Beat the Heat with Refreshing Summer Foods

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Summer is here, and with it comes scorching heat and sweltering days. To stay cool and refreshed during this season, it is essential to include foods in our meals that have a cooling effect on the body. In this blog, we will explore a delightful mix of Indian and exotic foods that not only help beat the heat but also tantalize your taste buds. Get ready to discover some fantastic recipes and make your summer meals a culinary delight.

In Indian cuisine, several traditional ingredients are known for their cooling properties, making them perfect for mid-meals or beverages during the summer. Here are some of these ingredients:

  1. Mint: Mint leaves, or pudina, are widely used in Indian summer recipes. They have a cooling effect on the body and add a refreshing flavor to beverages like lemonades, herbal teas, and mocktails. Mint can also be added to salads, chutneys, and yogurt-based dishes for a cooling touch.


  1. Amla (Indian Gooseberry): Amla is a powerhouse of nutrients and is known for its cooling effect. It can be consumed in various forms, such as raw, pickled, or juiced. Amla juice, in particular, is a popular summer drink that helps in detoxification and boosting immunity.


  1. Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds, or saunf, are commonly used as a mouth freshener in India. They have a cooling and soothing effect on the body, aiding digestion. Fennel seeds can be consumed as is, added to beverages like buttermilk or herbal teas, or used in desserts like fennel seed kulfi.


  1. Rose Water: Rose water, or gulab jal, is a fragrant ingredient used in Indian sweets, drinks, and desserts. It adds a delightful aroma and cooling effect to beverages like rose sherbet, lassi (yogurt drink), or falooda (rose-flavored dessert). Rose water can also be used to flavor milk-based sweets like kheer or ras malai.


  1. Tamarind: Tamarind, or imli, is commonly used in Indian cuisine for its tangy flavor. It is an excellent ingredient for refreshing summer drinks like jaljeera (spiced tamarind water), tamarind cooler, or tamarind-infused lemonade. Tamarind also helps in digestion and provides a cooling effect.


  1. Cardamom: Cardamom, or elaichi, is a fragrant spice widely used in Indian desserts, beverages, and savory dishes. It has cooling properties and adds a pleasant aroma to drinks like masala chai (spiced tea), thandai (nut and spice-based drink), or lassi. Cardamom is also used in traditional Indian sweets like kheer and gulab jamun.


  1. Kokum: Kokum is a sour fruit native to India and is popularly used in coastal cuisines. It is known for its cooling and digestive properties. Kokum is used to make refreshing kokum sherbet, a tangy drink that helps in relieving acidity and heat-related issues.

These traditional Indian summer cooling ingredients can be incorporated into mid-meals or beverages to beat the heat and provide a refreshing experience. Experiment with these ingredients to create delightful and cooling recipes that will keep you hydrated and energized during the scorching summer months.

As the mercury soars, incorporating these cooling foods into your summer meals is a fantastic way to beat the heat while enjoying a diverse range of flavors. From Indian favorites like cucumber raita and aam panna to exotic delights such as Greek tzatziki and aloe vera juice, these recipes will add a refreshing twist to your culinary repertoire.

Cucumber Raita

A classic Indian accompaniment, cucumber raita, is a refreshing and cooling yogurt-based dish. It combines diced cucumbers, yogurt, roasted cumin powder, chopped mint leaves, and a pinch of black salt. This delectable raita pairs well with biryanis, pulao, or can be enjoyed as a standalone cooling salad.

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon is the ultimate summer fruit, and a refreshing watermelon salad is a perfect addition to your summer meals. Combine juicy watermelon cubes with feta cheese, fresh mint leaves, a drizzle of lime juice, and a sprinkle of black pepper. This salad is a burst of flavors and provides instant relief from the scorching heat.

Aam Panna

Aam Panna is a popular Indian summer cooler made from raw mangoes. Boil raw mangoes until soft, remove the pulp, and blend it with mint leaves, roasted cumin powder, black salt, and sugar. Dilute the mixture with water, add ice cubes, and serve chilled. This tangy and sweet drink not only cools the body but also helps prevent heatstroke.

Greek Tzatziki

Tzatziki is a Greek yogurt-based sauce that is wonderfully cooling and versatile. Grate cucumber and squeeze out the excess water. Mix it with Greek yogurt, minced garlic, chopped dill, lemon juice, and a dash of olive oil. Tzatziki pairs well with grilled meats, pita bread, or can be used as a dip for fresh vegetables.

Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera juice is an exotic and incredibly cooling beverage. Scoop out the gel from fresh aloe vera leaves, blend it with water, and strain the juice. Add a squeeze of lemon and a touch of honey for flavor. Aloe vera juice is packed with nutrients and is known for its soothing and hydrating properties.

Minty Lemon Cooler

This invigorating drink combines the freshness of mint leaves with the tanginess of lemons. Blend together mint leaves, lemon juice, sugar, and water. Strain the mixture and serve chilled over ice cubes. Minty lemon cooler not only quenches your thirst but also keeps you cool during hot summer days.

Buttermilk (Chaas)

Buttermilk, known as chaas in India, is a traditional and popular summer coolant. Blend yogurt with water until smooth, add roasted cumin powder, chopped coriander leaves, grated ginger, and salt to taste. Give it a good stir and serve chilled. Buttermilk aids digestion, hydrates the body, and provides relief from heat.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is a natural and refreshing summer drink. It is the clear liquid found inside green coconuts. Packed with electrolytes, minerals, and vitamins, coconut water not only hydrates the body but also helps maintain electrolyte balance.

Khus Sherbet

Khus sherbet, also known as vetiver sherbet, is a popular summer cooler. It is made by soaking khus (vetiver) roots in water overnight and then mixing the strained water with sugar, lemon juice, and a touch of rose water. Khus sherbet has a cooling effect on the body and has a pleasant aroma.

Kokum Sherbet

Kokum sherbet is a tangy and refreshing drink made from kokum, a fruit native to India. The kokum pods are soaked in water, resulting in a deep red-colored liquid. This is then sweetened with sugar and flavored with roasted cumin powder and black salt. Kokum sherbet aids digestion and provides relief from acidity.

Sabja Seeds (Basil Seeds) Drink

Sabja seeds, also known as basil seeds or falooda seeds, are soaked in water until they swell up. The soaked seeds are then mixed with rose syrup, lemon juice, and chilled water to create a cooling and nutritious summer beverage. Sabja seeds are known for their cooling properties and can help reduce body heat.

Stay cool, stay hydrated, and make the most of this scorching season with these delightful and cooling summer foods.


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