Soothing Drink

From last couple of weeks I was feeling sick….., not ill kind of sick  but my tummy was upset. I felt heavy and full all the time even though I did not eat much. Initially I suspected eating gluten at someone’s house and thought to be ok in a day but I wasn’t. My friends  told me to eat ginger . Punjabi families love to eat ginger (raw or pickled in vinegar)  with or after meals but I hate chewing chunks of ginger and prefer to drink in tea. Ginger, I know has long been considered medicinal and I can swear by it for nausea, cold, menstrual cramps or any kind of intestinal distress.  So I tried  drinking tea made with ginger, carom and fennel seeds. Four days went by and there was zero improvement. I decided to either see a doctor or take  effective steps by consulting someone . Therefore, I called my sister in India and discussed with her about my condition. She said that it is a very common problem and can be caused by many different reasons. In my case she felt it could be inactivity and the late night party food that I have been eating since last month.



She suggested an old home remedy, the one which all moms would have made at some point in their life and there may be variations to this. As per her recommendation I had to start my day by eating home made yogurt, drink a glass of soothing concoction at lunch and have regular meal at dinner time. The drink worked so fast that the following morning I was already feeling much better. Instead of eating plain yogurt for breakfast I made myself spinach yogurt smoothie and then followed the previous day eating pattern. I followed the regimen for three days, eating food when I felt hungry. And  now since thursday  I have no complaints and feel great. This remedy worked for me and it can also work for you and many others out there, but before trying check with your doctor if you have any other health concerns.



This soothing drink is a unique combination of shallots, ginger, garlic, cumin and lemon to help settle your stomach. You probably know cumin is anti inflammatory and has similar health benefits as ginger to ease indigestion. Lemons are packed with anti oxidants  and Vitamin C. They help detoxify and stimulate digestion. Cumin in this drink gives a nice spicy taste of jaljeera ( a refreshing Indian lemonade) but is made with some different ingredients in a different way.

By the time you read this post I will again be eating out at my friend’s house. Today is Lohri and I have two functions to attend. This time I will really be careful and choosey of what I put on my plate. I don’t want to suffer from stomach problem again. It gets frustrating for no reason. Even then if something happens I have this yummy soothing drink.

Happy Lohri to all my punjabi friends !!


makes 1.5L


  • 3 liters water
  • 1/2-3/4 cup grated ginger
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 garlic head, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp black peppercorn
  • salt and lemon juice to taste
  • lemon mint ice cubes if preferred


  1. Pour water into a large pot and add shallots, ginger, garlic, cumin and black peppercorn.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour.
  3. Strain into a pitcher, let cool and refrigerate.

Take a glass that is big enough to contain 300 ml of water. Pour 250 ml of the above concoction, add 2-3 tbsp lemon juice, salt and top it with lemon mint ice cubes. I have used plain mint cubes, you do not see in the picture but the mint leaves are in the ice cubes.


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  • comment-avatar
    Blackswan January 13, 2013 (6:21 am)

    Balvinder, hope u’re well now. I’ve tried using ginger & lemon on my drink, but shallots, garlic, cumin are certainly something new. Don’t you need to add sugar syrup? Mmmm…… I’m very curious how it tastes like but I like the idea 🙂

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 13, 2013 (7:56 pm)

      No not at all, You don’t need any sugar. You have to believe me it tastes really good.

  • comment-avatar
    anne January 13, 2013 (6:22 am)

    Bal , me as well ! I’m coughing and sneezing these past few days , good thing though that it’s a bit better this day 😀 Maybe it’s the chili sauce that I’ve been eating with some taro cake ( and my spicy buffalo chicken as well ) ! lol Love your soothing and refreshing ginger concoction . The chopped shallots in this drink sounds really interesting 😉

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 13, 2013 (8:06 pm)

      I don’t always use shallots but in India it is made with small onions so I used shallots. You won’t taste their pungency in this. Take some ginger juice and buckwheat honey for your cough and sneezing.

  • comment-avatar
    Vicki Bensinger January 13, 2013 (6:23 am)

    Wow I’d be willing to try just about anything at this point. I haven’t been myself since the Saturday before Christmas when I got food poisoning. My stomach still isn’t back to normal and have barely posted on my blog because I’m not really cooking.

    A whole head of garlic though! That’s a lot! If that’s correct I’m willing to try it.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 13, 2013 (8:20 pm)

      Vicki, I would suggest you to talk to doctor before trying this because I am not sure how it will work when you are healing from food poisoning. I used one and half head of organic garlic, they are slightly small in size than regular garlic. I do not wanted to mention organic garlic in the recipe because it is really expensive, 3 heads for $4.00 ,that’s why I simply wrote 1 garlic head.

