Watermelon Agua Fresca

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Hope you all had a good weekend. We had a good one that included our usual weekend chores; cleaning, laundry, grocery and along with that we threw in a mix of Blueberry picking fare. We had been planning for the blueberry picking for a long time now, but it materialized only last week.

We went there with another friend of ours and it was fun time both for kids and adults as well. Fresh, luscious blueberries hand picked right off of the farm; close to the nature as we could get and it was a wonderful experience. In the two and half hours that we had been there, we managed to get close to a galloon of blueberries, all for a decent price.

The only complaint we had was the scorching summer heat. Well it was the end of June and in the state of Texas what else could we expect?  The less said about the heat the better. It was a payback time for all the good time that we had there. End of it all, we were craving for ice cold water and fresh juices, to quench that never ending thirst.

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Lemon Barley Drink

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Hope you all had a good weekend. For us here in the US, Monday was the Memorial Day and hence we got the day off; so it was an extended weekend after a long time. Memorial Day also marks the unofficial start of summer and boy are the temperatures sticking to their schedules. It is just the beginning of summer and the temperatures here in Texas are already in the upper 90 F. 

Hot summer days calls for good refreshing drinks and so I made this Lemon Barley drink.  This is a very simple drink that can be made in no time. I have already posted a savory barley drink before which tastes good when it is hot. But this one has sweeter, lemony flavor which tastes good when it is cold. Good one’s for those hot summer days. 

Not only is this drink refreshing, but barley provides good amount of nutrition. Whole grain barley is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids essential for our health. Barley is one of the richest sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber.  

Health benefits of barley? Read this website here, it is truly mind boggling.

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Sol Kadi/ Konkani Style kokum Kadi –II

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Kokum is the dried skin of a fruit related to mangosteens.The outer cover of fruit is dried in the sun to get Aamsul or Kokam/Kokum. It is used as a slightly sour spice in recipes that yields peculiar taste and dark red colour. It is a preferred substitute for tamarind in curries and other dishes from Konkan. It is very abundant in the west coast region of India and hence an integral part of Konkani cuisine. These are called ‘bhirnda sol’ in Konkani. 

At home I use the Kokum to make Kokum kadi.  I have already posted one version here before, this does not use coconut in it. This version that I have posted here uses coconut milk along with garlic and green chillies. This is referred to as Birinda Sola Kadi in Konkani. We enjoy drinking this Kokum kadi especially during hot summers as it has a cooling effect on the body. This can also be consumed along with food or after dinner and tastes terrific when used as an accompaniment with Varan Bhat/ Daali thoy (Konkani daal).

This drink has combination of sweet, sour, hot and tart taste which is hearty and refreshing. The sour taste of the peels is neutralized by the addition of coconut milk and jaggery. 

Studies have shown that this fruit can reduce fat, cool body, purify blood and also reduce cholesterol. Check out the other health benefits of kokum here.

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