Summer Essentials for a Foodie Recipe

Ayushi Gupta

This summer find refreshments that will keep the heat at bay.

It’s that uncomfortably warm time of the year again, when mercury levels are soaring and we wait impatiently for the first drop of rain to cool down our city. It might be an excruciatingly long wait, what with 2016 set to be one of the hottest years India has seen yet! So in the meantime, here are some foodie essentials to help us beat the heat…

Coconut water smoothies
With its electrolyte-rich properties, naturally-sweet coconut water is a delicious way to stay hydrated, especially after a grueling workout. From time to time, I also blend together the coconut water with coconut malai and crushed rose petals for a simple but luscious smoothie!

Fresh cheese & salads
A refreshing salad always hits the spot on a hot summer’s day, especially when it involves quintessential summer cheeses!
Classics include watermelon and feta – chilled watermelon chunks tossed with fresh arugula leaves and crumbled feta in a light balsamic dressing with a scattering of pine nuts on top to add a nutty crunch.
An Italian-style caprese salad is always spot on too and so easy to throw together! All you need to do is layer cool tomato slices and soft mozzarella between fresh basil leaves with a drizzle of olive oil and some cracked pepper on top… Et voilà!
My other favourites include creamy, melt-in-your-mouth burrata served on a bed of sliced avocados, tomatoes and roasted aubergine – it’s a simple but beautiful dish that sings with fresh flavours.

Ice cream sandwiches
On a more indulgent note, I really can’t get enough of ice cream sammiches in the summer, having even rounded up the best ones around Bombay on my blog recently. The dessert is actually quite simple to make at home too – my favourite variation involves taking apart an Oreo and slathering a generous wedge of ice cream in between the biscuits. Of course, once you start experimenting, there is a whole world of exciting possibilities to pursue… doughnut or waffle ice cream sandwich anyone?

Korean-style shaved ice desserts
While there’s nothing quite like slurping a rose gola on a balmy afternoon, if you fancy something a bit more offbeat, then the traditional Korean summer dessert – patbingsu – is definitely one to try.
It essentially involves a concoction of red beans and other sweet-somethings piled on top of mountains of shaved ice – you can be as creative as you like, adding fresh fruits, jelly and Japanese mochi balls, before liberally dousing over your dessert with a sweetened condensed milk. All the different elements come together in a vibrant explosion of flavours that will definitely have you reaching back in the bowl for more!

What are your summer favourites?