Friday, May 8, 2009

about weight loss and summer coolers | bael ka sharbat, sattu ka ghol and aam panna | desi drinks to savour...

It is so hot in Delhi that you can burn yourself within 15 minutes of sun exposure, it's better you stay indoors and keep hydrating yourself as the dry summer in this part of the country is ready to dehydrate your system. I am giving a few recipes of purely Indian summer drinks which replenish your body with water and electrolytes. Natural coolants for the body.

Apart from the cooling drinks you must eat light and keep the hot spices for colder days, there are some spices which can be consumed during summers and have cooling effect on the system, like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and some herbs like mint, rose petals, marjoram or oregano, lemongrass, mango ginger etc.

All the seasonal fruits are good especially the melon family, peaches, plums, and citrus family. Mangoes are good if you are not counting your calories but they should be consumed when fully ripe, otherwise they increase pitta in body and cause boils and eruptions. Just beware, Mangoes are nutritious fruits, wrongly blamed for causing boils. Fully ripe mangoes are a bliss.

Try and consume the pumpkin family of veggies which are watery and light on the system. All bottle gourds, sping gourds, ridge gourds and bitter gourds are great summer foods. Parval (pointed gourds) and Tendli or kundru (Indian gherkins or Coccinia indica) is also good for summers. Eat them all in abundance.

Why I am continuing with all these summer fruits and vegetables in detail? All these good summer foods have helped me come back to my fit days. Yes, in the past months I have managed to loose 10 kilos and no, I am not starving myself, rather I am eating to my heart's content. I keep eating all the time BUT keep a check on what I eat. And no, I don't have to worry about what I am eating practically all the time, this is because I have started sensible grocery shopping, and early in the morning I take out the day's portion from the fridge, chop the salads and veggies and keep it ready for the whole day munching. I find it easy to manage and less likely to stray. I do indulge in fried and heavy food sometimes and being honest I would admit that some 3-4 times I have put on around 2-3 kilos back due to festive eating or something else, but as I said, I have started enjoying my improvised food so much that I find to come back to it easy and comfortable, actually I come back to my normal eating compulsively, as fried and high calorie food causes flatulence and heaviness most of the times. Healthy eating has made me completely at peace with my digestive system, most interesting is the fact that I have always allowed myself to eat my favorite stuff, with a sense of responsibility though. 

All the knowledge of nutrition cannot do something that a few months of determination can achieve, and here I am.

Blogging about what I cook has helped me keep myself motivated and as I like fruits and veggies, that too the seasonal ones always, you get the seasonal ones cheaper than the exotic ones, more fresh and more packed with nutrients. Sticking to healthy eating becomes easier this way.

And now coming back to the summer coolers after all the self admiration. These drinks are all low calorie and can be taken several times a day.

buttermilk

This is the coolest one, easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for the whole day...

to make this you have to make curds with double toned milk and when the curds is ready, mix with water (2 cups of water to one cup of curds), add salt, pepper, roasted cumin powder, mint powder or fresh mint. This version with curry patta and green chilly is a favorite in summers too.


It can be made with sugar or with artificial sweeteners if you want it sweet.......

Make true buttermilk with full cream yogurt by churning it and separating the butter. The resultant liquid that remains after skimming the butter is the true buttermilk, a natural coolant that helps in detoxification too. The more dilute this buttermilk is, the more cooling according to ayurveda.

bael ka sharbat

This one is a bit time taking but stays well in the fridge for 3 days, it is cooling on the digestive system and cures constipation. Beal ka sharbat should not be consumed in large amounts as it causes flatulence when consumed in excess or in concentrated form (thick).


I have a bael tree in my backyard and it's shell gets cracked when it falls with a loud thud. Sometimes the Bael falls unhurt. It has to be whacked like a coconut to break the hard woody exocarp.


to make this .....just soak the cracked up fruit in water, in a large bowl so that it gets submerged in water.........after about two hours , separate the shell, scrape out all the flesh attached to the inner shell and mash all the inner flesh with hands. It has a lot of fiber and after mashing it well the pulp has to be strained through a soup colander. More water is added if the filtrate is too thick. It can be served with or without sugar, as per your choice.....



Crushed mint leaves or rose petals are good flavor enhancers for this sherbat..... serve chilled....

I have a jamun tree in the backyard too and it is bearing small fruits right now..i'll post the recipe of jamun sherbat when the fruits get ripened. Wait for that...

Phalsa sherbat is also a nice exotic sherbat .........coming soon in this space........

sattu ghol

Sattu is roasted gram flour and this drink is made with this powder. This is not exactly a sherbat but a slurry or smoothie made of a roasted lentil flour, actually it can be made thick to be eaten or can be thinned to be had like a drink. I love it for the awesome taste and aroma........whenever I make it , the smell of the sattu being mixed with water kick starts drooling in one's mouth.......it can be taken as a breakfast or a mid morning snack.....or may be as lunch........actually it is a favorite with dieters as a meal substitute................in older days people used to carry sattu with them during tirth yatras as it was a ready meal .......forget about the dehydrated meal packets........just try it once and you would be hooked to it........



To make this take 2 tbsp of sattu powder and mix with a glass full of chilled water......salt to taste, finely chopped green chilies, red onions, mint leaves and shredded raw mangoes......in as much amounts as you wish........more like making a chaat........mix well and it's ready to be savoured....


aam panna

Aam panna and jaljeera is sold on the Delhi streets in the summers, in most of the north Indian cities I have seen it being sold during summer noons, saving many people from dehydration, concern of hygiene should be there if drinking it on the streets, drink only when it is made with mineral water, else develop immunity like most Indians.

To make aam panna boil 2 nos. of raw mangoes in a pressure cooker (can be oven roasted or fire roasted), cool it down, peel and scrape out all the gooey flesh n keep aside, grind together lots of mint leaves, a green chilly, boiled raw mango pulp together to make a paste, mix in salt , a little sugar, roasted cumin powder and black salt. 

This paste keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days. Take 1 tbsp from this paste and mix with a glass of chilled water to make the panna........adjust salt n sugar after diluting and serve ...........



This is the drink which prevents from heatstroke in dry summer months. Traditionally it is served with lunch during summers in Uttar Pradesh.

I'll post some more traditional cooling drinks , homemade ones, easier options are always there, as there is no dearth of tetra pack drinks available in the market.check the labels if having one of those, the sugar and the sodium content may scare you if not the preservatives...........

8 comments:

  1. Fantasstic! Look at the effort u have pot in this post! Lovedthe pics, recipes and ideas...

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  2. Wow, so many drinks all in one post hand to check in this place... sattu ghol is new to me... Gotta try that... for the climate is changing so many times in a day here and most of the time its dry and humid, sure your drinks will be handy!!!

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  3. thankyou kitty n ramya......
    buttermilk n sattu ghol is my personal favorites.......sattu ghol is really addicting sometimes, esp in the summer noons....

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  4. Wow nice blog with lot of healthy recipes. Very interesting collection, will visit often.

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  5. I love aam panna-hope I can get kattha aam here to try this out!!
    BTW,have passed on an award to you :)

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  6. I got there lots of helpful content and great information. Thanks a lot for your help.
    www.just4ubootcamp.com

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  7. loved ur Pics ... great info and have taken great effort to update the info ...

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  8. Love all the sensible advice for losing weight naturally and easily. It is so much easier in the summer when our bodies seem to crave low calorie fruits and vegetables. I am a pitta who is just beginning to learn about Ayurveda so found all this information most helpful.

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