Saturday, August 8, 2015

Hot Hot Summer & Cold Cold Lychee Juice!!!

Growing up we did not have easy access to a lot of “fancy” fruits back in Guwahati, my hometown! Weather-wise, the place is not the best for growing common fruits like apples, strawberries and it was difficult to import as well. And once they are actually imported, the price was and still is really expensive!

But, we do have a lot of different flavorful exotic local fruits. Especially during summer! Some of them are now memories; I cannot recall when I last ate them and I have no idea when I may get to taste them next! Every summer my heart aches a little bit in nostalgia :-(  Typically summers in Assam are filled with delicious seasonal fruits; Lesu (Lychee), Leteku (Burmese Grape), Paniyal (Flacowtia), Jaamu (Java Plum), Aamlakhi (Indian Gooseberry), Rabab Tenga (Pomelo or Grapefruit), Madhuriam (Guava), different kinds of Mangoes! We even have a small ceremony where “eating seasonal fruits” is the main ritual :-) Unfortunately, apart from Mango, the rest of these fruits are very scarce here! Whenever I do catch a rare sight of these fruits, I try to buy some. Taste wise, it can never compete with the flavor from a fresh fruit that I remember; but it’s still something.

I recall this Lychee juice that my father made for us long long ago. He got some very high quality lychees from a village farmer and obviously he bought a lot. I don’t know if this is scientifically correct but my mother barred us from eating too many lychees constantly as it can upset the stomach! So Deuta (that’s how we call our father :-) ) decided to make juice from the fruits so that it can be preserved for a few days.

I saw some lychees in Jewel Osco last week, and so I got some! They were visually very appealing! But not of supreme quality; they had some blackened bits here and there on the flesh that is attached to the seed and those parts  were bitter to taste.-So I thought, why not make the juice? It is simple, pretty much like most of the recipes I share here on “Discovering Me”. 

Ingredients: Lychee, Sugar or Honey (optional), Water :-)
  • Peel off the fruit.
  • Wash it.
  • Remove the seeds and shred the flesh into smaller pieces.
  • Put in a blender and mix it if for a minute.
  • Strain out.
  • Squeeze with hand or spoon to get the last bit of juice out
  • Throw away the left over pulp.
  • Add some water depending on the consistency you want for your juice. Mix well.
  • Add some honey or sugar. Stir again. Serve. Add Ice (optional). You may garnish it too. 
  • Keep refrigerated, and finish within not more than 4 days. 

I know that lychee juice is readily available. But this way, it’s so much fresher and healthier. You can also control the sweetness and thickness you want in your juice. The weather has been absolutely perfect here in the Windy City. Its summer and I am taking in as much of it as possible, while sipping in this PERFECT summer drink. I loved making it and have already prepared two batches and I am definitely making another batch if I can find these again before the summer is gone!


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