Nimbu pani is a delicious tangy sweet Indian lemonade. It is an Indian drink made with simple ingredients and is a treat to drink especially on hot summer days.
Nimbu means lemon and pani means water in Hindi – so this is a type of lemon water. It’s a quick drink to make.
➜Key distinction from lemonade is the sharp taste from black salt, that tickles taste buds
➜This often enjoyed with snacks or as a part of street food sold by street vendors, especially during festivals and gatherings. Other popular summer drinks include Aam Panna, Sweet Lassi, and Masala Soda.
➜It’s a versatile drink that can be customized with various ingredients like mint, ginger, or fruit slices to add different flavors
Why you will love this recipe
Simple ingredients | Just a few ingredients needed
Quick to prepare | Ready in 5 minutes just like lemonade
Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free | Suitable for all diet types
Below are ingredient notes for Indian style lemonade. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post.
These ingredients work together to create the perfect blend of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors in Nimbu Pani. Adjust the quantities of each ingredient according to your taste preferences
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the main ingredient in Nimbu Pani. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and add a tangy and refreshing flavor to the drink.
- Sugar: White sugar is used to sweeten Nimbu Pani according to your taste preferences. It balances the tartness of the lemon juice and enhances the overall flavor.
If you grind the sugar in a grinder, the sugar dissolves more easily. Also, mixing the sugar with water and spices before adding the lemon also helps.
- Roasted Cumin Powder: Roasted cumin powder adds a warm and earthy flavor to Nimbu Pani. It complements the tanginess of the lemon juice and gives the drink a savory undertone.
Cumin powder is easy to make at home and can be found in Indian grocery stores or online.
- Black Salt: Black salt, also known as kala namak, is a type of rock salt with a distinct sulfuric flavor. It is commonly used in Indian cuisine for its unique taste. Adding a pinch of black salt to Nimbu Pani enhances its tanginess and adds a hint of savory goodness.
- Salt: Salt is optional but can be added to taste. It helps to balance the flavors and brings out the sweetness and tanginess of the other ingredients.
- Chilled water or ice cubes
While the basic recipe consists of lemon or lime juice, water, alt and sugar, there are several variations of Nimbu Pani that incorporate additional ingredients to enhance its flavor and nutritional value. Here are a few variations you can try:
- Chaat Masala: This version includes a blend of ground Indian spices to give it a unique twist. Along with lemon juice, water, and sugar, you can add a pinch of roasted cumin powder, black salt, and chaat masala. It creates a tangy and savory flavor profile.
- Mint: Mint adds a refreshing and cooling element. Simply crush a handful of fresh mint leaves and add them to the traditional lemonade recipe. You can also muddle the mint leaves with sugar to extract the flavor before adding the other ingredients.
- Ginger: Adding ginger gives it a zesty kick and helps with digestion. Grate or finely chop some fresh ginger and mix it with lemon juice, water, and sugar. Adjust the ginger quantity according to your preference for spiciness.
- Fruit-infused: Experiment by incorporating other fruits into your Nimbu Pani. You can add slices of oranges, strawberries, watermelon, or any other fruit you like. It adds a hint of natural sweetness and a fruity twist to the traditional recipe.
- Honey-Lemon: For a healthier alternative, replace sugar with honey. Mix lemon juice, water, and honey to create a refreshing and naturally sweetened version. You can adjust the amount of honey based on your desired sweetness.
- Coconut Water: For a simple twist, make this recipe by substituting plain water with coconut water.
Squeeze lemons and measure out ingredients – that’s it!
You can roll the lemon on a countertop to get the most juice out of it.
Mix ingredients in a pitcher or in glasses. Taste and adjust to your preferences – everyone likes it a little different.
Pour over ice and enjoy.
If refrigerating before serving – adding torn mint leaves to soak gives a fresh taste.
This can be stored in the fridge in a closed pitcher for 1-2 days.
It’s perfect to make ahead for parties in a large pitcher or just to have on hand as a summer drink.
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5 Minute Tangy Nimbu Pani
- 1 pitcher
- 2 cups water 2 – 8 oz glasses
- 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice I use lemon
- 4 tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp black salt (kala namak)
- ¼ tsp roasted cumin powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Squeeze lemons. Optionally grind sugar to help it melt quicker.
- Mix water, sugar, black salt, salt, and roasted cumin powder in a glass. Once sugar has dissolved add lemon juice.
- Taste and adjust to your preference. Serve with ice cubes.