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Raspberry Shikanji is a spiced Indian lemonade with flavors of Emergen-C, lemon juice, ginger, jaggery, roasted cumin powder along with basil, mint and raspberries. It's a fusion drink that I have created in my kitchen.
Shikanji is traditionally served during Summers in India as it keeps you cool and is made using fresh lemons along with other spices. Nearly every street in India will have a vendor selling this chilled drink to a thirsty passerby. We even make this at home in bulk and store it in the fridge mainly in summers so that it lasts for a long time, for all at home to enjoy this drink. Shikanji has huge popularity all over India and Pakistan. I wanted to give this traditional drink my own twist. Read on to find out how!! 🙂
Ever get the mid-afternoon energy slump? My husband KR does. Now when you're low on energy at work, most people reach for the coffee!! So he has himself a cup of coffee. Now one cup in itself isn't too bad, but he has one in the morning with breakfast, one just before lunch and another as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up! So much caffeine!!. It's gotten so bad he can't function without his mid-afternoon caffeine fix. I wanted to wean him off the caffeine and give him the energy boost he needed. I tried to get him to try alternatives like green tea, but he hated it!! So I decided to make him a Shinkanji drink every day. To boost its potency, I wanted to add something that had anti-oxdidants, vitamins and not too much sugar.Enter Emergen-C! KR already loves Oranges, so it wasn't hard to convince him to give it a shot. Emergen-C comes in more than 20 different flavors. It's packed with B vitamins(an energy booster), antioxidants like zinc, manganese etc., electrolytes plus a high dose of vitamin C and very less sugar!
So I decided to add Emergen-C to my Shikanji recipe to enhance the taste and make it even more delicious. To get more vitamin C, I also added raspberries to it. They contain strong antioxidants such as Vitamin C and are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. When at home I like to follow a healthy lifestyle and generally have a positive approach towards health and wellness. I am not a fan of aerated drinks and I also prefer to stay away from caffeine. I consume Emergen-C on a daily basis. It makes me feel good knowing that I have Emergen-C on hand when I need it. Drinking it, keeps me refreshed and my energy replenished. I have tried most of their flavors, however the Super Orange and Super Fruit tops the list for me. Now the challenge was to try and get KR to drink this everyday and wean him away from caffeine!
You can easily locate Emergen-C at Walgreens. It's available in the supplements aisle. While I wanted to recreate the traditional Shikanji for old times sake, I wanted to incorporate some other interesting ingredients in it to enhance its taste. There is a very famous temple in the northern part of India called Vaishnav Devi. The temple is situated on the hill-top and it is quite a journey to reach up there. I was introduced to this temple a few years ago. I along with my brother and some friends decided to pay a visit to this holy shrine and it took us more than four hours to reach the top, walking. However it was so worth it. Once we got down, we slept straight through the night. The next day, we decided to explore the local market and try the local food. What a spread it was!
It was on that trip, I first tasted Shikanji. It was such a refreshing drink, perfect for the weather. Since then, I have prepared this drink many times at home. However this time I wanted it to taste different. I already had raspberries and the fizzy goodness of Oranges(Yay Emergen-C!! :)).So I thought to myself, "What else can I use?". My grandma would always say, that mint is one of the best cooling herbs, Tulsi (Holy Basil) is great for any respiratory allergies and for building immunity, and ginger and lemon have medicinal properties.So I added all of these ingredients to my drink to make it even more refreshing. The Basil and mint leaves gives the drink a deep green hue and the addition of salt and cumin makes it chatpata (tangy).
The recipe to make Raspberry Shikanji is very easy. Remove the basil leaves and mint leaves from the stems and wash them well. Grind them along with raspberries, ginger and water. Sieve the juice in a mixing bowl. Use a spoon to press the juice out. Mix one Emergen-C sachet with required amount of water. Stir and pour it into the mixing bowl.
Now add the juice of a lemon, roasted cumin powder and black salt into the mixing bowl. Give it a stir. Keep it aside for now and begin to prepare the jaggery syrup. Add jaggery powder and water and keep stirring till the jaggery melts. Take it off the flame once it thickens. Strain it and add to the mixing bowl.
Add crushed ice in serving glasses and pour the Shikanji into it. Garnish it with fresh mint leaves, raspberry, lemon slice and basil. Serve chilled. Remember to stir before you take a sip.
Voila! Your Shinkanji is ready!! So far KR has been having this for a week instead of coffee. It was a little difficult the first couple of days, but I'm amazed how well he's taken to the drink. Since it doesn't spoil, I prepare the drink in advance and everyday I give him a flask full of it for work. Whenever he needs an energy boost, he pours himself a glass. So far it's been great and he hasn't reached for the coffee. 🙂
- Juice ingredients
- 3-4 mint leaves
- 3-4 basil leaves
- 1 inch ginger slice
- 5 raspberries
- 1 Emergen-C sachet Super Orange flavor
- 1 cup water
- Other ingredients
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp black salt
- 1 tbsp jaggery powder
- 2-3 tbsp water
- For garnish
- Crushed ice as required
- Mint leaves
- Lemon slices
- Remove the basil leaves and mint leaves from the stems and wash them well. Grind them along with raspberries, ginger and water. Sieve the juice in a mixing bowl. Use a spoon to press the juice out. Mix one Emergen-C sachet with required amount of water. Stir and pour it into the mixing bowl.
- Now add the juice of a lemon, roasted cumin powder and black salt into the mixing bowl. Give it a stir. Keep it aside for now and begin to prepare the jaggery syrup. Add jaggery powder and water and keep stirring till the jaggery melts. Take it off the flame once it thickens. Strain it and add to the mixing bowl.
- Add crushed ice in serving glasses and pour the Shikanji into it. Garnish it with fresh mint leaves, raspberry, lemon slice and basil. Serve chilled. Remember to stir before you take a sip.
Use regular salt if black salt is not available.
Traditional Shikanji is made without raspberries.
You can add other flavors of Emergen-C to this drink to give it a different taste.
Do try this recipe and let me know how you liked it. You may be battling a caffeine addiction like my KR, or you may just want a healthy energy booster when you've run out of energy. Better yet, you may just crave something that tastes delicious instead of plain water. Whatever your reasons, I hope this drink can help!!
You can also check out some other interesting recipes using Emergen-C here
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