5 Delicious Summer Coolers to Beat the Heat

Recipes and photos by Shaheen Ali

What do physiotherapy and cooking have in common? Well, the first was the subject of Shaheen Ali’s Master’s degree, and the second is her all-consuming passion. Born in Rourkela, Odisha, to a mechanical engineer father from Rajasthan and a social activist mother from West Bengal, Shaheen grew up with an appreciation for a variety of cultures and cuisines.

shaheen aliThe family moved to Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, where Shaheen completed her schooling. She moved to Bhopal for college and post-graduation, and then married a banker there. “I practised physiotherapy for three or four years after marriage but I wasn’t happy. So I quit my job and decided to follow my passion – cooking! I set up a food blog in 2014 (http://www.spoonforkandfood.com), and gradually, food styling and photography became my profession,” says the 38-year-old mother of a young son.

“I was born and raised in a gastronomic family where conversations revolve around food and cooking is most relied on approximation and eyeballing the ingredients or proportions,” smiles the foodie, who has recently moved to Bilaspur due to her husband’s job. “Cooking completes me; it’s not just a passion, it’s therapy for me.”

Check out these simple, delightful summer cooler recipes she learnt from her mum in childhood.

ICED GOLDEN MILK LATTE

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Iced Golden Milk Latte

Ingredients:
2 cups almond milk or coconut milk
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 pinch black pepper powder
4 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions:
Whisk together the milk, turmeric powder, cinnamon powder, ground ginger and black pepper in a saucepan. Set it to heat on high and boil the mixture, whisking frequently. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat for 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and add in maple syrup or honey along with vanilla extract, and whisk again. Cool the golden milk completely and later store in the fridge up to 1 week. Serve chilled over a handful of ice.

RAW MANGO FLAVORED SPICED BUTTERMILK

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Raw Mango Flavoured Spiced Buttermilk

Ingredients:
400 gms thick yoghurt
2 raw mangoes (peel, grate and squeeze the juice)
3-4 drops ginger juice (peel, grate and squeeze the juice)
1 tsp cumin
4-5 black peppercorns
1 dry red chilli
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1/2 tsp black salt
1 sprig fresh coriander chopped
5-6 fresh mint leaves
Salt to taste
2-3 cups distilled water
8-10 cubes ice

Instructions:
Take thick curd in a pitcher and add chopped coriander, ginger juice, raw mango juice, black salt, chaat masala, few mint leaves and salt. Mix it well, and then add water and mix again. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

In a pan, dry roast the red chilli, cumin and pepper corns, and cool. Grind to make a dry powder. Add ½ to 1 tsp of spice powder in the serving glass along with ice. Pour the cooled chhaas (spiced buttermilk) over the ice and give a quick stir. Garnish it with 2-3 pinches of spice powder and fresh mint leaves. Serve chilled.

PINK LEMONADE

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Pink Lemonade

Ingredients:
600 ml water / soda
4 tbsp lemon juice
6 – 7 tbsp sugar
2 pinch salt
2 tbsp rose syrup
Mint – few fresh leaves
4 – 5 lemon slices
Pink rose petals (optional)

Instructions:
In a large pan, add water, sugar, salt and lemon juice and stir till sugar dissolves completely. In a separate bowl, take 1 tbsp of water and some mint leaves and crush with a mortar. Add the crushed mint extract and rose syrup one by one to the lemonade and stir well. Pass the lemonade through a sieve and collect it in a pitcher. Refrigerate. Pour it over ice in a glass, and garnish it with some lemon slices and fresh mint. Serve chilled!

MANGO LEMONADE

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Mango Lemonade

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh mango puree
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar – adjustable
2.5 cups water
Ice cubes – a handful
Fresh mint leaves for garnish

Instructions:
Blend mango puree, lemon juice and 2 cups of water and collect in a pitcher. Mix sugar in ½ cup of warm water till dissolved. Keep aside to cool. Add in the sugar syrup to the mango mix and stir well. Chill the drink before serving. Garnish with fresh mint leaf.

WATERMELON COSMOPOLITAN

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Watermelon Cosmopolitan

Ingredients:
2 cups watermelon pieces
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp chopped green chilli
8 – 10 mint leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1 cup crushed ice

Instructions:
Blend watermelon pieces (with or without seeds), lemon juice, mint leaves, finely chopped green chilies, salt and black pepper powder along with some crushed ice in a blender. Strain the watermelon juice through a colander. Discard the extract. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice again and check the salt. The salt actually helps out in bringing the sweetness of the watermelon.

Take a martini glass and wipe a squeezed lemon on the rim to hold the garnish. Now coat the rim with salt and black pepper and keep aside. Pour the juice over crushed ice. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve chilled.

First published in the July 2017 issue of eShe magazine. Read the entire issue online here.