Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sweet and Salty Lime Soda ~ Nimbu Pani

Summers in India put summers in the Midwest to shame.  The temperature soars to the 110s on a daily basis and often there is no respite from the heat.  Right before the monsoon is when the heat is the most unbearable--high 90s to 100s on a daily basis and 100% humidity.  These harsh conditions have taught Indians a thing or two about surviving in the heat.  People largely stay indoors during the peak hours of the sun.  Afternoon siestas are common, as are refreshing drinks such as this sweet and salty lime soda.

Perhaps you are wondering what makes a beverage such as this so special?  I ask you to allow me the opportunity to let the medical student in me come out:  When you sweat or exercise, you lose a good amount of salt and water.  If you rehydrate with just water, you won't actually be able to retain all the water.  You need salt to help push water into the cells to actually help you rehydrate at a cellular level.  Potassium is also needed to ensure that any potassium that is lost by the kidney in the rehydration process is properly replenished.  That's why this soda perfect!  It has water, salt, and potassium--25 mg of potassium in a half a lime.  It also has sugar to provide glucose for tired cells.  It's a perfect replenishing drink, just like gatorade but actually all natural!

This soda is very refreshing and super delicious.  It's perfect on a hot summer day or after a workout.  It's also very adaptable.  Feel free to substitute the sparkling water for still water and the sugar for a sweetener of your choice--agave nectar, honey, calorie free sweetener, etc.  Enjoy!

Recipe:
per 8 oz. serving


Juice of 1/2 lime
2.5 tsp. sugar
1 pinch to 1/4 tsp salt
8 oz. sparkling or still water
Ice cubes
Lime slices for garnish

Combine the juice, salt, and sugar and stir until the salt and sugar are mostly dissolved.  Pour in the soda and stir to combine.  Add a couple ice cubes.  Pour into a glass and garnish with a lime slice.  Enjoy!

13 comments:

  1. This recipe sounds like Neembu pani! I'm also an Indian going to school in the midwest (Saint Louis) and I agree with you about the heat.. although at least my family in Mumbai get the monsoon to cool things down :)

    Cute blog!

    -Amrita
    www.thesweetart.com

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  2. @Amrita: It is Neembu pani, just with sparkling water instead of still water. Neembu pani is my favorite refreshing drink for the summer time. The sparkling water adds a bit of fun. I agree with you about the monsoon, it's the best way to finally cool everything down after the heat of the summer!

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  3. omg omg omg! you are on TASTESPOTTING!!!

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  4. @Superstar! It was so exciting to see my picture up there! I'm glad you saw it!

    @Nikhil: Thanks soooo much :) I'm so glad you like it!

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  5. we make salty lemonade here in the very dry southwest where dehydration is a killer / we call it OceanAid and it works a treat / the first sign of dehydration is chapped lips / a Qt of OceanAid each day will keep you hydrated, your lips soft, and your thumbs from cracking / we use spring water, not soda water

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  6. @anonymous: Your OceanAid sounds great and just perfect for the dry heat! Lots of people in the states look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them about salty lemonade or limeade ("what?! Adding salt to lemonade? It's supposed to be sweet!"), so it's nice to hear that in other places in States also do this! Thanks for your input!

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  7. Sounds like it'd be great with a little gin or tequila! ;)

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  8. @ Crepes of Wrath: I bet it would be! And you probably wouldn't have nearly as bad of a hangover!

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  9. oh boy sound better then lemonade got to try next summer to cold now to try it

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  10. Chandan-dadi used to make lemonade concentrate with sugar and lemon juice. In the summer months, I would have it in a tall glass with chilled water and and a generous pinch of salt before lunch; otherwise, I would eat like a maniac just to get enough salt into my system. Start posting again!

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  11. thanks for this great write-up. i've always heard that the ingredients are to taste, then it matches what one's body needs....that's how we have always made it.

    It is a TRUE lifesaver. After a walk even in the winter its great, and also as one gets older, hydration is key. Some doctors say that aging is literally drying up. This can really perk you you. Often I will drink 4 glasses at once. Then I go from blah to wow, and ahh.

    Thanks for the doctor angle and the lovely pictures.

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  12. We always use spring water, Himalayan crystal salt, and organic sugar. Great with Gur sugar too. Learned this recipe when visiting India. Sure did save me then and even now in the eastern mountains in USA. In the winter, one just heats it up a bit...still has the great pick-me-up effect.

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