The fresh, firm and unwilted green leaves of mint enrich the flavour of any dish or drink it is part of. There are various types of mints with the most common being spearmint, peppermint and basil mint. While peppermint is the strongest on your palate (due to its high menthol content) and is mostly used to make candies, chewing gums and essential oils, spearmint is commonly used in mocktails, teas, smoothies and chutneys.
Better known as pudina in the Indian subcontinent, this leafy green is ubiquitous in the country's cuisine. From chaats and chutneys to hot pakoras, cooling drinks and the nation's favourite pani-puri, mint is present everywhere.
The uses of mint are innumerable so for the sake of ease, we have narrowed it down to three cooling drinks, where mint is the star of the show. One is a cold cucumber and mint soup served best with a squeeze of lemon juice. The other, a sprightly pina-colada mojito made with club soda, coconut rum and pineapple juice. And last but not the least, a classic pudina chaash, perfect to beat the heat with.
Chilled cucumber and mint soup
450 gm cucumber, peeled, sliced and salted
2 cups thick yoghurt
2 cups cold water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable stock
6-7 cloves garlic
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves
Salt to taste
In a bowl, salt the cucumber so it releases all the extra water.
In a blender, add the cucumber (drain excess water), thick yoghurt, cold water, lemon juice, vegetable stock, garlic, fresh mint leaves and salt.
Blend it until smooth and keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Serve chilled.
Pina colada mojito
Few sprigs of mint leaves
¾ tsp of sugar
60 ml coconut rum
100 ml pineapple juice
80 ml club soda
4-5 crushed ice
In a mortar, muddle mint leaves along with sugar and lemon juice.
In a glass, put the mint leaves mixture and pour the coconut rum, club soda and pineapple juice.
Add 4-5 ice cubes and stir it.
1 cup curd
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Pinch of rock salt
5-6 mint leaves
Water as required
Add curd, cumin powder, rock salt, chopped mint leaves, and water as required in a deep vessel. Blend till you have the consistency of choice.
Manal is a gregarious and ambitious girl who talks about bread incessantly. Her penchant for writing and aesthetics transcends into everything she does. She loves researching the culture and history of things. When she's not writing, you can find her working on a dozen unfinished projects, and consuming an unhealthy amount of art.