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The Summer Hydration Problem and 3 Quenchers To Keep You Cool

Prepping for winter is easy: Chapstick, a few pullovers and jackets. DONE! Point me to the Wall. But prepping for summers is not that easy. It’s not so much about what you wear outside as much as what you put inside you. Read: light, fresh food and lots of fluids to keep you hydrated. The former we’ll tackle in another post, but let’s talk about hydration.

There are different schools of thought here. Some people say drink ~8 glasses of water. Others say, your body will tell you when you need it. I subscribe to the latter, but the thing with leading crazy busy lives is that I don’t have the time to listen to my body. It may be saying ‘Thirsty! Thristy! Thristy’, but all I am hearing is ‘Get this done. Get that done. Deadline. Deadline. Deadline’. And as a result, the summer heat and busy schedules drain me.

But I think I have cracked a way around the hydration problem.

Keep a big cold glass, a flask, a bottle or a jug of whatever you like to drink in front of you. Keep it in your bag, heck, keep it on the family dining table for everyone. More often than not, you’ll find your hands stretching out to pour yourself some for a few sips. And a few sips every now and then add up to a less dehydrated and drained you. I swear by this.

Now to what to drink. Here are 3 of my summer favorites that I am sure will become yours. And all 3 take not more than 15 minutes to ready.


Tangy, Sweet, Peppery Pappu Charu Cooler

This one’s inspired by the Andhra rasam by the same name. But it doesn’t have the ‘pappu’ or dal/lentil, but lots of ‘charu’ or tangy flavours rounded off with some sweetness from jaggery and a little bite of pepper.

Tangy, Sweet, Peppery Pappu Charu Cooler


  • 50 grams tamarind (or use 3 tablespoons of tamarind extract)
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves
  • 4 tablespoons of jaggery
  • 1 litre water
  • Salt to taste

For the tempering

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 chopped green chilli
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 10-12 curry leaves


  1. Add the tamarind, jaggery, turmeric and black pepper to the water and bring it to a boil. Once it hits the boil, turn the heat down and let it simmer for 10 mins. Add and adjust the salt to your liking.
  2. Once this is done pass the mixture through a sieve. Make sure you pass the tamarind and its tangy goodness through the sieve too with the back of a spoon. Reserve.
  3. To make the tempering, heat the oil in a small pan over high heat. Add the curry leaves, green chilli, dried red chilli, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and give it a whirl. As soon as they start splattering and the red chilli has turned a shade darker, get it off the heat. Pour it over the pepper and tamarind water and mix well.
  4. Let it cool. Pour into glasses and serve with lots of ice.



Tender Coconut And Ginger Root Aguas Fresca

‘Aguas Fresca’ is a Mexican drink that is usually a combination of fruits, cereals, seeds or flowers with water and sugar. It literally translates to ‘fresh water’. And this tender coconut and ginger root aguas frescas is fresher than fresh water.

Tender Coconut And Ginger Root Aguas Fresca


  • Water and malai of 2 large tender coconuts
  • 1 cm piece of ginger root


  • In a blender combine the water and malia from the coconuts with the ginger root. Let is wiz in there for about 2 minutes or until all the coconut and ginger are thoroughly combined.
  • Pour into glasses over ice and serve.

Note: It doesn’t need any additional sugar. The sweetness of the coconut water is enough. And another thing, if it sits in one place for too long, it tends to separate. Just stir a spoon through it and it ready to go.



Namkeen Sattu Superfood Cooler

This one has memories written all over it. Growing up, my nani use to make this a lot during our summer vacations. I clearly remember cold glasses of these being handed over to us as we played chorr-police in the blistering 45 degree Jamshedpur sun. What I didn’t know at that time was how good this was for you. Sattu or roasted Bengal gram flour, the main ingredient in this cooler is packed full of proteins, dietary fiber and all the good stuff. So while this delicious cooler quenches your thirst, it nourishes you too. Win-win!

Namkeen Sattu Superfood Cooler


  • 250 ml cold water
  • 3 teaspoons sattu
  • 2 generous pinches of freshly roasted and ground cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of lemon juice
  • rock salt or kosher salt to taste


  • Put all the dry ingredients in a tall glass. Add the water and stir a few times to make sure there are no lumps.
  • Add the lemon juice and salt. Adjust as needed and top with lots of ice.


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