Friday, May 27, 2011
Minty lemon barley
With summer in most of the tropics, we are often found to reach for some chilled drink to quench our thirst. During our younger days, our mother used to make barley water that will enable free flow of urine, which, because of perspiration might be less.
Children, with all holiday activities, do not drink the required quantity of water even when they thirst for. The result is severe pain in the lower abdomen and irritation while you force yourself to urinate. The best remedy to this is barley water and hibiscus gulkhand. I remember that my grand mother had always in store somewhat large Horlicks bottles with shoe flower dropped in honey. We were given to eat them whenever we complained of abdominal irritation.
Compelling us to drink plain barley did not work and so often they had to disguise it in juices. We were given Sathgudi orange juice or a lemonade made with barley water. Nowadays, I consciously drink barley water. Many times though, I add lemon juice or buttermilk and to spice it up, a bit of salt or cumin powder and such.
My homegrown mints are often used in my day to day cooking. Mint is cooling to the body and can be used in many ways. I made lemonade with barley and dropped some crushed mint leaves in it. They added a nice flavour to the drink.
I have skipped the granulated white sugar and added 'sugar free'. It is your choice as to how you want to sweeten the drink. Sometimes I have this salted with a hint of black salt skipping the sugar entirely. You can add honey also.
4 teaspoons barley
1200 ml water
1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
Juice from 4 large limes
Sugar as required to taste
Few fresh mint leaves
Wash barley and clean it.
Take the barley with the water in a large pan. Keep on high heat and bring to a boil.
Add the crushed cumin seeds and simmer on the lowest heat for at least 30 minutes to reduce the cooking liquid.
Remove from the stove and strain the liquid. Allow to cool.
Extract juice from 4 large limes/lemons.
When the barley water is completely cool, add the juice and the sugar. Mix well until sugar dissolves.
Crush the mint leaves between your palms and drop them in the juice. Let them float in the juice.
When serving, strain the mint out and serve.
This is not just a summer thirst quencher but a very effective remedy also.
This lemonade is being sent to Siri's Healing foods event, currently hosted at Pritya with Sukham Coolers.