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Showing posts with label summer cool drinks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer cool drinks. Show all posts

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Herbal Ice Tea | How to Make Herbal Ice Tea from Scratch | Summer Cool Drinks





I have never been an ice tea person. I do order it some times at food joints, but it has never been one of my go-to cool drinks.

But, after trying this recipe I am a convert. I wouldn't mind saying that this herbal ice tea has become one of my latest favorite chilled drinks to beat the heat this summer. 

Long ago, I had tried a fruit punch recipe that used tea decoction and it turned to be a super flop. Since, then I was wary of trying any drink recipe with tea decoction in it. But, when I chanced upon a herbal ice tea recipe in one of the cookbooks I own ( did I tell you I am a hoarder of cookbooks?) I decided to give it a try.

The recipe involved making a herbal decoction first - a combination of lemongrass, ginger and mint. The recipe did interest me; but I had an even better reason to try it. Sometimes back I had planted lemongrass and mint in my terrace garden and I was delighted at the idea of using my garden produce.



The best thing about this recipe is that you can prepare the herbal decoction in bulk and freeze them in ice trays and use them when needed. You can play around with the ratio of the herbs, depending on which herb flavor you want to be prominent.

Here is how you can prepare the herbal decoction:

1/2 cup ginger, washed, peeled and grated.
1/2 cup lemongrass leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves
1" cinnamon stick

Process:

1. Add all the listed ingredients in a saucepan and add 500 ml water. Bring it to a boil and then simmer it on medium heat for 15 to 20 mins.

2. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan. Let it cool completely before straining. Strain and set aside the herb extract.

3. You can add another cup of water to the residue and simmer it for 15 mins. The decoction prepared the second time will be milder in flavor. You can combine both the extracts thus prepared or you can store them separately. If you do not need to use the entire decoction in one go, freeze them in ice cube tray. When frozen fill them in a zip-lock bag.




Herbal Ice Tea

Makes 2 tall glasses

Ingredients:

2 teabags 
100 ml boiling water
10-12 herbal ice cubes or about 60 ml of the herbal extract
3 tbsp simple syrup ( sugar syrup prepared by mixing and boiling equal quantity of sugar and water till the sugar is dissolved)
300 ml chilled water
Ice cubes, mint leaves and lemon slices to garnish (optional)

Process:

1. Add the tea bags in boiling water and let it steep for 10 mins. Take the tea bags out and set aside the tea decoction.
2. If you are using herbal ice cubes, add them to the warm tea decoction so that they melt faster. Else add the herbal concoction equally into two glasses. Pour prepared tea decoction. Add simple sugar syrup and top with chilled water. 
3. Add ice cubes, mint leaves and lemon slices as desired. Stir and serve chilled. 





Notes:

1. Add a squirt of lemon juice for Herbal Lemon Ice Tea.
2. You can add the herbal ice cubes to your regular lemonades for added flavor.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Masala Chaas | Masala Taak | How to Make Masala Chaas | Indian Summer Drinks


Masala Chaas

The last week of March has seen mercury rising steeply here in Pune. The heat is relentless; one look outside the window in the afternoon will make your eyes squint and make your head dizzy. Forget about stepping out in the sun – else the menacing rays of sun with scorch your body.

Such is the heat that I keep all the curtains drawn in all the rooms; the fans are doing overtime running at full speed all the time. When things look unmanageable, the air conditioner also steps in. Apart from keeping the house cool, it is also important to keep our bodies cool and hydrated. Drinking lots of water and fluids is very important and they are the only things that are keeping me sane in this hot weather.




This time of the year is the time to indulge in some cool drinks and I am doing just that. Past few days, I am guzzling down large glassfuls of ‘Chaas’ or ‘Taak’ as it is called in Maharashtra. This yogurt based drink is not just yummy; it is very good for health in these summer months. It helps to cool the body, aids in digestion and keeps you hydrated. The best thing about it is that it is so simple to make it – just get all the ingredients and blend it and it is ready to be gulped down.

Looking for more summer drink ideas – check out Sweet Lime Soda, Ginger Mint Lemonade, Makhanya Lassi, Blueberry Lemonade or Strawberry Lemonade

Masala Chaas:

Ingredients:
250 ml yogurt
300 ml water
½ tsp roasted cumin powder
½ tsp black salt or to taste
7-8 mint leaves + extra for garnishing
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp taak masala or chaat masala + extra for garnishing
Ice cubes for serving (optional)

Process:
1. Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend it till the mixture is frothy. 
2. Add ice cubes into two tall glasses and pour the Chaas equally into them. Garnish with mint leaves and taak or chaat masala. Serve Chilled.




Notes:

1. This yogurt based drink is common all across India. However, some regions have their own simple variations. Some common variations are adding a green chili for some spice or ginger, asafoetida (hing), curry leaves and black pepper. All of these helps in digestion.

2. I have used store bought taak masala. But it can be easily substituted with chaat masala.

What cool drinks you are indulging in to beat the heat? Do share.

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

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