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Traditional Beverages

For centuries in India, a potter's wheel was used to make clay pots called matkas that kept drinking water cool. Surprisingly, despite refrigerators and electricity, many Indian households still use traditional matkas today.


In India, tea is one of the most commonly served beverages in all households, and cutting chai or half a cup of tea are readily available in roadside tapris (snack stands). The exception is southern India, where there is more of a coffee culture. 


Indians love cool drinks and cooling foods in hot weather and enjoy warming drinks in winter. Classic Indian soft drinks (besides water) are fresh coconut water (especially in the western and southern coastal areas) or sharbat, a sweet cold drink made from fruits and flower petals. Nimbu Pani (lime juice with water, salt or sugar), a traditional and the most common Indian drink, is also popular. 


Lassi is one of the most popular drinks on all Indian restaurant menus worldwide. This drink is made from whipped yogurt and is sweetened, salted or even mixed with fruits. The salted variety is drunk especially in rural areas of Punjab, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.


Spicy drinks such as jal-jeera are served as an aperitif, and a cool kokum sharbat is served to welcome guests and is indispensable at weddings. Indians most often drink a glass of water with their meal, or chaas, a buttermilk made from yogurt diluted with water and flavored with salt and crushed cumin. 


In the winter months, a saffron-infused milkshake called Safran Sharbat is popular in Kashmir, and although it's a cold drink, the spice tastes wintry and warming.


The drink recipes you'll find here are appetizing, refreshing to the palate, fill small breaks in your meal, or serve as thirst quenchers.

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