Summer Drinks of India – Lassi, Thandai and Panha

mango lassi recipe

India is seen as, the land of diversities, the land of rich historic sagas, beautiful country and a country with exotic food. Indian food or Indian cuisine is famous all across the world for its exquisite recipes, use of spices, the textures of the dishes and the delicious taste.

India is very hot country during summers. The people here quench their thirst with some of the yummy, cool and refreshing summer drinks like Thandai, Lassi and Panha. They do use artificial flavor drinks like, rasna (very famous in India), or any other diluted drink like mango slush, orange squash, strawberry crush etc. But, home made drinks are better anyway. They are easy to make, tastier to drink and healthier than the artificial drinks. Following are the three most common summer drinks of India.

Lassi

Summers are just here, and what better way to cool you off than a glass of chilled Lassi. The easiest homemade drink which is not only delicious but is very healthy as well. You can add various flavors to yogurt depending on your choice and make your own recipe. The main flavors are Plain lassi, mango lassi, Salted lassi, Pudina / mint Lassi, Strawberry Lassi etc. The most common of all is the sweet lassi and salted lassi. This delicious beverage is made by blending yogurt with water, salt, and spices until frothy. Traditional lassi is sometimes flavored with ground-roasted cumin. The Lassi of the Punjab sometimes uses a little milk and is topped with a thin layer of malai, a clotted cream, also known as Devonshire cream. Lassis are enjoyed chilled as a hot-weather refreshment. In North India Lassi is the common beverage served to guests in summers. It also accompanies parathas like aloo ka paratha, mooli ka paratha and paneer paratha.

Thandai

Thandai is a very popular and refreshing summer drink in India. The drink is an instant energizer in hot summer days of India. Thandai is a milk based sweet drink with lots of dry fruits and flavored spices. The drink is believed to be originated during the mythological era. It was the favorite drink of Lord Shiva. Thandai is one of the traditional drinks of India and mainly prepared on the occasion of Mahashivratri and Holi. People often mix bhaang in thandai specially on the occasion of Holi to make an intoxicating drink.

Kairi Panha / Aam Panha

Kairi (raw mango) Panha, is another summer drink of India. The summers in India are very hot and you need of some cool, refreshing and energetic drink at any point of time. The home made drinks (natural) are anytime better than the artificial sugar filled drinks. The natural drinks act as energy boosters and very easy to make. You can store these for about a month as well. Kairi Panha is believed to be originated in the western region of India in the state of Maharshtra. Kairi in marathi means ‘raw mango’ and in Hindi the drink is known as “Aam Panna”. The drink is prepared by boiling the raw mangoes and then adding other spices to it. There are various recipes to make Kairi panna, depending on the individual taste. Some like it sweet, some like it salty and some prefer it to be a little tangy. Mangoes are widely available in summers, some people just add preservatives to Kairi panna and stock up for later months. They add plenty of sugar or salt and use it as a dilute with chilled water. The basic ingredients of the drink are Raw mangoes, sugar, salt / Black salt, roasted cumin seeds and cardamom (optional).