Indian Summer Food Ideas to Beat the Heat

Indian Summer Food Ideas to Beat the Heat

The hot summers have started in India, and this time, people are experiencing the real heat. Many cities and metropolises are facing issues like heat waves, water crises, and hot days. It is very important to stay hydrated and keep yourself healthy and cautious to avoid any health issues or mishaps. With the right foods, you can keep your body cool and stay energetic throughout the day. 

There are many refreshing summer dishes you can prepare and enjoy at home on a day-to-day basis. These dishes will not just help you to beat the summer heat but also keep you refreshed. Here you will find some comprehensive information that can help you to choose the best foods for summer. Indian dishes are known for being spicy and flavourful. However, there are different dishes that can help you stay cool. 

Indian Summers - A Notorious Season 

Indian summers are known to be merciless and notorious. India is experiencing a dangerous and scratching heat wave these days. If you are not keeping yourself properly hydrated, or having the wrong foods, the sun will quickly drain you out. You may experience different issues like low energy levels, dehydration, exhaustion, and fatigue. 

Choosing from the vast menu of below mentioned summer foods will help you to stay healthy while also satisfying your palette. 

Meals and Thalis

Thalis or meals are very commonly found in India. People love to include a huge variety of dishes in their meals and enjoy them at once. However, this can vary from one region to another. In most places, it is called a “full meal” and consists of different components like grains and flatbreads, seasonal vegetables, lentils, chutney, pickle, curd, papad, rasam, sambar, etc. Some meals also include salads in the meal. 

While thali is typically vegetarian, there are also different types of non-vegetarian-based thalis available in the country. There are also fish and seafood-based thalis available in different parts of the country. Traditionally in India, this type of elaborate meals are served on special occasions like marriages and other functions. However, now it has become a regular menu item and can be enjoyed any day. You can also prepare simple thali lunches using basic ingredients. All you have to do is to keep the amount of spices and masalas you add to the dishes. 

Lassi

If you are an Indian, you will probably have come across this delicious yogurt-based drink at least once in your life. Lassi is a very filling and healthy drink that you can enjoy during the hot summer months. In order to make Lassi, the yogurt is blended with water, sugar, and different flavors. You will find both sweet and savory lassis in Indian households. There are many lassi variations available with summer fruits. For instance, you will find different options like mango lassi, strawberry lassi, banana lassi, and other fruit-based options. 

Lassi is a very refreshing drink that gives you a quick boost in energy and keeps you going even during the hot summer days. You can easily prepare lassi at home with some basic ingredients. You can also add different types of dry fruits to the drink for added flavour and nutrition.

Vegetable Curries

When you are looking for refreshing recipes to cool you during the hot summer months, you cannot avoid curries. Some people may think it is counterproductive, however, there are different curries that include light ingredients and keep you filled. You can use different types of leafy vegetables in these curries that will not add more heat to your body. On the other hand, the curries made using leafy vegetables are also low in masalas. 

With the right ingredients, you can make different types of vegetable curries that can be a perfect balance of flavour and energy to help you get going during a hot day.

Mango Custard

Mango custard is the favourite of most Indians. People from different parts of the country enjoy this sweet treat during the summer months. They can make a refreshing after-noon snack that you can enjoy after a meal. The creamy mango custard is made using fresh mangoes, and cream blended with milk, sugar, and custard powder. As there are no other unhealthy ingredients, you will be able to enjoy a guilt-free snack when you are having mango custard. 

You can also add different types of dry fruits like chopped almonds and cashews, dried berries, etc to the custard to make it more flavorful and delicious. If you are looking for premium quality dry fruits online, you will find a huge variety at Healthy Master. You will also find different types of dry fruits, berries, seeds, and other healthy snacks

Grilled Paneer Tikka

If you are looking for something spicy and filling, grilled paneer tikka could be a great option. They can be paired with your meals or even enjoyed with chutneys. The succulent paneer tikka gives you a burst of flavour. You can make it easily with some basic ingredients like yogurt, spices and herbs. They can be a perfect appetizer or a light meal that you can enjoy during summer gatherings. 

