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Hyderabad: Come summers and visions of pitchers of cool summer drinks begin. In the hot summers of India, where the relentlessly scorching sun makes even the bravest soul duck for the cover of a roof or the shade of a tree; having a drink to cool off is necessary.

The heat depletes essential salts and sugars from the body and it is needed to replenish them periodically. While colas and other aerated drinks abound, there are a lot of regional and traditionally made summer coolers. Everyone has at least a dozen ways to use up mangoes in summer drinks. 
 
Think Kairi ka panha, that sweet and tart drink made from the pulp of a boiled raw mango, sweetened and flavoured with a pinch of roasted cumin powder. Or mango lassi where the



flavours of the ripe mango elevate the humble yogurt based drink to another level. Lets also try and look at some non mango drinks for a change! One thing that’s common in traditional Indian cold drinks is the addition of flavour via spices and herbs. Fresh and dried ginger is added to aid in digestion, reduce any kind of inflammation and help in allaying any seasonal allergies. 
 
Similarly cumin powder is added not just to flavour the drinks meant for the summer but to help in digestion. Mint leaves are very refreshing and can be added to any kind of drink, both sweet and savoury a zing. Served chilled on a bed of crushed ice, these drinks use easily available ingredients, which may already be stocked in your kitchen.


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