Sweet and Sour Tomato “Soup”

There is a thing about some of the soups of South India – they can be like hot drinks rather than the way we might think of soups. We treat them as hearty, warming dishes to be eaten by the bowlful. Contrast this with flavoursome but not highly spiced hot  beverages. There is nothing like them anywhere else – they are neither like the tangy and highly spiced rasam, nor like the North Indian shorba. Some of the soups take influence from other parts of Asia, some from the English and French lighter soups and some from the soups of Portugal. These type of Indian soups are not common, but are also not rare.

I like to call it a “shot” of soup, often no more than a quarter of a cup. And it is often served after the meal, in a way that we might serve coffee. Relaxing over a shot of soup. What a delightful way to include more vegetables in our lives!

This recipe is a quick and easy tomato soup, in the Indian style. A hot beverage if you like. And totally delicious. While sugar is added to give the sweet-sour taste, it can be omitted and we often leave it out.

Also note that more Western style soups are becoming more and more popular across India as people turn their hand to cooking other cuisines.

This is such a delightful accompaniment to Fried Upma.

Similar recipes include Tomato-Garlic Soup with Tamarind and Spices, Narangi Shorba, Indian Sweetcorn Soup, Tamatar Shorba, South Indian Vegetable Soup, and Indian Potato and Tomato Soup.

Browse all of our Indian Soups and all of our Tomato Soups. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Tulasyadi Phanta | Herbal Drink of Tulsi and Spices

There are several recipes for Tulasyadi Phanta. This is one that is not so common – perhaps more recent as it includes lemongrass. It is a infusion that is good for colds and fevers, and also if you are exhausted from work or illness, and need to feel comforted and rested.

The infusion is made with Tulsi, the Indian holy basil, seeped with lemongrass, cloves and cinnamon.  It really is relaxing – as you sip it in the afternoon you feel your body beginning to relax and your breath deepen. It is a gorgeous way to wind down.

Similar recipes include the Ginger Tulasyadi Phanta, Teas for Good Health, and Unusual Teas, Coffees and Infusions.

Browse all of our Infusions and all of our Teas. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Lemongrass Chai

Lemongrass grows freely in my garden, as it does in India, and it is used to add fragrance and that beautiful lemon flavour to salads, rice and S.E. Asian dishes. But in India its use in cooking is limited despite its availability. It features mainly in drinks and soups, such as this fragrant tomato soup.

Here it is used in a simple but elegant chai – a lemon grass bulb and an Indian tea bag or loose leaf tea. Jaggery or rock sugar is used to sweeten the tea, and it can be taken with or without milk. It is a wonderfully refreshing tea on a warm Summer afternoon or evening. I encourage you to try it.

You might like to read How to Make Chai, and our 20 Chai Recipes.

Similar recipes include Fiona’s Beautiful ChaiTim’s Chai, and Tulsi and Mint 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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Loquat Sweet Lassi | Indian Sweet Locquat Yoghurt Drink

It is loquat season as I write, and luckily our tree is laden down with fruit. Funny little things the fruit needs to be used straight off the tree, otherwise they bruise easily and can turn brown.

We make lassi with locquats, and they are delicious. Ice cold on a hot day, there is nothing better.

By the way, Loquats can also be spelt Locquats. Go figure.

Similar recipes include Black Grape Lassi, Mango Lassi, Sweet and Tangy Lassi, Strawberry 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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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 Lemongrass Chai, 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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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.

You might like to read How to Make Chai, and our 20 Chai Recipes.

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 include Loquat Lassi, 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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