Indian summers are always hot. The only difference across the country is is how hot it actually gets. If you live along the coast, then the high humidity coupled with the heats makes it hot, sweaty and sticky! So anything that beats the heat is always welcome, preferably chilled. A staple in my home during the summer is my version of Chilled Watermelon Juice.
Summer is the season for mangoes. Its is also the season for various varieties of thirst quenching cucumbers, musambi (sweet lime), and watermelons. We get a few varieties of watermelon here. One is a lighter green striated watermelon that is a medium shade of pink on the inside. Another is a darker green watermelon which is almost ruby red colour inside. These two are the sweetest of the lot. A yellow watermelon that is lighter pink inside is not as sweet but still good chilled. Then we have a green watermelon that is yellow on the inside.
Watermelons are everywhere just now. They’re even sold piled in mounds along the roads, in and out of town. You’ll also find vendors who will blend you a tall chilled glass of fresh watermelon juice while you wait.
My favourite way to eat watermelon is as pieces sprinkled with rock salt or “kaala namak or black salt”. If crisp juicy slices of watermelon should begin to feel monotonous, there are other many ways to have your watermelon and eat (or drink) it. Here are a couple of ways we have out watermelons. These recipes are very flexible and you can add or subtract ingredients according to your taste.The easiest way is to blend it into juice. There so many ways to flavour it.
If you want something a little more, then blend the watermelon pieces and freeze it ill just set. Serve it as a Watermelon Slush. Freeze it a little further and you can have Watermelon Granita. If want to take this further, make a Watermelon Gazpacho.
I don’t like ice cubes in my cold drinks as they tend to melt and turn the drinks watery. So I chill the watermelon chunks and then blend them. The juice can be served almost immediately, without ice. The flavours are very fresh which would be the best way to serve this.
Chilled Watermelon Juice
- half medium to large fresh water melon cut into chunks
- 1 sweet lime (musambi) juice of
- 1/2 lemon juice of
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsps fresh ginger juice
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chaat masala (optional)
- Put the chilled watermelon chunks and all the other ingredients into the blender jar and blend till smooth.
- If you do not like the grainy texture of mixture, strain and serve. I prefer to keep it as it is. Do add sugar if you feel your watermelon isn't sweet enough. Pour into tall glasses and serve garnished with mint.
- If you prefer ice in your cold drinks, adding ice to these watermelon coolers only dilutes them and makes them taste awful. Here are two suggestions to overcome this. You can pour out a couple of glasses of the watermelon concoction into ice trays and freeze them for use in these, instead of ice.
- You can also chill the watermelon cooler in the freezer for about halfan hour to an hour till the top layer just freezes. Break this layer, mix and serve this slush-like mixture.