Would you like to know about a tangy, super refreshing drink that would be just perfect for the hot summer days that seem to be reigning the country right now? Yes? What if I tell you such a drink can be made in a very healthy way, and would require just a few minutes of your time to make at home? Sounds too far-fetched? Not at all!
Here’s presenting to you – Imli Ka Amlana, a summer-special beverage from the hot and arid land of Rajasthan. Traditionally made with tamarind pulp and sugar, this drink is a mix of tangy and sweet, spiced mildly. The Indian spices that go into it make this extremely flavourful, at the same time aiding one’s digestion as well. It is a yummy way to get all the health benefits that tamarind possesses into one’s system, I would say!
Imli Ka Amlana is typically served as part of a Rajasthani thali, and is also served in gatherings of friends and family on festive occasions. It is, after all, an apt way to digest all the heavy food that is consumed during such festivals!
I have made the Imli Ka Amlana with Kitchen D’Lite’s Tamarind Powder, a highly convenient substitute that saved me the hassle of soaking tamarind and extracting juice from it. For the uninitiated, Kitchen D’Lite offers a variety of powders made from dehydrated ingredients, without any preservatives, chemicals or artificial flavouring and colouring agents. They sent me packs of their Tomato Powder, Tamarind Powder, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Green Chilli Powder and Red Onion Powder to test in my kitchen and, I dare say, I am loving them. The powders are great in quality and extremely fresh, and can be easily substituted for the real ingredient without guilt. They have a good shelf life too, of up to 1-1/2 years.
I also substituted the sugar that is generally used in the drink with jaggery powder, to make it healthier. I always have a ready stock of the other spice powders used in the Imli Ka Amlana – black salt, cardamom powder, black pepper powder and the like – so making it was such a breeze! I served it alongside a simple lunch of roti and sabzi, and it was such a huge hit!
Do try out the Imli Ka Amlana too and, I’m sure, you’ll be making it more than once. We surely will be!
Recipe Source: Adapted from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 4 teaspoons Kitchen D’Lite tamarind powder
- 6 tablespoons jaggery powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 2 cups chilled water
- 4-6 fresh mint leaves
- Grind the black salt, black pepper powder, roasted cumin powder and cardamom powder together till fine. Keep aside.
- Take the tamarind powder and the jaggery powder in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the chilled water. Mix till the tamarind powder and jaggery powder are dissolved completely in the water.
- Add in the powder we ground earlier. Mix well.
- Pour the Imli Ka Amlana into 2 serving glasses. Serve, garnished with fresh mint leaves that have been roughly torn.
- In the absence of tamarind powder, you can use fresh tamarind instead. Soak a lemon-sized ball of tamarind in a little warm water, in that case, and extract a thick paste out of it. Use the tamarind paste the same way as tamarind powder, in the above recipe.
- Adjust the quantities of jaggery powder, tamarind powder, black salt, roasted cumin powder, black pepper powder, cardamom powder and water, as per personal taste preferences.
- You may use sugar instead of jaggery powder, in the above Imli Ka Amlana recipe.
- If you think there are impurities in the jaggery you use, do filter the water once after mixing it in. I use organic jaggery which is free of impurities, so I do not filter the water.
- For best results, grind the spice powder really fine.
- If you don’t have black salt, you can substitute it with regular table salt and add in some chaat masala instead. However, I would personally not recommend that – black salt has a unique fragrance and taste that works wonders to the flavour of the Imli Ka Amlana.
- If you so desire, you can add a dash of lemon juice to the Imli Ka Amlana, in addition to the tamarind.
- The Kitchen D’Lite products were sent to me free of cost, to sample in my home kitchen. The opinions expressed herein about the products are entirely my own, entirely honest, without any external influence. I really loved the products, and have been enjoying using them.
- In case you are interested in buying Kitchen D’Lite’s amazing products, they are available on Amazon.
Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!