Watermelon Mint Sorbet

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With Memorial Day passed by, summer has set in. The Texas sun has started taking its toll, and it has become almost impossible to go out in the afternoon. With the heat rising and the dry weather, the best thing to keep yourself cool is to have loads of fruits.

To make your daily diet of fruit a little more interesting, my mom used to make different types of juice and sorbet for us. Back from school in the heated afternoon, and there was always a chilled glass of lemonade waiting. And, if I was lucky enough there was sometimes the watermelon or orange juice ready.

Watermelon Mint

I love watermelon. My kid sister and I used to have the who-eats-the-slice-faster competitions. So, when I got this huge watermelon from the farmer’s market last weekend, and sis being not around I couldn’t figure out what to do with that huge fruit. I have slices, cubes, juice of the watermelon and the only thing left out was to make a sorbet. Picked up some fresh mint from my garden, threw them in and my sorbet was ready to get in the freezer.

Watermelon Mint Sorbet

Watermelon Mint Sorbet

Indian, Drink, Sorbet, Summer coolers, Watermelon recipe, Summer drinks, Mint recipe, Health drink
Cooks in    Serves 8
  • ½ of a medium watermelon, cut and deseeded
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 10-12 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Put all the ingredients in blender and blend till everything turns to a juice
  • Pour it in a loaf pan and put in the freezer for at least 2 hours
  • Take out and break the icicles, and put it in the freezer once more for 1-2 hours
  • Scrape off the sorbet and serve in glasses of your choice with fresh mint leaves

Hot Tips- You can also have the pureed watermelon without freezing it as a fruit juice

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Snacks and Tea

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Ek cup garam jal haye jak” (Lets have a cup of hot water). Now, you must me wondering am I sick with a flu or what. Its nothing like that, “ek cup garam jal haye jak” is my father’s way of asking my mom for tea. Both my parents are a connoisseur of tea. They like their tea without sugar, without milk – just boiling water infused with the goodness of tea leaves.

Tea is such a thing that every person likes to have his/her in a different way. The most common being the dudh chai (milk tea). There are numerous other variations depending on taste, culture and the type tea available in the region.

Ginger Ice Tea

I had some friends over for a tea party. It has started to grow warm in here, and I thought of preparing iced tea. Iced tea with its refreshing coolness is a welcome break during a warm afternoon.

Along with it there were different snacks – golgappa, churmur, and dahi vada. I served the snacks in the Stacko Food Stand provided by Gitadini. The Stacko with it single serving bowls is great for parties, and you can serves appetizers to desserts in each bowl. Its a great accent to a party table. The colorful bowl adds a vibrancy to the table, and also the single serving bowls is a good hygiene technique if you are hosting a party.

Stacko Food Stand

Iced Tea

Indian, Drink, Iced tea, Tea recipe, Ginger ice tea
Cooks in    Serves 8
  • 1 quart of water
  • ¼ cup tea leaves
  • 1 tablespoon freshly julienne ginger
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 2 lemon cut into circles
  • Fresh mint leaves to garnish (optional)
  • Lots of ice cubes
  • Boil the water with sugar and ginger. As the water starts boiling add the tea leaves, and take out of flame. Cover for 2-3 minutes (depending on how strong you like your tea) and strain out the tea leaves and ginger with a tea strainer, and pour in a large bottle or jug.
  • Bring it to normal temperature and the put it in the refrigerator till ready to serve.
  • To serve, fill three-quarter of a tall glass with ice cubes. Add some lemon wedges and pour the cold tea over it. Serve garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Ice Tea more

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win 4 different simmer sauces from  Saffron Road Food. Click the image to know the rules.

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Pati Lebur Sarbet – Lemonade

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With the mercury rising every day and no sign of rain, this is the time of keeping yourself hydrated. The heat and the sweat makes your body loose lots and lots of water. Especially with children, its summer time and all they want is to play all day long. So, a little refreshing drink during the summer heat to get back your energy is the best way to chill this summer.

Fruits are also a great option to keep cool. Whether you like it in bite size pieces or pureed to a smooth juice, eat loads of fruits everyday. But, there are people who are allergic to fruits, mainly the citrus fruits like melons and oranges, try having a sip of the Bengali style lassi, the ghol.

But, my all time favourite is pati lebur sherbet, better known as lemonade. This easy to prepare drink is a healthy one. Lemon, though contains citric acid, reduces the body acidity and keeps indigestion at bay. This rich in vitamin C drink is very healthy for the summers, and it also reduces skin blemishes. There are many many other benefits of lemonade, and of course the taste of lemonade is just to die for. The lemonade recipe is a derivative of the Martha Stewart classic lemonade recipe.

