Sonth Panak | Tingling Ginger Warmer

In the depths of Winter we turn to hot drinks to warm the body. But there are herbs and spices that will also warm us from the inside. Rosemary is one, ginger another, and black pepper too. This drink uses ginger, cardamom and pepper and will tingle and warm your body in the coldest of weathers. It is consumed either warm or at room temperature, so is a no-fuss recipe.

In India, ginger is well known as a cure for colds and sore throats. Dry ginger powder mixed with water is said to work wonders to relieve stiff joints. You can see that this drink is essential during Winter.

The dry ginger powder is essential to this drink – for maximum effect, don’t substitute with ginger root. The ginger, cardamom and pepper do not dissolve completely. Do as I do and stir while drinking, or allow it to sit for 5 or so minutes, then strain.

Similar recipes include 30 Indian Dishes for Mid Summer, Chai for Winter Colds, Peppery Chai, and Tea for Rainy Weather.

Browse all of our Indian Drinks, our Winter Drinks, and all of our Drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Liquorice and Spice Chai | Mulethi ka Karha | Hot or Chilled

Chai made with a range of spices and liquorice root is incredibly good. It is also very detoxifying, so it is a healthy AND flavoursome tonic for an afternoon relaxing hot drink.  Or morning. Or evening.

This recipe is very much like our first chai – Yogi Chai – all those years ago. Spices are roasted  to enhance their flavours, and then simmered. Tea can be added or not – your choice. And it can be sweetened or not. Milk can be added or not. So there is a range of choices and variation.

While it is usually consumed piping hot, it is also wonderful chilled and sipped on hot days and in those heatwaves so common in the area where I reside.

Similar recipes include Sonth Panak, Yogi Chai, Fiona’s Beautiful Chai, Spring Chai, and Heavenly Gentle Chai.

Browse all of our Chai recipes and all of our Indian drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Nimbu Sherbet | Indian Lemonade or Limeade

Traditionally India has not had a strong culture of alcoholic drinks, except for a few pockets where naturally fermenting products meant some developed a taste for it (and a reputation, no doubt).

Consequently India has such a rich variety of non-alcoholic drinks, a seemingly infinite variety of all types of drinks – hot, cold, juices, milk based, fruit based, yoghurt based, infusions, coffees, chais, with seeds, without seeds, … It is fascinating to those of us who grew up in countries where choices are limited to water, coffee, tea, wine and beer. Perhaps some soft drink and orange juice. Maybe apple juice. But not much beyond that.

Additionally, the weather is hot in India, rivalling our own temperatures of 40C – 45C in Summer, with the additional humidity in India. Right before the monsoon is when the heat is the most unbearable–daily extreme temperatures and 100% humidity. There is no choice but to adapt, and until more recently, electricity was not available everywhere for aircon. So shady houses and verandahs can be common, people stay out of the heat in the mid day, roof tops are used at night for cooler breezes, and refreshing drinks are made in the afternoons.

Also, many drinks contain salt. It makes the drinks very tasty, but there is also a health reason for this – in heat we lose salt from our bodies through our perspiration. So rehydrating drinks in the afternoon provide water, salt and also sugar for energy in the heat. How sensible!

Already we have posted (and made) a range of Indian drinks, especially Lassi (great for Summer mornings!) and Chai (excellent afternoon and evening cold weather cuppas), and a few cold drinks (Summer sipping). Today is definitely a hot weather drink – Nimbu Sherbet, Indian Lemonade (or Limeade).

Similar recipes include Panakam, Jal Jeera, Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint, and Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Iced Tea.

Browse all of our Indian Drinks, and all of our Coolers. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Persian Love Tea | Saffron Tea

Years ago, on my first trip to India, I had the most beautiful tea of Saffron and spices. I still make that often, but it is also very nice to pare the tea back and make an infusion with only saffron, or with saffron and rose buds. It is an amazingly relaxing tea which can be consumed hot or chilled.

While this is commonly called a Persian recipe it is also found all through India which is not surprising given the attention to spices in that sub continent. We prefer saffron from Saffron Only – it is excellent quality with long threads. (I love this saffron, and do not receive any remuneration for mentioning them.)

Similar recipes include Saffron Spice Tea, Ginger Cooler, and Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea.

Browse all of our Chai recipes and Herbal Teas. Explore all of our Drinks. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Saunf ki Chai | Fennel or Aniseed Tea

Fennel is in kitchens all over India not only because it is a delicious spice but also because of its health benefits. Anise too, similar in flavour but with different health impacts. They say that including one or the other in your diet each day will make significant improvement in your health.

