Summers is not really my favourite month but Summers have a lot of sweet memory attached to it and remind me of the fun filled and careless childhood days. Summers then meant packing up our bags and traveling by the Sleeper class for 2 nights and reach our heaven haven in Punjab. The Summer vacations was spent running out and playing in the scorching sun and enjoying yummy delicacies made by Nani and Masi's. In those days we had no distraction from the television or the internet and enjoyed our silly games with all cousins. Summer Vacations will truly be the best days of my life!
With Vaanya, my daughter, growing up and soon to join a school, I look forward to give Vaanya a truly wonderful and memorable Summer vacation experience. I hope when she grows up, she will fondly recollect her best days of life with equal enthusiasm.
Summers are also synonymous with cool drinks. Being a Sikh, Lassi was a drink that was always ready at home. My grandmother would ensure that she uses enough milk to set homemade curd which was used generously in Summers. While I always loved my Lassi sweet and thick, others at home loved to gulp down a salty and thin version along with lunch. My grandmothers 'Madhani' was always ready to churn up a yummy cooling Lassi.
My grandmother also made homemade white butter which now my mother continues to make very diligently. The top layer on milk called 'Malai' collected for a few days was churned to get the pristine white unsalted butter. The water remaining while churning butter was used in her salty lassi which I learnt later is called 'Chaas' in Hindi. Extremely popular esp in the northern part of the country because of its scorching heat in Summers, Chaas is a drink that is not only loved for its taste but for its health benefits too as it cools the body.
This chaas is normally made with boiled beetroot puree but the Baker in me made me experiment with a roasted beetroot version.
Recipe source : Adapted from GoodFood magazine
Ingredients : For 3-4 servings
- 1 small beetroot, peeled and quartered
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup curd (I used homemade)
- 2 cups water (or more)
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- few curry leaves 8-10
- 1/4 tsp grated ginger
- 1 green chilly chopped (optional)
- salt to taste
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Take a baking tray and line it with aluminium foil.
Toss the quartered beetroots with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place on the baking tray and loosely cover with the foil. Let the beetroots roast for 30 minutes.
Take them out carefully and allow to cool.
When they have cooled down, pulse them in the mixer to make a smooth paste.
Whisk curd and water in a bowl to make a thin chaas.
Add the beetroot paste to it and mix it well.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. As they splutter, add curry leaves, grated ginger and chopped green chilly. Cook for a minute and then add this to the chaas.
Refrigerate the chaas and serve chilled.
- You can use buttermilk in place of curd and water.
- You may boil the beetroot in boiling water or pressure cook it, peel the skin and puree it.
This recipe is part of the exciting ongoing event at Kolkata Food Bloggers called 'Beat the Heat'.