Cucumber Raita

Cucumber raita is perfect to pair up with any dish like rice, biryanis, rotis and other dishes. They can help you to keep your body cool. You can make this simple salad-like dish with some basic ingredients. You can use chopped or grated cucumber, roasted cumin, yogurt and fresh mint leaves to make the dish. They can also be a soothing side dish that you can enjoy to alleviate the heat of other spicy dishes that you may consume during the summer months. 

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea salad can be a very healthy and nutritious snack you can enjoy during a hot summer evening. Unlike other snacks that are fried and mixed with heavy spices, chickpea salads are simple and easy on your tummy. Some basic ingredients include roasted or boiled chickpeas, sliced cucumber, normal or cherry tomatoes, and green chili. You can complete the dish by dressing it with lime juice, mint leaves, and coriander leaves. 

Buttermilk

Yogurt-based drinks and dishes are very common in India during the summer months. If it is lassi in Northern states, southern states enjoy spice-mixed buttermilk. This is a wonderful beverage you can consume during the hot days. It will cool your body while also making you feel light. On the other hand, they also remove unnecessary toxins from the body and help you with digestion. This is one of the main reasons why it is consumed even after a heavy meal. Buttermilk has the capacity to keep your body cool for a longer period. 

Onions in Salads

Most of the people do not know the fact that onions have a cooling effect on the body. The red onions, which are widely available in India are loaded with quercetin, which is a natural anti-allergen. Therefore, including them in your day-to-day diet can protect your body from sunstroke. You can consume them raw or even include them in different types of dishes. 

Lemon

Lemonade is surely something that most of us think about when we imagine a refreshing summer drink. Although it is pretty expensive these days, you cannot underestimate the power of lemon during the summer. Lemon water is capable of keeping your body chilled as well as refreshed for a longer period. If you do not like to add sugar to lemonades, you can add honey or if you need something nice and flavoursome, add chat masala or cumin powder. 

Tender Coconut

This is a no-barrier summer essential for many. The all-natural tender coconut juice will cool your body while also providing you with an instant boost in energy. It is full of natural electrolytes that keep you energetic and refreshed throughout the day. You can also enjoy the white fleshy part of the coconut. 

Watermelon

Watermelon is undoubtedly one of the favourite summer snacks for many. There are numerous recipes, drinks and desserts you can enjoy using watermelon. There are also many mocktails and cocktails prepared using watermelon. 

Foods and Drinks to Avoid During Hot Summer Months

It is very important to maintain a balanced diet during the summer months. You can include different types of foods mentioned above in your diet in one or other way. This will help you to stay hydrated and energetic, while also keeping your body functioning optimally. However, there are also some foods that you should avoid during the hot summer months. Some of them are mentioned below for your assistance. This will help you to make an informed decision. 

Alcoholic Beverages

It is a very common fact that alcohol can dehydrate and can cause electrolyte imbalance in the body. On the other hand, this can also lead to weight gain and dehydration. You may have to avoid alcohol if you are outdoors on a hot day. If you choose to drink alcohol, it is very important to drink it in moderation along with a lot of water to stay hydrated. 

Spicy Foods

Avoiding spicy foods is also very important. Food that is high in spices may increase your body temperature and also lead to sweating. If you are used to spicy foods, it is imperative to limit the consumption of spices. Avoiding spicy foods especially during the hottest part of the day like lunch is very important. 

Other common foods and snacks you should avoid during the summer months include sugary drinks and snacks, highly processed foods, caffeine beverages, salty snacks, heavy desserts, excessive cold foods, and raw or uncooked meat. By being mindful of what you are eating, you will be able to avoid most of the summer heat. 

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing what you eat and drink during the summer months, it is very important to be mindful. Always choose foods that keep your body energised, hydrated and healthy. It is also important to consider any type of signals that your body is giving and alter your diet according to it.