What a week of curveballs for restaurants! These semi-lockdown restrictions have been confusing, to say the least, but you can find our updated opening hours on the individual restaurant websites.
Now that we are all spending more time at home and you are increasingly fending for yourselves in the kitchen, we thought we would share the very simple recipe for a South Asian staple that always perks us up when we are hot and bothered – nimbu pani (nimbu meaning lemon/lime and pani meaning water). Think of it like a South Asian Pocari. This summer drink is served all over the subcontinent, from Nepal to Bangladesh and beyond, from carts by the side of the road, to your mum’s kitchen. But nobody makes them as well as Ashim Gurung at Rajasthan Rifles so we asked him for his secrets…
“There is no right way to make nimbu pani, it is just a balance of sweet, salty and sour at whatever levels you enjoy them the most. And the best part is if you go too far in one direction, it is pretty easy to balance things back out, but here is a good place to start:
- Take your lemon (lime works too if that is what you have or prefer) and squeeze into a glass, roughly two tablespoons to start.
- Next add salt (fine salt works better here as coarse can be hard to dissolve), add more than you think you will need. Be brave and start with a quarter of a teaspoon, I usually go to a third of a teaspoon.
- Then for the sweet. In Rajasthan Rifles we use another two tablespoons of sugar syrup which is very easy to make at home (literally just one part water with one part sugar heated just until the sugar melts) but if you don’t feel like getting a pan out, maple syrup will be fine. Start with a tablespoon, you can always add more.
- Lastly the extra little secret – a tiny pinch of chaat masala but if you don’t have that at home, ground cumin is also a popular variant.
- Then stir well and top up with cold water or, as we do in Rajasthan Rifles, soda and ice and prepare to be refreshed, rehydrated and ready to take on the next curveball 2020 throws at you.”
However if that all seems like too much, you can still swing by Rajasthan Rifles for a glass of the best Nimbu Soda in town from Monday to Thursday 12-6pm, or Friday to Sunday 8am-6pm. Alternatively, book a picnic hamper to collect from Rajasthan Rifles which comes with a flask of the good stuff to be enjoyed preferably under a tree on some grass.