Quench Your Thirst With These Amazing Summer Coolers By Chef Prem K Pogakula
Image Credit: Gulab summer cooler for the season/dishesguru.com

As the mercury rises and the scorching heat beats us down, we get to spot many street side vendors already selling Jal Jeera, Soda Shikhanji, Lassi or simply Nimboo Pani, Chaas and more. Also, our meal plate looks much different with more fluids added and summer special cooling drinks. Many households also get into preparing some innovative summer coolers from fruits, herbs and more. 

Chef Prem says “For making the above drinks we need three main ingredients like a sweetener which could be grain sugar or honey or jaggery syrup. Next is the body of the drink which consists of main ingredients  like rose syrup, pineapple syrup, sandal wood syrup .The third and the most important is the flavour cutter and a cooling ingredient which one can enjoy as a bite in between like mint,basil,coriander leaves,basil seeds,roasted seed or nuts.

Along with the high temperature comes extreme thirst. We are always reaching for something which is cooling, soothing and thirst quenching. I suggest, if you don’t want to drink plain water, try buttermilk or unsweetened fresh juices. Try a naturally cooling cucumber juice with a dash of mint and lime. For those who cannot drink it without sugar, add some jaggery, it has a far rich flavour than its evil counterpart: plain white sugar. Luckily we also get tender coconut water at every street corner while Tulsi seeds are traditionally known to be cooling. Add them to your drink, even to the tender coconut water with a dash of mint.

During the hot months, meat and heavy foods take longer time to digest. So eat light. Choose non-oily stuff like fresh fruits. Make yourself a watermelon, sprouts, pineapple and cucumber salad, toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of lemon for an extra tang. Try to avoid heavy salad dressings if you can. Not only will your stomach bless you, your calorie intake will reduce too. During these months, I love eating curd rice, especially when I have that tiny bit of fresh, homemade mango pickle to go with it. It’s chockfull of nutrition and the perfect combination of amino acids for protein and an added bonus for cooling the system.”

Here are few traditional non-alcoholic recipes from the chef himself.

Anannas Aur Pudina

Gulab sharbat/ The Imperial


•         Fresh rose petals-hand crushed-50gms

•         Dry rose petals-30gms

•         Rose water-40ml

•         Saffron (soaked in 5ml of warm water)-2gms

•         Honey-250ml

•         Hand crushed basil-50gms

•         Crushed ice-500gms

•         Chilled water-2000ml 


Combine all the above ingredients in a large bowl and leave it to soak and blend the flavour for about 20minutes.

Check for sweetness and adjust accordingly and strain and serve chilled with basil leaf.