Kanji To Sattu Sharbat: 10 Traditional Indian Beverages
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India is a treasure of spicy, delicious food which is served in different combinations according to the states or regions. Many other aspects of Indian food culture are simply a sheer joy to experience such as the traditional beverages which offer a distinct taste and favourable health benefits for the body.

These drinks are not just refreshing thirst; they are an essential part of culture and traditions that include rituals, festive events, and everyday use, which also can have a medicinal effect based on Ayurveda.

Each traditional beverage tells a story of its region, reflecting the local ingredients, climate, and customs. From the cooling lassi of Punjab to the tangy kokum sherbet of Maharashtra, these drinks offer a refreshing glimpse into India's rich and diverse traditions. Let’s explore some of the most popularly consumed traditional drinks of India and understand their origin and method of preparation, and also their significance in Indian culture. 

1. Lassi: 

Lassi is a traditional yoghurt-based drink that originates from Punjab. Known for its cooling properties, lassi is a staple in many Indian households, especially during the scorching summer months. It is often served to guests as a symbol of hospitality and warmth. Lassi can be sweet or salty, with the basic ingredients being yoghurt, water, spices or sugar. Sweet lassi is usually flavoured with fruits like mango, rosewater, or cardamom, while salty lassi includes spices like cumin and mint.

2. Masala Chai: 

Masala chai, or spiced tea, is an integral part of daily life in India. Originating from the Indian subcontinent, this aromatic beverage is enjoyed at all times of the day and has become synonymous with Indian hospitality. The core ingredients include black tea, milk, water, sugar, and a mix of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper.

3. Aam Panna: The Mango Delight

Aam Panna is a tangy and sweet beverage made from raw mangoes, popular in northern India during the summer. It is valued for its heat-resistant properties and is a common remedy for heatstroke and dehydration. The drink is prepared by boiling raw mangoes and blending their pulp with spices and sweeteners.

4. Thandai: 

Thandai is a traditional beverage associated with the festival of Holi. It originates from North India and is a cooling drink made with nuts, seeds, and spices. Thandai is made by blending soaked almonds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, melon seeds, cardamom, and black pepper with milk and sugar.

5. Jal Jeera: 

Jal Jeera is a tangy and spicy drink made from cumin, tamarind, and mint. It is widely consumed in India as a digestive aid and a refreshing cooler during the hot summers. This drink is made by mixing ground cumin, mint leaves, tamarind pulp, and other spices with water.

6. Kanji: 

Kanji is a traditional fermented drink made from black carrots, popular in North India. It is particularly consumed during the winter and is known for its probiotic benefits. The drink is prepared by fermenting black carrots with mustard seeds and water.

7. Filter Coffee: 

Filter Coffee, or kaapi, is a strong and aromatic coffee beverage from South India. It is a staple in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala, where it is enjoyed for its rich flavour and invigourating properties. Filter coffee is made using a special metal filter that allows for a slow brewing process, resulting in a concentrated decoction that is mixed with hot milk and sugar.

8. Neer Mor: 

Neer Mor is a spiced buttermilk drink from Tamil Nadu, commonly consumed during the summer for its cooling effects. It is also offered as a prasadam in temples. This refreshing drink is made by blending buttermilk with spices and herbs like ginger, curry leaves, and green chillies.

9. Kokum Sherbet:

Kokum sherbet is a tangy and refreshing drink made from kokum fruit, native to the coastal regions of Maharashtra and Goa. It is known for its digestive properties and cooling effects. Kokum sherbet is made by soaking kokum fruit in water and blending it with sugar and spices.

10. Sattu Sharbat:

Sattu Sharbat is a high-protein drink made from roasted gram flour, popular in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. It is consumed for its nutritional benefits and is especially favoured during the summer. The drink is made by mixing sattu flour with water, sugar or salt, and sometimes lemon juice.

Whether enjoyed during festivals, daily routines, or as remedies for health, these traditional beverages continue to be cherished across generations, offering a blend of taste, nutrition, and cultural significance.