Satisfying and rehydrating Indian Lemonade (nimbu pani or shikanji) has some secret ingredients that make it the perfect electrolyte solution. It is also good for summer cleanses and juice fasts, similar to the trendy “Master Cleanse”.
What makes Indian Lemonade different from the regular stuff? Spices, of course! And, a very special type of salt called Kala Namak or “black salt,” which actually looks pink. Black salt has an incredible range of trace minerals and is famous in India and Pakistan for its healing and rejuvenating qualities.
The spices are Indian, but way different from curry powder. A blend called Chaat Masala (“Snack Spice”, featuring tangy mango powder, grounding asafoetida, and exotic black salt) is used to give this lemonade refreshing minerals, flavor and digestive qualities. Chaat Masala is highly addictive with sweet, salty, sour and slightly spicy flavors.
- 1 quart/liter water (or soda water, if preferred)
- Juice of 2-3 lemons
- 1-3 teaspoons chaat masala (or more, to taste)
- Sweetener to taste (rock sugar, maple syrup, stevia extract, etc)
- Garnish: mint leaves, lemon slices, ice cubes
Add a tablespoon or two of Tukmaria seeds to make an “Indian bubble tea”. Tukmaria are the seeds of the holy basil plant (tulsi), which swell in water and make crunchy little bubbles. Chia seeds are a relative of tulsi and make a good substitute.
Add fresh ginger juice, fruit juices (like cranberry, apple or grape), or even fresh veggie juices to make creative and healthy spiced drinks! Also try it as an exotic cocktail or mocktail rimmer.
Blend a handful of fresh mint leaves into your lemonade for a fresh green color and refreshing minty taste!