After taking gallons and gallons of water, still doesn't seem to satisfy our dry and sore throat. So we need something something else more than water to balance the heat here. Yes, it's hot and humid here but still there are few solutions which can manage the heat to some extent and reduce the body heat.
Tender coconut water is one of the best thirst quencher, it also acts as a natural coolant for our body, apart from that melons which are available in abundance everywhere here, which is again one of the best thirst quencher. Now coming to the hero of our story, Sherbet. There are many different type of Sherbets and Squash are available, the one which is most common and popular here in India is Nannari Sherbet or may be only in South India.
Nannari or Sarsaparilla is a root which acts as a natural coolant for our body. Nannari is good for many skin infections, it also purifies the blood. Regular intake of it reduces the burning sensation in stomach. Our ancestors have made this syrup using nannari root, jaggery and lemon juice. After years , jaggery is been replaced with sugar. Although Jaggery is a better version, there are some myths that jaggery increase the body heat which may be even true. So I made the syrup using sugar and added a bit of colour to give the traditional look of Nannari Sherbet, a bright vibrant red colour. Nannari Sherbet which is available in markets are normally tinted with yellow, orange or red. You can leave it without adding any colour, which would be a perfect glass of healthy drink.
When you have a bottle of syrup ready, add a squeeze of lemon juice, some water and few ice cubes, time to chill out...
Preparation Time:5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes+ 8 hours soaking time
Makes nearly 400 ml of syrup
Nannari root- 5 to 6 pieces
Water- 1/2 litre
Sugar- 5 tbsp
Lemon - juice of 4 lemon
Few drops of food colouring of your choice (optional)
Break the nannari root with the mortal and pestle. Break the outside hard and take the inner part of the root. Powder it in a blender. Heat the water until it starts boiling. Take it off from heat, add the powdered nannari. Cover it and let it rest for 1 whole night or minimum of 8 hours.
After 8 hours, strain the liquid through a fine filter or muslin cloth. Add the sugar to the strained liquid and heat it again. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves completely. Let it boil until it reaches a sticky consistency. Take it off from heat, add the colourin and let it cool down completely. Add the lemon juice and stir well and store it in a sterilized bottle. This can be kept for upto 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
To prepare the juice:
Nannari syrup- 1 tbsp
Water- 200 ml
Lemon- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Sugar if needed
Few ice cubes
Basil seeds- 1/2 tbsp (soaked in water)
Add everything to a tall glass, give it a good stir and enjoy .