Cooking | Homemade Lemonade/nimbu pani/limbu sarbat

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There are always some dishes associated with season, occasion and stages of life. When summers hit hard and when kids are home during summer holidays, the first and foremost thing mothers (and in general all the folks) think about is our very humble and old nimbu pani or limbu sarbat. With the increasing need of hydrating oneself, how can we not go grab a glass of this easy drink? And what could be the easiest way to welcome your guests?

With the recipe I am sharing with you today, you don’t have to squeeze those lemons every now and then, and keep fishing for the seeds else they dive into somebody’s stomach!

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This easy to make lemon syrup is surely going to be a hit with you… just 3 (sugar, water and of course lemons) ingredients (well, you can count salt, the 4th one if you want to be precise)…and a wee bit of patience… the reward is the easiest way to make nimbu pani or whatever drink you want to put up…because this syrup can also be added to any other fruit juice to make a fancy drink.

Here is what you will need-

  1. Juice of 12 big lemons – strained to remove any seeds and lemon particles
  2. Sugar – 2 and 1/2 cup
  3. Water – 3/4 cup
  4. Salt – 2 tsp

Instructions –

  1. Add sugar and water in the pot. Mix properly and bring to boil. Boil the syrup to a soft ball consistency.
  2. Once the syrup reaches the desired consistency, turn of the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir the mixture so that the lemon juice mixes well with the syrup. Keep stirring the mixture once in a while till it comes to room temperature. Add the salt and mix well. You can use rock/black salt as well.
  3. Your lemon syrup is ready, store the syrup in a clean sterilized glass jar. You can keep the mixture in the fridge but it stays well even at the room temperature. To make nimbu pani or lemonade, take 2 tbsp of syrup in a glass and 1 glass of cold water. You could as well add ice. Mix well and serve chilled.

 

Note: The above quantity makes little less than 2 cups of lemon syrup or around 20 medium size glasses of lemonade. You could add strawberry or other fruit juices to make flavored lemonade.

Let me know if you make my recipes, I would like to know your feedback and suggestions!

Happy summer holidays,

Prajakta

Cooking | Beat the heat #1 – Watermelon popsicles

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Summer is here with full swing and so are the summer fruits! What better way to beat the heat than to enjoy these luscious fruits in all possible ways?

Here is presenting to you, the 1st in the series #beattheheat – watermelon popsicles! These are not only made of watermelon but they look like a wedge of watermelon on the stick… 🙂

Popsicles bring such amazing childhood memories for me! I spent my childhood in a small town. We had very few ice cream shops and eating ice cream every fortnight during summer was kinda ritual, though only after our annual exams are over!

But, there was no shortage of what we used to call “ice fruits”… there was one vendor who will come daily between 3 pm to 5 pm and I and my sister along with our cousins and friends would eagerly await his call. I still vividly remember that call which used to sound like “iceproooot”! 🙂 The treats he used to carry in his small cart were truly “iced” fruit juice with hardly any additional sugar and no artificial colors or any preservatives at all.

This watermelon popsicle (and few other upcoming recipes) are my visits to those bygone summer vacations! I hope you make these and enjoy as much as we did! Do let me know in the comments or on Facebook, if you make these beauties. 🙂

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Here is what you will need –

  1. watermelon – 1 cup, cut in chunks and seeds removed
  2. milk – 2 tablespoons
  3. powdered sugar – approximately 1 tablespoon
  4. juice of 1 lemon
  5. mint leaves – handful
  6. black sesame seeds – 1 teaspoon

Here is how I made these –

  1. Place the watermelon chunks (seeds removed) in the blender. Pour half of the line juice and blend till smooth. Pass through a sieve to get rid of any big pieces.
  2. Pour the watermelon puree in the popsicle mold to 2/3rd.
  3. Keep in the freezer till it starts to freeze. Now remove from the freezer and add a pinch of black sesame seeds. With the help of a toothpick or the popsicle stick try to move the sesame seeds to the bottom and sides of the popsicle mold. Return the molds to the freezer and freeze for about 2 hours. Again, remove the molds and insert the popsicle sticks in the center of each mold. Return to the freezer to completely freeze the popsicles.
  4. Now, prepare the milk mixture. Add the powdered sugar to the milk and mix thoroughly. Bring out the popsicle molds and pour the milk mixture on the watermelon layer. Make sure the that the watermelon layer is completely frozen before you pour the milk or the two layers will mix together and you will not get the white pith-like layer. Pour milk mixture as much to create a layer of approximatelu 1 cm. Once the milk mixture is poured, return the molds to the freezer until the milk layer is completely frozen.
  5. Lastly, prepare the green layer. Add the mint leaves and remaining lemon juice in a blender and blend till smooth. Its OK if you are not able to blend the leaves into a fine paste! Now, bring out the molds from the freezer and pour a 2 teaspoons of mint mixture in each mold. Freeze the molds until this last layer is frozen and the popsicles are ready.
  6. To remove the popsicle from the mold, simply immerse the mold in a bowl of tap water making sure that the water does not enter the mold. Remove the popsicles and eat immediately!

This recipe makes 6 popsicles with a small aluminium mold. The number of popsicles may vary depending on the mold you are using. Also, the exact amout of liquid needed to create separate layer will depend on the size of your mold, just eyeball the quantities and you should be good to go.

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I know there is still time to summer vacations, and currently many of the moms  – not the kids 😉 out there will be having exam fever, but do try these, I guarantee that you will not regret!

Happy cooking,

Prajakta