Summer Diaries

7 Apr


Yup, summer’s here. Full on. It’s hot. It’s so hot that I could stare at this glass of ice the whole day and even give sitting in a tub full of ice a thought. Yeah, it’s that hot. It looks like every city’s out there in the who’s-hottest-this-year competition because I swear it’s been bitchin so far. I’ve written about it here, even.

Anyway, we’re doing everything in our capacity to tackle this summer head on. That would include vegetating under the fan, being as barely clad as possible, vegetating some more and of course making ice cubes like the world’s gonna end tomorrow. I’m the ice cube setter at home. The sight of ice cubes makes my life complete in ways I cannot explain to you. Opening the freezer and seeing a tub full of ice cubes makes me feel so ready to take on summer; so armed, so prepared, so everything! It’s another thing that you will always find a tub full of ice cubes in my freezer. I’m like that. Maybe it has nothing to do with the weather after all, except in this context, it so does!

So I set ice cubes. And I set lots more. In the meantime I scooped a handful of them and plopped them into my tiny glass and felt waves of joy as they tinkled in and settled down.


Look at these babies. So many of them. A glass full of them. Tinkle tinkle. Satisfaction. Pristine.


And look at how they’re disintegrating because someone got caught up in clicking the beauties that they were. I gasped. I swung into action. Here’s what I did.


I took a jug full of chaas/mattha/buttermilk and made the two friends meet. They were as delighted about the reunion as I was. Look at them bonding! Look how complete they make each other. Look at how awesome they look together. OK, I’m gonna stop.

If you were to ever open my fridge during summer, you would find two staple drinks in it at all times (unless they’ve been consumed, of course). One would be this, which is chaas/mattha/buttermilk and the other would be aam panna which is a raw mango and pudina (mint) drink I make. You’d find these at anyone’s house. Like I said, it’s a staple. This is everyone’s way of taking an Indian summer head on. So I went ahead and poured ma and me an entire glass full of this beautiful buttermilk on the rocks.


Ah! Take that, summer! In your face! Ha! Want some? Too bad! Go get your own!


Moving on, here’s how I make it.

500 ml curd/yoghurt
salt to taste
rock/black salt to taste
roasted jeera (cumin) powder
500 ml-ish water

Pour the curd into a big bowl and combine with water. Now I’m not one to go by exact measures because I go by andaaz (gut?). So the water you use would depend wholly on the consistency of curd. What you want at the end is buttermilk that is thin in consistency but not water-like. It should have body. But at the same time it shouldn’t be overly thick because the point here is to make a drink that’s easy and light, not heavy on the tummy, which thick curd can be sometimes. I usually pour about a little more than half a 1 litre bottle in. And I always use cold water. However, that’s no biggie if you don’t store cold water. You could use regular room temperature water. Do not use hot water, however. And anyway, there’s always ice, remember? :)

Add the salt and black salt to taste. Avoid making this very salty. Add a teaspoon of roasted jeera powder, give it a good ol’ stir and you’re done!

This is our, and by our I mean north Indian, way of making buttermilk. Over here, in the south, a lot more stuff can be added such as a mustard seasoning, green chillies, coriander sprigs and curry leaves as well. I mean it’s a personal choice of what flavour you enjoy and prefer. The basic idea is to make this as light and easy on your system as possible.

Give this a try. It’s a breeze to make and it’s one of the simplest and best ways to take on the summer. I’m sure you have your recipes and ways. This is just another one. I hope you enjoy it.




2 Responses to “Summer Diaries”

  1. The Girl Next Door April 10, 2013 at 11:30 AM #

    That glass of buttermilk looks heavenly! :)

    I have loads of chaas during summers. That, and lemon juice and tender coconut water. That is my way of beating the heat. :)

    I make chaas pretty much the same way. That said, yes, I sometimes experiment with other ways to drink it, too. The drink is so humble, it amazes me with its versatility. It can be had in so many ways, as you say!

    How do you make the aam panna? I have never tried making it at home. Your version sounds very interesting. Could you please share the recipe?

    • Babushka April 10, 2013 at 7:52 PM #


      Weekdays are quite tied up… I hope to make some this weekend and post it as well. :)


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