Gandharaj Lebu-r Sharbat (Bengali lemonade)

There are few things that makes the unbearable hot and humid summer, refreshing and delightful. Mangoes, litchis and watermelons joining the fleet of summer delights along with thirst quenchers and plethora of ice creams of varied flavours. Do you think we would have cherished these, had the weather been soothing and pleasant ? I doubt.

Talking about thirst quenchers, we have a lot options these days. Mixed fruit punches, mocktails and various other chilled drinks to sway away the thirst. But can you beat a glass of homemade lemonade after a tiring day. Known by several names like Lebu’r Sharbot, nimbu pani, shikanji or lemonade, this simple summer thirst quencher is popular all over the world. Just a lemon, spoons of  sugar, pinch of salt and chilled water is all it takes to bring solace in this dreadful summer.

Every Bengali kid of our generation spending their summer vacations at their grandparents place would vividly remember the heavenly taste and enthusiasm of the most simple drink, Gandharaj Lebu-r Sharbat. From picking or buying Gandharaj Lebu to the long wait for the sugar to dissolve, then straining it with steel tea strainers and serving in individual portions and finally the divine sip !!!

Gandharaj Lebu is my father’s favorite. He likes to squeeze it with Masoor Dal (Red lentils) for lunch. And with Kolai er Dal (Bengali style Urad dal) and Maacher Jhol (Bengali fish curry) too. Gandharaj Lebu-r Sharbat with Mishri is one of his favorite too.

Writing is recipe is not required. In fact I’m not convinced if this a recipe in the first place. Nevertheless….

What you need (serves 4):

  • Gandharaj Lebu – 1
  • Chilled water – 4 glass
  • Sugar – 5 tbspn
  • Salt – 1tspn

How to make:

  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the lemon to extract juice. Scratch the skin a bit to extract the citrus scent since Gandharaj Lebu has very less juice
  • Mix and stir all the ingredient till the sugar dissolves
  • Strain the lemonade to remove pulps
  • Serve and enjoy!

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