Amalvani: A Cooling Beverage From Rajasthan For The Summers
Image Credit: Culture Recipe

With summer temperatures being at an all-time high around India, no amount of cooling beverages, sea breeze or air conditioning is able to provide the kind of respite we seek to feel better in the heat. Like every other functional, weather-related challenge, ancient traditions across cultures prescribe various solutions that are meant to keep the body cool and free of any ailments, as the season progresses. The state of Rajasthan is known to have some extreme temperatures that touch 45-50 degrees Celsius in the summers and their culinary traditions suggest consuming amalvani – a tamarind-based sherbet that is meant to cool the body.

Made by soaking tamarind and jaggery in water and making a concentrate with dry spices like mint powder, black pepper, coriander powder and dry ginger powder (to balance the cooling elements), it is usually consumed as an accompaniment to moth bajra khichdi or meetha pakodi. Making a batch of this tamarind concentrate and refrigerating it beforehand, will also allow you to pour yourself a chilled glass of this imli paani, anytime you feel like cracking open a can of soda or a beer. Although relatively less famous than its summer counterparts like coconut water and buttermilk, amalvani provides nutrition and aids in digestion, keeping gastric issues like bloating or indigestion at bay.


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  • 1 cup tamarind
  • 2 cups jaggery
  • ½ cup raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry mint powder
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • Salt, to taste

  • Soak the tamarind and jaggery in a large bowl of drinking water for 60-90 minutes and strain the pulp, once the jaggery has dissolved completely. Add the sugar and mix until combined.
  • Add the spice powders and salt to the tamarind-jaggery liquid and pour into a pan on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook down for a couple of minutes, until you see the mixture starting to thicken and turn glossy.
  • Cool the mixture down completely before storing it in sterelised glass bottles and refrigerating. To serve, pour a couple of tablespoons of the tamarind concentrate and top it off with some cold water and serve.