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.
- 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.