With the heat-wave that’s causing abnormalities in the global seasonal patterns, we all knew what to expect this Ramadan, especially my fellow fast-ers (using this for lack of a better word) based in the Middle East. Just today, the weather in Dubai peaked at a whooping 47 degrees (Celsius, not Fahrenheit); I was soaking with sweat and completely parched by the time I got home from work. With still a good four hours to go before I could officially break my fast, it got increasingly difficult not to think about something cool and refreshing that would not only quench my thirst, but also give me the much-needed energy boost.
They say the best ideas come to you when you need something most. I came up with the Watermelon and Strawberry Cooler on a whim, without even giving the pairing of the ingredients a second thought; my hands automatically picked out the things from the refrigerator as they just ‘felt’ right.
The watermelon I had bought a few days back was slightly mushy (and I do not like mushy watermelon) so instead of throwing it out, I scooped out the flesh, placed it in a bowl, and mixed in a few ingredients instinctively. The result was a tasty sweet-and-tangy beverage perfect for Iftaar (breaking of the fast). Let me dive straight into the recipe so that you can try it out for yourself.
- 2 kg watermelon (with the skin on)
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4-5 tbsp strawberry syrup (the one you use as a base for carbonated drinks)
- Scoop out the red fleshy part of the watermelon and place it into a deep bowl
- Using a hand-blender, puree the watermelon, seeds and all
- Take a sieve with a super-fine mesh and remove the pulp from the juice
- Add the lemon juice and the strawberry syrup to the watermelon juice; stir well
- Keep it in the freezer for at least 1 hour before serving
- Garnish with mint leaves (optional)
- Enjoy the refreshing drink at Iftaar and remember me in your prayers
The quantity mentioned is good for SIX servings of roughly 225 ml each. You can adjust the quantities according to your serving requirement. For those of you who do try this, do let me know how you liked it.
Ramadan Kareem and stay hydrated!