Then why not make tea from it? Using either fennel or aniseed, together with some good Indian black tea, we can brew a delicious elixir that is perfect either hot or iced.

Similar recipes include Liquorice and Spice Chai, CCF Tea, Golden Saffron Spiced Tea, and Pitta Tea for Rainy Weather.

Browse all of our Chais, and all of our Indian Drinks. Our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Chai Wallah’s Chai

This recipe is another in our large Chai recipe collection, and it is claimed that the recipe is from a Chai Wallah – a road side person serving small cups of chai to thirsty passers-by. They are the best people, and there is nothing like your daily chai. I so miss those piping hot cuppa’s.

Who does not like chai? I have a deep love for this comforting and nourishing drink. A jar of my chai mix-of-the-moment sits permanently on my kitchen bench.

Similar recipes include Sonth Panak, Spring Chai, Garam Chai, and Peppery Chai.

Browse all of our Chai recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Mulberry Sweet Lassi | Indian Sweet Mulberry Yoghurt Drink

In mulberry season, we are so lucky as our local Green Grocer has both white mulberries and the darker, more usual (in Australia) dark mulberries. The white mulberries are incredibly sweet whereas the darker ones have a definite tang to them.

Make lassi with either, or with mixed mulberries. They will all be delicious. My preference is the lighter ones to eat, the darker ones for a lassi. The flavours are more intense when you use the darker ones for this drink.

By the way, Mulberries can also be spelt Mullberries.

Similar recipes inlcude Black Grape Lassi, Mango Lassi and Banana and Berry Lassi.

We have a range of sweet, fruit and salt lassi recipes for you to browse. Explore all of our Yoghurt recipes too. The Drinks recipes are here. Explore our Indian recipes and our Indian Essentials. Or be inspired by our Late Spring recipes.

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Journey of the Heart Chai

Chai as an art that must be discovered. Ingredients are the map but the combination is your own journey. This is the secret intention of the heart.

Today, we explore a wealth of different items that can be added to a basic chai recipe to vary the flavour combinations to your heart’s content.

There are more variations for Chai here: Indian Chai Variations.

Similar recipes include Chai Wallah’s Chai, Tim’s Chai, Garam Chai, and Heavenly Gentle Chai.

You can browse all of our Chai recipes, all of our Indian dishes, and our Indian Essentials series. Or settle back and enjoy our Early Spring collection of recipes.

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Indian Spiced Teas (Infusions) for Good Health

We love iced spiced infusions in Summer and hot, warming infusions in Winter. We call them Teas, even Herbal Teas, but there is hardly a herb in site in these, and there are no tea leaves to be found. In India, any label that includes “Tea” indicates the presence of tea leaves, so to call an infusion a tea is very confusing there. Here, we call anything that is infused and sipped a tea.

These infusions can be consumed hot or chilled over ice. As I write it is 42C here in down town outer Adelaide. We have a spice mix infusing in the large tea pot. When it is cool it will be refrigerated and served over ice in the heat of the afternoon. It might be garnished with lemon slices and lemon verbena leaves, or maybe mint leaves.

The thing about spiced infusions is that they do have Ayurvedic properties. I have listed doshas here, but if you haven’t heard of doshas, then ignore them and just enjoy the spice combinations. Please note that I am not am Ayurvedic practitioner, so if you need health advice, please consult a professional.

I collect recipes for different Ayurvedic infusions and chai – these are ones that I’ve come across recently.

Similar recipes include Saffron Tea, Fennel Tea, Tulsi Tea, Ginger Cooler, and CCF Tea.

You can see our Ayurvedic related posts here, and all of our teas and infusions here. Or browse our recipes for hot, Mid Summer weather.

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Tamarind Summer Cooler

Another great Summer Cooler is made with tamarind – that sweet-sour and ubiquitous Indian souring agent. If you can find fresh tamarind, go the whole way and make your own tamarind paste – it is worth the effort.

The tamarind paste is mixed with sugar syrup and tasted to get the perfect balance of sweet and sour. In the photo, we have also used dried barberries that have soaked in the sugar syrup. Not only do they look festive, they also have a delightful sweet-sour flavour that compliments the drink very well.

It is interesting how tamarind coolers feature around the world, from the Nam Makham of Thailand to the Agua Fresca de Tamarindo from Mexico.

Similar recipes include The Ultimate Pineapple Juice and Coconut Cooler, Ginger Cooler, Pandan Cooler, and Jal Jeera.

You might like to read 40 of our Best Coolers for Summer.

Browse all of our Coolers and Indian Drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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