Is it summer yet? It is here in Udaipur or at least the sight of watermelon is a good sign. Watermelon evokes sweet childhood memories of sitting around a round cutting board, mom meticulously and flawlessly slicing the melon while we sat waiting for our slices and contemplating whether the melon was sweet enough or will require a sprinkle of black salt.
While sharing meals together is important, fruits like watermelon gives an equal opportunity to bring family together. That is one reason, one tradition so dear to my heart, I'm often reluctant to do much with watermelon.
Surprisingly, it was initially developed as a herbal medicine for reducing body heat but soon found itself becoming India's most popular cold drinks. Made of vegetables, fruits, root and flowers- the ingredients make up unique flavor and aromas that truly enchants the soul. Though it is an overly sweet concentrate that has to mixed with water or milk but an occasional lick off the spoon is allowed.
A good brand (recommended below) is preservative, fat and cholesterol free. And if that doesn't float your boat, it is absolutely luscious and delicious on guilty pleasures like ice creams, milkshakes, rice pudding, custard and such.
In other things, here is my interview with Learn Food Photography. It is an hour long so pull up a chair.
Watermelon Rose Squash
The sweet and fresh taste of watermelon is enhanced with the floral flavor of the rose, sharpened by a squeeze of lemon while the mint intensifies the herbal flavor.
3 cups fresh watermelon juice (from chilled cubes)
1 - 1 1/2 tbsp Hamdard rooh afza/ rose squash*
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of black salt (optional)
Torn mint leaves (not shredded) to garnish
*Adjust to taste according to the sweetness of watermelon juice and personal preference.
Combine watermelon juice, rose squash, lemon juice and black salt in a jar and mix well. Throw in a slice or two of lemon for good measure.
In tall glasses, add the ice cubes and pour equal quantity of the squash in each glass. Garnish with mint leaves.
Tip: You can also add sparkling water