Pati Lebur Sarbet - Lemonade

Indian, Drink, Lemonade, Summer cooler, Spring break kids diy, Bengali drink
Cooks in    Serves 8
  • 3 cups of lemon juice (about 20 lemons)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Ice cubes (optional)
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  • Mint sprigs (optional)
  • Pour in the sugar in the lukewarm water and bring to boil to dissolve the sugar, talk out of flame and let it cool down to normal temperature
  • In a tall jar pour in the sugar syrup, cold water and lemon juice and add the ice cubes if you are using
  • Serve immediately with more ice cubes, lemon wedges and mint sprigs or chill in the fridge for later use.

Hot Tips –If you don’t like to add too much of lemon juice, then use the authentic Bengali recipe. To a glass of cold water add 2 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of salt, stir well and serve.

This lemonade recipe goes to Cool Summer Sip event hosted by Jyoti.

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Summer Cooler – Coke Punch

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Summers are here, even though the children are having a nice time with their vacation, the rising heat is a pain. The dry afternoons and the humid evening can drive just anybody crazy. There is no way that you can get out of the house before evening. The only good thing about the summer is the plethora of fruits that it has to offer from watermelons to mangoes.

Every community has their own way of quenching the summer thirst, to beat the heat. Similarly, the Bengalis have them too. The raw mango sherbet or aam pora sharbot is a Bengal specialty. Unlike rest of India where it is prepared by boiling the raw mangoes, aam pora sherbet is prepared by roasting the raw mangoes in charcoal.

The other Bong specialty is the bael or beler sharbot (wood apple or stone apple sherbet). The distinctive smell of this fruit though drives me crazy, and I like to stay away from it, but there are many people who would vouch for this fruit soothie.

Getting a little away from the summer fruits and what you can make out of them, there is always the authentic Bengali lassi or ghol. Made with plain yogurt and lots of sugar, this has to be the best summer drink possible. I remember a roadside thelawala who used to come just during our school lunch time to sell ghol in earthern tumblers. The smell of the earthern tumbler and the chilled ghol had to be one of the best part of my school life.

Another cool summer drink is the lemonade or the lebur sharbot. Cold water, a teaspoon of lime juice, a tablespoon of sugar and just a pinch of salt is all you need to have the kick back of energy. The lemonade with a little bit of twist is what is our new recipe of the day – the Colamonade. The fizz of the cola and the tangy taste of lemon juice is a great way to chill this summer.

Coke Punch

Indian, Drink, Summer cooler, Spring break kids diy, Sherbet, Cola drink
Cooks in    Serves 4
  • 1liter or 32 fl oz Coke Zero
  • 4 levelled tablespoon jaljeera powder
  • 4 levelled tablespoon chat masala
  • 4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Ice cubes
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and transfer in a large serving jar, pour in the lemon juice
  • Pour in the Coke, there will be lots of fizz, so wait and pour in slowly
  • Arrange 4 serving glasses and add the ice cubes. Pour in the coke punch and serve immediately.

Hot Tips – I’m a big fan of Coke Zero, if you don’t like that you can use any cola of your choice. if there is no jaljeera at home you can replace it with some roasted cumin powder and amchur powder.

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Strawberry Lassi for the Spring Break

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While in Texas we are still having a nice sunless weather, am sure back in India people have started feeling the onset of summer. And, summer coolers are just the right thing to have after a daylong work outside.

A first look into Google this morning it showed a colourful doodle by Marimekko. Yes, it is the start of spring, and with spring the markets are getting flooded with berries – strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries – you name them and it’s there neatly arranged in the shelves for you to grab.

I love all sorts of berries, but of course strawberries are my favourite. So, as am busy setting up my new home in Austin, I started experimenting in the kitchen too. Lassi is my favourite summer drink and to mix it up with some strawberries – the combination can just never go wrong.

As the spring breaks are on, you can also ask your children to help you out with this preparation. Am sure they’ll enjoy making and having these tumble full of strawberry lassi.

Strawberry Lassi

Indian, Drink, Summer cooler, Spring break kids diy
Cooks in    Serves 2
  • 4 cups of plain yogurt
  • ½ cup chopped strawberries
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon whipped cream (optional)
  • • Put everything except the cream in a food processor and pulse till the entire mixture turns a pale pink color
  • • Pour in large glasses and serve with a whipped cream topping and/or more ice cubes
  • • Serve instantly

Hot Tips – You can prepare the lassi without the strawberry or any other fruits of choice. If you don’t want it to be too thick then pour in 3 cups of plain yogurt with 1 cup of cold water.

This strawberry yogurt drink goes to Cooking Concepts # 9 – Spring Seasonal Food, Ramya’s ABC Series: FRUIT FIESTA and also to Beat the Heat event.

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