As you all know we’re inviting our readers to share their ‘Summer Recipes’ with us. Well, here’s one from UK based Ujjaini Lahiri who has sent us this very easy and refreshing ‘Mint Lemon Ice Tea’ with gorgeous photographs to compliment the recipe. What we like about her recipe is that she’s thrown in some useful tips as well!
Ujjaini’s cooking has been inspired by her grandmother, her mother and her mother-in-law, all very accomplished cooks. In spite of her busy schedule Ujjaini has continued to be active in kitchen, and likes to consider cooking both as hobby and a good way to unwind.
She loves traditional Bengali and North Indian cooking in all its complexity. But she also likes experimental cooking and tries her own recipes.
This is what she came-up with one very hot afternoon, and is now a regular during summer months.
Mint lemon Ice Tea – (to make 4 glasses)
I use a glass teapot which has a sieve container on top to separate the tea leaves (I got here in the UK, I guess that should be readily available in India too). The advantage of using this kind of pot is, after the tea is made, I remove the tea leaves and add the mint leaves into the pot and leave the tea for later use or for second helpings. As it is glass, it looks good too with the mint leaves at the bottom.
Ujjaini shares a tip for creating a variation in the ice tea, “Use ready made clear orange juice from the carton to make orange ice tea. But then don’t add mint or sugar as the orange juice contains sugar already. You can decorate the glass with an orange wedge while serving.
- Good quality Darjeeling tea leaves - 4 tsp (one tea spoon for each glass or tea you want to make)
- Hot boiling water – 1 glass ( use only one-forth quantity of the total volume you need)
- Ice cold water – 2 glass
- Mint leaves – small bunch – washed and very lightly crushed by hand, and reserve a few tips for decoration
- Sugar – to taste ( I put 2 tsp / glass)
- lemon – 1 or 2 depending on the size. Use the juice and reserve ta thin wedge for decoration
- Ice cube – 12 – 26 – very gently crushed ( I usually got the crushed ice from the fridge dispenser), but I would recommend making ice with sweet and lemon flavoured water (add 2 tsp of sugar, pinch of salt and a juice of one -forth of lemon) In fact it is a good idea to have this in the fridge all through Indian summer months, just drop a couple of the cubes in a normal glass of water when you are thirsty and you are adding the salt and sugar which we constantly keep loosing in the heat.
- You may add a pinch of salt to the ice tea, that controls the sour taste and like I just said, helps replenish salt we loose in heat.
- Boil water, and soak the tea leaves in it for not more than 2 minutes. Be careful not to leave it soaked for long, as the tea can lend a strong and bitter taste.
- Remove the tea leaves by running it through a sieve. Leave it to cool for a couple of minutes. Add the mint leaves to still hot tea so that the tea gets the mint flavour and let it cool for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the mint leaves by running the tea through the sieve again. Add sugar and juice of lemon. The colour of the tea will get lighter on adding lemon juice.
- Equally divide the crushed ice into four glass. Pour the tea. Add cold water
- Finish by decorating with the mint leaves and lemon wedge.
We’re inviting our readers to share their very own Summer Recipe.
It could be a drink, a salad, an entrée, a main course or a dessert!
Send us your recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org with a couple of good photographs clicked by you to compliment the recipe. But please make sure they are your own creations. In case your recipe has been inspired by a TV show or a recipe book, kindly name the source to avoid any copyright issues.
If you liked Ujjaini’s recipe, you may also like to check out this video on making ‘Lemon Ice Tea’ from scratch. This just gives you an idea of how to make your own ice tea at home in case you don’t get the readymade sachets from the market.