  • comment-avatar
    Malti Sharma January 13, 2013 (8:38 am)

    I often suffer from stomach upset for years and used to take ENO it seemed to alleviate the problem but it just became my routine then I found ginger remedy from one of my colleague. I never put cumin in it , now I am thinking of trying your recipe. This jaljeera like drink sounds so yummy 😉
    Happy Lohri to you !We’ll be celebrating Makar Sakranti tomorrow, I guess Punjabis also do?

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 13, 2013 (8:11 pm)

      Yeah ENO is good too but then, how many times can you drink that? Ginger is best for stubborn stomach problems.
      I think all Indians celebrate Makar Sakranti but they call it with different names.

  • comment-avatar
    Asmita January 13, 2013 (11:09 am)

    This certainly sounds like a refreshing drink and also so good for you. I love the combination of ginger and lemon and being Indian also enjoy cumin. Will try this drink out soon.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 13, 2013 (8:39 pm)

      You must, it will come handy sometime.

  • comment-avatar
    CCU January 13, 2013 (11:49 am)

    I hope this drink helps you my friend, it certainly sounds yummy but rejuvenating 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  • comment-avatar
    ATasteOfMadness January 13, 2013 (1:01 pm)

    I was also sick! I guess it’s the season for it..
    This looks very refreshing. I love ie

  • comment-avatar
    Deepti January 13, 2013 (4:10 pm)

    I hope you are feeling better now. But I agree.. home remedies are the best anytime. It should for sure be very refreshing…

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 13, 2013 (8:40 pm)

      I totally agree with you about home remedies.

  • comment-avatar
    Surinder Kaur January 13, 2013 (6:17 pm)

    Its good that this drink helped you with bloating. Neetu, but I would suggest you to add caution in your post, these indigestion remedies should be taken with care and doctor’s advice if someone is pregnant, breast feeding or have liver or kidney problems.
    Send me the recipe of your spinach smoothie I have never used spinach other than in curries or salad.
    Love and take care when you eat out.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 13, 2013 (8:24 pm)

      Surin, Thanks for reminding me. I did mention that if a person has any health concern he/ she should talk to health professional. I will email you the recipe it is really simple.

  • comment-avatar
    Nami | Just One Cookbook January 13, 2013 (11:10 pm)

    It seems like everyone is sick. I’ve been sick for the past 2 weeks and my coughs don’t seem to go away and I’m really exhausted from being sick. Ginger, mint, lemon and spices.. sounds really nice. Hope you will get better soon!

  • comment-avatar
    Kitchen Belleicious January 14, 2013 (12:39 pm)

    i too have heard that ginger does wonders for your digestive system and helping with stomach upsets. I will definitely bookmark this for when needed in the future. I just wanted to tell you thank you so much for your kind and uplifting words you left on my site last week! It meant the world to me and i really appreciate it

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 15, 2013 (5:02 pm)

      I just wanted to be supportive and wanted to let you know that gluten free food can be as delicious as cooking with it. And, now there are so many gluten free choices at regular grocery stores, general public is aware of this allergy , even the restaurants have gluten free menu, there weren’t as many when i became gluten free.5 years ago.

      • comment-avatar
        Balvinder January 15, 2013 (5:04 pm)

        plus you are so creative, that you won’t have any difficulty eating gluten free.

  • comment-avatar
    yummychunklet January 15, 2013 (10:48 am)

    I’ll try anything now to shake the last bits of this cold away!

  • comment-avatar
    Minnie@thelady8home January 15, 2013 (1:34 pm)

    I hope you are now absolutely fit and fine. This is an amazing recipe. I make a lot of concoctions, but never with cumin and shallots!! I have bookmarked this.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 15, 2013 (5:18 pm)

      I used shallots because I do not wanted my drink to smell or taste like broth. About using cumin as far as I remember it has always been used in Indian cooking to aid digestion. My mother even used to make cumin tea for cold but I never liked that.

  • comment-avatar
    Liz January 15, 2013 (2:21 pm)

    I do like the sound of this – I’m very partial to any drinks containing ginger, and if it works medicinally as well then all the better.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 15, 2013 (5:06 pm)

      Everything is better with ginger 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Juliana January 15, 2013 (5:02 pm)

    I hope you are feeling better now Balvinder…and thanks for the recipe of this soothing drink, I sure will remember when needed.
    Again, I hope you are feeling better 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Amelia January 23, 2013 (8:19 am)

    Hi Balvinder, thank you for sharing this soothing drink. Have you got the Ultra Carbon charcoal pills? Good for tummy upset, purging, indigestion, food poisoning. Buy some and keep in the house, good for emergency. It work wander, very effective.

    Take care and have a nice day.

  • comment-avatar
    Inge and Gillian January 26, 2013 (11:16 am)

    Just what the doctor ordered. Perfect combination of ingredients for when you are not feeling well. Hope all is well.