(Last Updated on : 04/03/2010)
Indian beverages comprehend a significant portion of the Indian food section. In fact, a traditional Indian meal, complete with every course, is considered incomplete without sherbet. The umpteen recipes, fruits, even vegetables employed to serve a sherbet is absolutely blissful. The humid Indian summers can be turned into a chilled atmosphere, by a mere drinking of sherbets. The sweet, salty, tangy or chilli taste of Indian sherbets, topped with ice, brings a serene effect to the mind. An even more interesting fact that stands out is that, one needs not necessarily burn out a huge sum of money to drink one; the sherbets can be prepared at home, with readily available ingredients. The variety of sherbets made in a strict Indian desi-style, lends the cool drink its definitive edge, strictly concocted to make people smile amidst sultriness. The fruits used like, raw mango, melon, lemon, watermelon or even a drink prepared with tamarind and asafoetida, makes Indian sherbets illustrious worldwide.
Some of the tremendously popular and admired sherbets are listed below:
Green Mango Sherbet, Indian Beverage
The present ingredients mentioned, serves 3-4.
2 raw green mangoes
6 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon roasted and then ground, cumin seeds
sprig of fresh mint
250ml cold water
Roast the whole mangoes in a hot oven until they are soft. Allow them to cool and then make a hole in the skin and squeeze out the pulp. Put the pulp in a blender and process with the sugar, cumin, salt and mint. Add cold water and pour into chilled glasses.
Nimbu Pani, Indian Beverage
This refreshing drink is served all over India and is an excellent way to re-hydrate the body after a day in the heat.
Juice of 3-4 limes
2 teaspoons of sugar
Pinch of salt
A little freshly ground black pepper
200ml chilled water
Mix the limejuice, sugar, salt and pepper with the water and pour over ice cubes in a chilled glass.
Gulab Sherbet (Rose Sherbet), Indian Beverage
1 and 1/2 cup freshly picked rose petals
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4th tsp cardamom seeds
3/4th cup sugar
1/4th cup strained fresh lemon juice
2/3rd cup pomegranate juice
5 cups cold water
Crush the rose petals in a mortar and pestle and place them in a large bowl. Add the boiling water, then pour the mixture to a metal container and add cardamom seeds. Keep aside for 8 hours or overnight.
Pour the rose-cardamom water through a muslin lined strainer placed over a bowl. Add the sugar and float the bowl over a hot water filled sink until the sugar dissolves.
Remove from the hot water and filter it again. Cool it to room temperature. Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher and stir well.
Serve in a glass half filled with crushed ice.
Tarbooj Sherbet (Watermelon Sherbet), Indian Beverage
1 pint strawberries
3 cups fresh watermelon juice
1/2tsp pureed ginger
3 tbsp. Sugar
Wash and stem the berries in cold water. Force through a food crusher to separate seeds from the puree. As another option, place a nylon sieve over a bowl and using a pestle or spread-out fingers, push to extract the fruit puree; discard the seeds.
Blend all the ingredients in a jug, stir well and refrigerate for few hours. Stir and serve in glasses with crushed ice.
Kharbooja Sherbet (Honeydew melon), Indian Beverage
4 small or 2 large honeydew melons (kharbooja)
1/2 cup strained fresh orange juice
1/4th cup fresh lemon juice
4 drops khus essence
If using small melons, slice off the top of each as a lid; if using large melons, cut them into half.
Cut the edges in a zigzag pattern. Cut a thin slice off the bottom so that the melon stands upright without toppling. (Care must be taken not to cut through the shell).
Scoop out the seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh and process in a blender, along with the remaining ingredients, until smooth.
Chill well and serve in the shells, if desired, with reversed lids and a straw.
Angoor Sherbet (Grape Sherbet), Indian Beverage
1/2 x 3-inch piece of orange zest
1/4tsp. cardamom seeds
4 whole cloves
6 cups grape juice
1/4th cup honey
3-inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 cups sparkling water
Tie the zest, cardamom seeds and cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth. Place the juice and honey in a large stainless steel pan and bring it to near boiling point over moderate heat.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the spice bag and cinnamon stick; cover and set aside until the juice has cooled to a lukewarm. Remove the spice bag and cinnamon stick and chill.
Add the water before serving.
Mohit Sherbet, Indian Beverage
4tbsp. lemon juice
3/4th cup sugar
4 drops of kewra essence
8 ice cubes crushed
4 round slices of lemon
Mix the lemon juice, sugar and 1 cup of the water and mix in a blender.
Add the rest of the water and the kewra essence and blend again for a few seconds more.
Put 4 tbsp of the sherbat into ice cube container and freeze. Refrigerate the sherbat for 30 minutes before serving.
Stir, then pour into four glasses. Add crushed ice and one lemon ice cube to each glass with a slice of lemon.
Aam Panna (Green Mango drink), Indian Beverage
6 medium green mangoes
33/4th cups water
1tsp cumin seeds (dry-roasted and ground)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
3tbsp chopped mint leaves
12 ice-cubes (crushed)
Place the mangoes with water to cover in a saucepan and bring to boil.
Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain off the water and then peel; pulp the mango with a spoon.
Place the pulp in a deep bowl. Add water, sugar, salt, chilli and cumin. Whisk thoroughly. Stir in the mint and whisk again.
Transfer it to a jug. Serve chilled with crushed ice.
Jal Jeera, Indian Beverage
50 gms / 2oz. tamarind
2 and 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 tsp garam masala
a pinch of asafoetida powder
salt to taste
1/2 tsp black salt
1 tsp white cumin seeds (dry-roasted and ground)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
11/2 tsp lemon juice
1tbsp chopped mint leaves
Batter drops (Bondi) to garnish
Soak the tamarind pulp in the warm water for approximately 15 minutes. Then squash and blend it thoroughly. Push the liquid through a sieve and discard the residue.
Add the garam masala, asafoetida, salt, chilli powder, sugar, cumin, lemon juice and mint. Mix together thoroughly.
Serve the jal jeera chilled, garnished with few batter drops and stir before drinking.
Thandai (Raisin Nut Milk Laced with Fennel), Indian Beverage
2 and 1/2 cup water
2tbsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. cardamom seeds
4 whole cloves
2/3rd cup raisins
1/2 cup almonds, blanched and chopped
1/4th cup pistachios, chopped
1/4th cup melon seeds, sunflower seeds, or pine nuts.
1 litre milk
1/4th tsp. saffron threads, dry-roasted and powdered
Bring the water to boil in a small saucepan. Add the fennel seeds, cardamom and cloves, cover and remove from the heat. Keep aside for ten minutes.
Place the raisins, almonds, pistachios and melon seeds, sunflower seeds, or pine nuts in a bowl and add fennel tea. Cover and keep aside for no less than 1 hour.
Transfer it to a blender; cover and blend until the nuts & spices are reduced to a smooth texture. Pour into a strainer and set over a bowl. When some of the liquid has drained through the sieve, assemble the corners and squeeze tightly to extract the maximum liquid.
Heat 2 tbsp of milk and add saffron. Blend the nut milk, saffron milk and remaining milk in a large jug and chill well.
Serve over a crushed ice.