Anokhi DIY / Culture & Lifestyle / Fitness & Nutrition / DIY: Spicy South Asian Summer Drinks To Keep You Cool

DIY: Spicy South Asian Summer Drinks To Keep You Cool

Anokhi DIY Culture & Lifestyle Fitness & Nutrition Aug 09, 2016

When you think of summer drinks, you may default to tried and tested classics like sweet lemonade or cooling iced tea, but we have some pretty fresh ideas for you to try! 

Many staple South Asian summer coolers combine sweet, spicy, sour and savoury ingredients that will cool you down and tickle those taste buds. Give these easy recipes a try to add a little kick to your next batch of summer thirst quenchers!

1. Imli Paani | Tamarind Juice

Imli paani is the perfect combo of sweet and sour to refresh your tastebuds.

Source: Daniel Pillai

Ingredients: (Makes 5 glasses)

  • ¼ cup tamarind
  • 2 tablespoons jaggery
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon rock salt
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed powder
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 4 cups chilled water


  • Soak the tamarind in approximately half a cup of warm water and set aside for 1 hour.
  • Once the tamarind is well soaked, squeeze out the pulp and juice with your hands and strain it through a fine sieve to separate any seeds and other impurities.
  • Mix jaggery, sugar and all other dry spices with one cup of chilled water. Stir well until sugar and jaggery are completely dissolved or combine in a blender until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into a large pitcher, add the remaining 3 cups of chilled water and stir well.
  • Serve chilled over ice for a sweet and sour summer treat!


2. Jal Jeera | Cumin Water

Jal Jeera will spice up your lemonade game.


Ingredients: (Makes 4 glasses)

  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 teaspoons cumin seed powder
  • ½ teaspoon rock salt
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried mango powder (amchur)
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 4 cups of chilled water


  • Grind mint leaves, coriander leaves and ginger to a fine paste in a blender.
  • Transfer the paste to a large bowl and add 4 cups of chilled water, lime juice, sugar and all other dry spices.
  • Stir the mixture thoroughly and strain into a large pitcher to remove any remnants of leaves or ginger.
  • Serve chilled with a sprig of mint and a slice of lime to garnish for a spicy yet refreshing cooler!


3. Masala Chaas | Spiced yogurt/buttermilk drink

Masala Chaas is an all time favourite South Asian summer thirst quencher.


Ingredients: (Makes 3 glasses)

  • 1 cup plain, unflavoured yogurt
  • ½ to 1 cup water as per preference


  • 2 cups unflavoured, unsweetened buttermilk
  • Handful of coriander leaves
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • ½ tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed powder
  • 2 small Thai green chillies
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste


  • Combine yogurt and water OR buttermilk in a large bowl with salt, cumin seed powder and chilli powder and whisk till all dry spices are mixed well.
  • Grind mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies and ginger into a fine paste in a blender and add to yogurt mixture. Stir well.
  • Pour over ice and garnish with cumin powder and mint leaves to enjoy this savoury South Asian favourite!

Main Image credits: Daniel Pillai,,

Dilshad Burman

Dilshad Burman


Dilshad Burman is an award winning TV host and Canadian media personality.   Born in Mumbai, India, she was surrounded by its creative energy and grew up with a passion for music, film and television. While completing her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from The University of Mumbai, she i...


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