Ditch aerated and go local this summer! They will keep the heat at bay and keep you healthier in the bargain. Like sugandhi (Hemidismus indicus) and m aaredu (Aegle marmelos commonly called Bael) juice that are crowd favourites and easily available across the city.
“These drinks have always been there. It is just that they have been ignored thanks to colas and ice creams,” says Mahalakshman Rao, a fruit juice seller who functions from a makeshift stall near LIC building. Summers are busy for Mahalakshman as he moves swiftly around his tiny stall to cater to the constant flow of customers. The menu at his stall changes depending upon the availability of fruits. Currently, he is serving badam milkshake, sugandhi and maaredu juice along with orange and mango milkshake.
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Sip on liquids through the day
- Apart from water, buttermilk and tender coconut water, seasonal fruits and juices should also be consumed as they contain necessary vitamins which help the body tackle soaring temperatures
Sugandhi and maaredu juices are made from the roots of the plants . The sugandhi juice helps in purification of blood. It also helps in recovering from sunstrokes as it is cooling. The refreshingly zesty drink is best consumed with a dash of lemon and crushed ice. Maaredu , too, acts as a cooling agent and helps prevent dehydration. The deep brown maaredu juice does leave a bitter taste so it is often made with sugar or jaggery. Mohan Rao, a 33-year-old juice seller near Rythu Bazaar at Seethammadhara, (his father ran this stall before him) has been on the job of selling these local coolers for years. He says that the demand for these juices has been growing summer after summer.
Mohan gets sugandhi roots from various parts of Kerala and maaredu is sourced from Vizianagaram. The roots are soaked in water for over four days. They are then boiled along with jaggery to yield a sweet concoction that can be stored up to two months. However, during summers the demand for these herbal drinks is so high that Mohan has to make it every 15 days. These syrups are also found bottled in supermarkets.The Girijan Cooperative Corporation sells bottled sugandhi and maaredu juice concentrates.
S Seenu who also sells maaredu near Swarna Bharati Indoor Stadiumjuice claims he caters to over 500 customers every day. According to him, freshly made lemonade is also a big hit with his customers.