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Popular Summertime Coolers from Delhi

Jul 15 • Traveling • 1002 Views • No Comments on Popular Summertime Coolers from Delhi

Delhi in the summertime is hot and humid, with temperatures climbing far above 40 degrees in peak season. In the sweltering heat, it’s important for Delhiites to keep hydrated and cool throughout the day.
If you take a stroll through a bustling Delhi market in the summertime, you will encounter an array of seasonal food and drink. Large blocks of ice sit on the tables ofstreet vendors’ stalls, waiting to be chiselled off and crushed into drinks. Rows of fresh, mouth-watering fruit align and colour the streets, such as peeled and sliced cucumbers, kiwis, papayas, peaches and melons.
One popular summertime cooler is Chaas, a drink whichis consumed all-year round and usually as an accompaniment to meals. However, during the summertime crushed ice is added to the drink for added refreshment. Chaas comprises yogurt (Dahi) which is blended using a whip-like instrument, called a madhani. The froth is filtered by a cloth and removed from the liquid, and cumin seeds and salt (and sometimes other ingredients) are added to further enrich the flavour.
For a real thirst-quencher, the people of Delhi drink Shikanjvi, which is a water-based lemonade or limeade. To make the drink, lemons or limes are squeezed into a chilled glass of still water. To enhance the taste, salt, sugar, pepper and ginger are added, and the drink is occasionally garnished with mint.
Other refreshing summertime coolers include Indian shakes, cold coffee and coconut water, which is served straight from the coconut itself. As a remedy for heat stroke, a light-green drink called AamPanna is sold. This drink is made from sugar, various spices and green mangoes. DrinkingAamPannahelps the body to retain sodium chloride and iron, which are lost from perspiration.
For a refreshing snack, Kulfi – a popular dairy dessert – is frozen around a stick and turned into an ice-lolly so that it can be enjoyed while on the move. Before Kulfi is served, it is common for vendors to dip it into caramelised milk to further boost its sweetness. Alternatively, there are also Kulfianos, which are flavoured Kulfis. Typical flavours include pomegranate, kiwi and mango.
One popular summertime snack is the PaniPuri. Traditionally, this snack is served during the wintertime due to its spicy, warming ingredients. However, lighter ingredients are used for the summer version, along with a refreshing serving of mint chutney.
As a light refreshment to follow large meals, Paans (betel leaves) are chewed and either swallowed or spat out. During summer months, refreshing ingredients are added to the Paans – such as mint and rose chutney – which help to cleanse and refresh the palette post-meal.
With summer just around the corner here in the UK, now is a better time than any to sample the refreshing and cleansing foods and drinks of Delhi. If you head down to one of London’s best fine-dining restaurants, then you can taste the rich, sweet flavours of the Caramelised BananaKulfi, a perfect homage to its authentic Indian counterpart.

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