South India’s Sambharam Is A Respite In The Sweltering Summers
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As the strong heat waves take their course towards the Indian subcontinent, everyone gears up to beat the heat. Lemonade (nimbu paani), lassi and chhaas are common in North India. A fresh glass of a summer cooler is all one needs to survive the hot weather. In such a scenario, curd-based drinks are also a popular choice. They keep your stomach cool and your body active during this season. 

If Punjabis have their lassi, South Indians could not be left far behind. They love their sambharam equally. For those untouched by the phenomenon of sambharam, let’s make it clear that it is far from anything like the tangy South Indian condiment, sambhar. This local beverage is curd-based and the taste resembles that of buttermilk which has been mildly-spiced or simply a light yoghurt drink. 

What’s so good about Sambharam?

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A favourite in the southern parts of the country, it resonates with the idea of having yoghurt at the end of a meal. Since the base of the drink is curd, it is great for digestion and serves as a healthy alternative to any carbonated or aerated drinks. Made with all natural ingredients and no preservatives, this spicy beverage is known by several names across South India. For instance, in Tamil Nadu, it is called Neer Moru while Keralites refer to it as Morum Vellam or Pacha Moru. In fact, green chilies are special addition in Kerala’s recipe which can also be enjoyed as a side dish during meals. Even in northern parts of the country, the drink has gained recognition in the form of Chhach and Majjige

What goes into making this delicious beverage? 

With the aroma of freshly-crushed lime leaves, the buttermilk is spruced up with spices like ginger and hing. The crushed curry leaves lend a strong flavour to the drink which is kept in earthern ware pots to let the flavours infuse. It is served chilled in mitti ka matkas which keeps it cool for longer. You can try the recipe by Better Butter for Neer Moru here.