert, Yogurt is strained in a cloth to remove most of its water. It is chilled in the refrigerator for 6-7 hours. Later on, it’s mixed with different flavourings to make a flavoured Shrikhand.
- Daab Sharbat – Coconut water is another healthy and delightful drink that is a must in the hot weather. It cools you down in just no time. Try this popular Bengali drink idea that you can effortlessly make with coconut water and tender coconut flesh. All you need to do is take iced coconut water in a glass and add some lemon juice to it. Put coconut flesh in the glass and enjoy this chilling drink.
There are many more regional foods and drinks that are both tasty and healthy. Perhaps, it is time to switch to some age-old simple recipes to beat the heat.
If you want to explore more healthy and flavorful food options, consult Kanupriya Khanna. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.