Baby, it's cold outside. And, fears of the pandemic loom large. In India, there are several desi health tonics which are considered to beat the cold and boost your immunity. Kadhas fall into this category.
In December, clinical nutritionist Lovneet Batra released a book titled 50 Desi Super Drinks. As the name suggests, she has listed drinks with ingredients believed to be fortified with medicinal properties. Apart from the usual suspects, such as turmeric milk and buttermilk, the book is abound with interesting recipes like antioxidant-rich masala chai, kokum fig sherbet and a rather ingenious concoction of rose goat milk with sabza which, she says, is a ‘super drink for kids.’ From cleansing to flu busters and beauty elixirs, there’s a drink for everyone.
Batra is the founder of Nutrition by Lovneet in Delhi and has over 10 years of experience in the field of health and diet. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, USA, and she is a nutrition consultant at the Sports Authority of India.
For Lounge, she shares two quick kadha recipes from her book that your grandmother would approve.
Ajwain Gud Kadha
Serving Size: 1 glass
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
1 tsp ajwain (carrom seeds)
1 tsp gud (jaggery)
1½ cup water
1. In a pan, boil ajwain, gud and water together.
2. Strain and serve hot.
As per Batra, ajwain gud kadha is believed to boost digestion, and is considered to be a potent fungicide and germicide. Ajwain is believed to be an active decongestive and controls histamine release in allergic cough, cold, and asthma. For women, this spice is a blessing. It helps manage bloating and pain arising from pre-menstrual stress and ancient medicinal wisdom claims that it helps get rid of cramping, hormonal fluctuation and nausea."
Mulethi and Saunf Kadha
Serving Size: 1 Cup
Cooking Time: 10-15 Minutes
2 inches mulethi stick (liquorice root)
2 tsp fennel seeds
11⁄2 cup water
1. Boil mulethi stick and fennel seeds in water for 10–15 minutes.
4. Strain and serve.
Batra says there are multiple benefits: Mulethi and saunf kadha is believed to support our respiratory system and has an instant soothing effect on sore throat and coughing. It is considered to be a natural vasodilator that helps in better blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body.
Lovneet Batra's book 50 Super Desi Drinks by Rupa Publications India is available on Amazon.