There are a variety of Indian beverages which can be divided into two broad areas which are:
Under this category, there are a variety of beverages such as tea, coffee, lassi and sherbet.
Tea is a staple drink in Indian and for north Indians generally. The finest tea varieties are grown and Darjeeling and Assam and these teas are exported all over the world. The tea prepared is always Masala Tea where tea leaves are boiled together with spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. The recipe for Masala Tea is at the end of this Hub.
Coffee is a staple drink for South Indians generally. The finest variety of coffee beans available is Coffee Arabica which is grown in Mysore and Karnataka. These beans are marketed as “Mysore Nuggets”. The other variety of coffee is the Indian filtered coffee or Kafee and this is also popular among South Indians.
In Punjabi, Lassi is the popular choice of beverage as it is made by blending yoghurt with water or milk and/or adding Indian spices to it. There are two varieties of Lassi which is sweet lassi where sugar is added to the blended yoghurt and milk mixture. The Punjabi version is a traditional mild salted lassi and this is made by adding salt and some spices to the blended yoghurt and milk/water mixture. Another variety of lassi which is gaining popularity is mango lassi . This lassi is made from blending yoghurt, milk and mango pulp. The recipe for mango lassi is at the end of this Hub.
There is another beverage which is popular as it is made from fruits or flower petals. This beverage is known as Sherbet . It is served in a concentrated form and eaten with a spoon or diluted with water to create the drink. Some popular sherbets are made from rose, sandalwood, the Hibiscus flower, orange and pineapple.
Falooda is another popular beverage which is made by mixing rose syrup with vermicelli and tapioca pearls with either milk or water. This drink is an adaptation of the Persian drink Faloodeh which was brought to India during the Mughal reign. Basil seeds are also added.
Aam Panna is another popular drink. This drink is known for its heat resistant properties. It is made from green mangoes. Apart from being a cooling drink during India’s warm summers, this drink is appealing to look at due to its refreshing light green colour.
Jal Jeera is another Indian beverage which is made by using cumin powder to flavor this drink. In Hindi, ‘Jal’ means water and Jeera means ‘cumin’. This beverage is made by mixing lemonade with cumin powder and sugar. This drink is popular due to its cooling properties. It is served as an appetizer and sometimes served along meals.
There are other popular beverages are nimbu pani or lemonade, badam doodh or almond milk. In South India, there is a beverage known as “Gholi Soda ” which is a mixture of carbonated water, rose water and sugar. Another popular beverage is rose milk which is also served cold.
Beers in India can be divided into lagers (4.8% alcohol) and strong lagers (7.8% alcohol). The Indian beer industry has been seen a steady growth of 10 - 17% per year over the past 10 years.
Fenny is a popular Goan liquor which is made from coconut or the juice of the cashew apple.
Hadia is also known as rice beer which can found in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. To make Hadia , one has to mix herbs with boiled rice and leave it to ferment. The drink would be ready for consumption within a week.
Palm wine or neera is taken from the sap extracted from toddy palms. It is sweet, white and translucent.
Chuak is another rice beer made by fermenting rice in water. It is usually offered to village elders on any occasions or celebrations in Tripuri.
Chhaang is another type of beer which is consumed by the people of Sikkim and Darjeeling. It is usually served cold during summer but it would be served hot during the winters.
This beverage is best served warm. To make this chai milkier, add more milk and sugar to taste.
4 whole cloves cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick, broken into smaller pieces
3 cups water
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons black tea
In a mortar, crush the cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon. Transfer the crushed spices to a small saucepan, add the water and ginger and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and steep for 5 minutes. After that, add the milk and sugar and bring the pan to a boil again. Remove from heat and add the tea and steep for another 3 minutes. Stir the chai, strain it into a teapot.
2 cups ripe mango pulp
2 cups plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon sugar (adjust according to taste)
1 cup milk
Tiny pinch of salt
Tiny pinch of pepper powder
1. Put the mango pulp, sugar and plain yoghurt and salt and pepper (if adding) into the blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Add milk and continue to blend till frothy.
3. To serve, add ice cubes or serve chilled.