Healthy Summer Drinks From Local Fruits Of Northeast India
The horticulture diversity of Northeast India is incomparable. Being one of the greenest regions of India, northeast is the hub of so many different varieties of indigenous fruits and vegetables that we can’t even imagine! Local fruits of northeast India are not only unique but also have high nutrition value, special health benefits and of course amazing taste. I am a native of northeast India but even I get surprises exploring new fruits, vegetables and other local ingredients every time I visit the local bazaars.
There are many so-called healthy summer drinks easily available in the markets that often come with added preservative, color and flavor which are certainly not good for health and as experts say it is always better to go for local seasonal fruits as drinks, in salad, raw or in whatever form you like. The list for NE India’s local fruits is never ending- Wood Apple, Elephant Apple, Bhim Kol/Athiya Kol, Noni or Indian Mulberry, Kazi Nemu, Kordoi or Star Fruit, Tamarind, Thekera or Garcinia Pedunculata and the list goes on. For making summer drinks, all are ideal.
Here in this blog we will be beating the heat in a local way! Healthy summer drinks from local fruits of northeast India- sounds exciting? Let’s begin now-
1. Star fruit drink to feel light-
Star fruit locally known as Kordoi is a fruit which is not only used in northeast Indian cuisine but also popular in other various Asian cuisines as well. It is a good source of vitamin C and has numerous health benefits including improving digestion, weight reduction, reducing inflammation, reducing stomach burning etc. Star fruit is a very watery fruit and hence there is no much effort required to prepare a drink out of it. Just smash the fruit pieces, take out the juice and add salt, sugar or any other ingredient you would like to have in your favorite summer drink.
2. Athiya kol shake-
Athiya kol is a special variety of banana found in Assam a bit larger in size than the normal banana we eat everyday. Athiya kol has seeds in it which is also considered to be helpful for many health purposes. Athiya kol or Bhim kol is supremely beneficial for immune boosting and a super food specially for babies at their growing age. Bhim kol is soaked in water overnight and that water is consumed in the morning. It can also be mixed with milk and can be consumed as banana shake. Bhim kol mixed with milk, rice flour and jaggery is a favorite breakfast of Assamese people.
3. Elephant apple drink-
Elephant apple locally known as Ou tenga is a very popular fruit in northeast India. People in Assam and NE India use this fruit in their cuisine in many different ways. It is beneficial for controlling diabetics. Elephant apple drink is not a common recipe and the recipe I am sharing here is entirely from my kitchen. So, Ou tenga drink can be prepared by taking out the juice of boiled Ou tenga pieces, filtering the juice and mixing salt and sugar in it. You can add chat masala, black salt, chili powder or black paper if you like.
4. Thekera sharbat is just sslurrpp!
Garcinia pedunculata locally known as Thekera is the most ideal fruit for making summer drinks. It is soothing, tasty and can relieve you from stomach burning. Thekera sharbat is prepared by smashing pieces of Thekera in water and adding salt, sugar in it. As Garcinia flavor is very mild, mint leaves or lemon zest can be added to the drink to have extra flavor.
5. Tamarind drink-
Tamarind is a sour fruit rich in vitamins and minerals. This high nutrient fruit is good for many purposes- digestion, heart health, weight loss, inflammation reduction are some of them. Tamarind drink is a very healthy summer drink. Usually this drink is made by mixing tamarind pulp in water and adding sugar, salt in it.
6. Rice beer deserves a mention!
Though rice doesn’t fall in the category of local fruits of Assam or northeast India, but a blog on summer drinks specific to NE India can’t be completed without mentioning rice beer. After all, who doesn’t love to have a chilled iced beer to beat the heat! Rice beer is very popular in Assam and NE India especially among the Ahoms and other tribes. It is made from fermented rice, tastes a bit sweet and specially consumed here in festive times. Now-a-days fruit beer prepared from indigenous fruits of the northeast are in trend and gaining popularity in international markets too.
Go local, be natural, keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and treat yourself with the tastiest summer drinks from local fruits of northeast India!