From Solkadhi To Piyush: Seven Maharashtrian Summer Drinks
- Jasmine Kaur
Updated : September 10, 2022 03:09 IST
Indingenous ingredients like kokum and mango, and coolers like yogurt and buttermilk form an important part of Maharashtrian drinks.
Maharashtra takes pride in using local produce to prepare refreshments that keep the heat at bay. Indingenous ingredients like kokum and mango, and coolers like yogurt and buttermilk form an important part of Maharashtrian drinks. Be it because they aid digestion or detoxification, these seven summer drinks from the state will give you reasons to keep making them again and again:
Popular across the Konkan Coast, solkadhi is a pretty pastel pink drink that uses kokum, coconut milk, green chilli, coriander and mint. Kokum is a fruit from the mangosteen family and is used mainly as a souring agent. Solkadhi may be served with rice or drunk on its own, just like buttermilk. It is a melange of flavours, with a slight sweetness from the coconut milk, tartness from the kokum, and heat from the green chillies. The drink is cooling and also works as a digestive.
Another well known kokum drink, kokum sharbat is made by combining kokum and water. First, the kokum is soaked for a couple of hours and then cooked with sugar, cumin, cardamom and black pepper to balance its sourness. Once the sugar melts, water that was used to soak the kokum is added and it’s cooked again. Kokum regulates body temperature by reducing heat, and is also a good thirst quencher. It’s refreshing and hydrating, especially during the summer.
Marathi for aam panna, kairiche panhe is a delicious summer drink that uses raw mangoes. To make kairiche panhe, raw mangoes are cooked and mashed into a pulp. The raw mango pulp is then blended with jaggery to sweeten it. Later, spices like cardamom are added, along with salt, chaat masala and mint leaves. These days, kairiche panhe is mass-produced and sold. It may be poured over ice from packets and served, but nothing beats the fresh version.
Taak is essentially Maharashtrian buttermilk. It is made with the whey that is produced after butter is churned, and served with or after heavy meals. Taak is spiced with ground cumin seeds, ginger, chopped coriander, green chilli and salt. Common in Marathi households, the summer drink is known for helping with digestion. Maharashtrian weddings also see the drink being served. It goes well with spicy curries and rice-based dishes.
Also popular in Gujarati cuisine, piyush is a traditional Maharashtrian drink that’s smooth and creamy. Shrikhand (a yogurt-based dessert) and yogurt are whisked together with nutmeg and cardamom powder to prepare piyush. Yogurt may be replaced with buttermilk in some recipes. The drink is similar to lassi, but sweeter and slightly heavier. Some people prefer to replace meals with piyush during the summer. It is usually served garnished with strands of saffron.
Also known as ice apple, tadgola can be found at fruit vendors across India but more so in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The translucent, lychee-like fruit has a flavour similar to coconut and works to cool the body down even when the heat is at its peak. It may be used to prepare other dishes and drinks; Maharashtrians make a tasty milkshake out of it. Made using tadgola, milk and sugar, tadgola milkshake makes a rejuvenating drink when served with ice and garnished with saffron.
One of Mumbai’s favourite drinks, kala khatta is made with the fruit of the jamun bush. It is sweet and sour, and deep purple in colour. Traditionally poured over crushed ice to make barf ka gola, it may also be used to create sharbats and even cocktails. When used in barf ka gola, kala khatta syrup is mixed with chaat masala and a generous squeeze of lemon. Bartenders have also experimented with the syrup to give cocktails a desi twist. It can be drunk on its own too.