Naturally cooling foods
Tender coconut water is not only delicious and full of health benefits; it also has excellent cooling properties. Easily available, especially in southern India, this should be a staple of anyone’s summer diet.
2. Aam ka panna
Since mangoes are available only in the summer, we Indians know how to make complete use of the fruit. This includes making aam ka paana out of raw mangoes. This tangy drink full of ice and a mix of other juices is perfect for a hot summer afternoon.
3. Butter milk (chach)
Curd in general is an excellent coolant. Make a nice, light buttermilk with it, full of spices and lots of ice and stay fresh and hydrated through the day.
Watch as nutritionist Gauri Rokkam prepares this delicious and extremely healthy butter milk.
4. Watermelon
You should be having lots of this crunchy, juicy fruit through the summer to stay cool and healthy. Along with being delicious, it’s also packed with antioxidants that are very good for you.
Try this delicious and cooling watermelon and ginger soup.
5. Fresh lime & water (nimboo paani)
How can we leave out good old nimboo pani, the staple of homes and restaurants across the country? While various versions and mixes are available, it’s best to have a nice chilled nimboo pani with salt, pepper and a little bit of sugar to stay cool.
6. Onion
Its tears-inducing properties notwithstanding, onions are an excellent coolant. Add a raw onion to your meal on a hot summer day and it can even protect you from a heat stroke. Just remember to keep some mints close at hand for later!
7. Gulkand (rose petals extract)
Gulkand, also known as a rose jam, is made from the extract of rose petals and has amazing cooling properties. If gulkand is hard to come by, you could even try a rose sherbet like rooh-afzah.
8. Cucumber
Stay as cool as a cucumber! This crunchy vegetable, full of water and lots of fibre is very cooling and should be added to your meals as much as possible.
9. Kokum
Kokum, which is used extensively in Gujarat and Konkan cooking for its tangy flavours is considered very healthy and also has great cooling benefits. Use it as a substitute for tamarind in your food.
10. Mint
Mint is a cooling herb that can be had in many forms. Add it to your food while you cook it, have it as a chutney or simply add it to your drinking water for a subtle flavour.

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