Friday, May 22, 2009

Indian Style Lemonade

Mr. Peacock is very fortunate to have a wonderful produce store, called Golden Produce, in my neighborhood. They always stock reasonably priced organic produce, and much of it is grown locally. Right now they have oodles of small, Meyer lemons.

Growing up in the Midwest, I never tasted a Meyer lemon until I lived in California. Meyer lemons are always described as a cross between a lemon and mandarin orange. I actually think they taste sweeter than a regular lemon, and a bit herbal.

The organic Meyer lemons at Golden Produce have very tender skins and sweet juice. I substitute Meyer lemons, whenever a recipe calls for lemons, and it always makes even the simplest recipe extraordinary!

Last weekend, we had another abnormal heat wave (it's becoming a regular thing) with the temperatures in the 90’s in San Francisco. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky either. Unfortunately when it’s that hot, our apartment gets just as hot inside. As the saying goes….when life gives you lemons—make lemonade. So to quench our thirst from the heat, I made a batch of lemonade, and not just any lemonade either, but Indian Style lemonade—Nimbu Ka Sharbat.

Mr. Peacock loves Indian food, both eating and cooking it. There’s so many variations of recipes for every dish, so it’s an endless journey learning how to cook Indian cuisine. I picked up a little book called, Indian in Minutes by Monisha Bharadwaj, that has simplified, but not Americanized, Indian recipes. I particularly like these recipes from the book: Squash with five spices, cauliflower korma, and the Indian lemonade. The lemonade is so simple, yet very flavorful and thirst quenching...and, I used my vintage milk glass citrus reamer to juice the citrus fruits.

Indian Style Lemonade
Makes 2 servings
This recipe is so simple, but the flavor is very sublime!

1/2 cup of lemon juice (I used a combination of Meyer lemons, limes, and oranges)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoons of salt (yes salt!)
1/2 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups cold water

Combine all of the ingredients, making sure the sugar dissolves. Add the cold water. Serve in glasses, filled with ice. Enjoy!

Mr. Peacock wonders if Indian lemonade was the inspiration for Gatorade. I’ve never been a fan of Gatorade though—too sweet, too salty, and too artificially colored. Indian lemonade is much more about the flavors. The addition of salt and pepper may seem strange, however, they subtly accentuate the flavor of the citrus juice. If you’re fortunate to have access to Meyer lemons, use those, but regular lemons are also good. Treat yourself this weekend and make some homemade lemonade!


Pigtown-Design said...

Mr. Peacock... I love the addition of pepper to fruits. I remember long ago being served strawberries with pepper and balsamic vinegar. I put pepper on all sorts of melons which gives them a little bite. We have several wonderful Asian markets around here and now you will have me looking for Meyer lemons with which to make lemonade.

Happy weekend!

MJ said...

Last week I was served mango lemonade at an Indian restaurant.

I don't know whether it was homemade or not. It could have come out of a juice box for all I know.

But it was oh so refreshing and I plan to recreate it in my own kitchen this summer.

thombeau said...

Indian food is my very, very favorite. In fact, I'm having some later today!

LaDivaCucina said...

Hola Senor Peacock, Thombeau sent me to your lovely site.

I, too, only discovered Meyer lemons while living in California and also love Indian food. You might enjoy my blog sometime.

Here's a recipe for lemon meringue pie, it was dee-lish!

jezebel said...

I'm not much for lemonade, but the salt and pepper additions call to me. There used to be an amazing Lebanese joint by me with the most subtle mint lemonade, but the proprietor shut down to focus on his oud-making business.


I drank this when I was in Singapore... great compliments with spicy curry. I love it when they include sugarcane stick as stirrer! You & BF have a fantastic weekend okie! ~XO*

Anonymous said...

Im off to the farmers market shortly and can't wait to try this!! Will be making this afternoon

D R E W said...

I saw Meyer lemons for the first time the other day. I wondered what they were. Thanks for the info!

It hasn't been 90 degrees here, yet. When it does, I will be sure to try your lemonade recipe. It looks deeelish!

I live within walking distance of three(!) Indian restaurants. I love it, too! My faves are: Malai Kofta and anything vindaloo, especially lamb!

Soyun said...

Sounds so interesting~ I've never seen Mayer lemons, but I'd love to try with regular ones.

Petulia said... reminds me of my Pakistani holiday last month. I will definitely try to make it!

Mr. Peacock said...

Hello everyone...

I need to have a huge party,
with Indian food...
and invite everyone!