Still the ray of sunshine sneaking through the window and the sound of ice cream truck passing by in the afternoon reminds that its summer time. It reminds that no matter what country and what part of the world you live in, simple things in life always remain simple. Boxes of strawberries bring the same joy on the little monster’s face as the bags of mangoes did to ours as a child. Kids selling lemonades by the street just like at those nimbu pani and shikanji stalls in India.
Summers in India are not the sunny, warm and bright summers like California. Summers in India mean scorching heat, sand storms and sweaty days and these nimbu pani and shikhanji stalls are a sigh of relief. These can be found anywhere throughout summer. Back in the day they would sell a glass of shikanji for 50 paisas. From rikshawwalas to those coming out of a car, people would stand in lines to grab one and kill the heat even for a few minutes. It worked like magic, brought smile to faces and made the day a little brighter.
You can call Shikanji an Indian version of limeade. Water, lime juice and sugar. To spice it up, add some ginger and a little mint adds more flavor. I tried to take it to another level and make a sorbet of it. Or to be honest it was the little one who gave me the idea. She is a lover of i-pream (ice cream). She demands that I make an ice cream of everything I put in front of her, even pasta and lentils! Ok, I did not go that far but I try to throw everything I can in the ice cream maker. The same happened to my shikanji and thank god she demanded me to do so because a shikanji sorbet tastes SO much better than a normal shikanji. Even better than the one they sell outside the bus-station in summers in India. Try this shikanji sorbet this 4th of July and you will thank the little monster for this idea like I do now!
Ingredients: Serves 4
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 inch fresh ginger root
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
3 cups water
In a tall glass or a bowl, pour lime juice and sugar. Add mint and ginger root and mull it well.
Let it sit for half an hour.
Then pour it into the ice cream maker along with water. Process according to the instructions.
Freeze in an airtight container for a couple hours and then serve.
In case you don’t have an ice cream maker I have tried the recipe with a smoothie maker. Just that instead of water, you add 5 cups of ice to the shikanji mix and set the blender to ice crusher setting. Blend it all together until the mixture is smooth and stiff. Serve immediately.