Nimbu pani or shikanji recipe.
About this recipe
Nimbu shikanji or shikanjvi is an Indian-style limeade (or lemonade) made with lime (or lemon), water, salt, sugar, and a few optional spices. This refreshing Indian lemonade is super easy to make and perfect for summer. It is one of the most common drinks during summer and is made in almost all Indian households.
In India, lime and lemons are interchangeable, and the Hindi word for both is 'nimbu'. Lemons are smaller in size and are very similar to limes. Green, unripe lemons are quite common which looks similar to lime, and ripe limes that are yellow are also used. There is no clear distinction between the two in Indian cooking.
What sets this nimbu pani apart from regular lemonade is the use of 'kala namak' or Indian black salt/Himalayan black salt. It is an essential ingredient in making this masala shikanjvi and cannot be skipped. The rest of the ingredients can vary and can be customized. Nimbu paani recipe varies from region to region and every household has its own favorite way of making it.
Kala namak is a sulfurous pungent-smelling black Indian salt that is used in Indian cooking and comes from the Himalayan region. It is commonly used in chutneys, snacks, kachumber salad, and raita. It is also sprinkled on fruits to add taste and flavor. Black salt has been mentioned in Ayurveda and is considered a cooling spice that is used as a healing agent.
Read on to see the ingredients and variations to make this Indian limeade that is very hydrating during summer and gives energy.
Related: Starbucks-style iced chai latte.
Lime: This is the main ingredient. As I mentioned, both lime and lemon can be used to make shikanji.
Kala namak: Black Indian salt or black Himalayan salt is an essential ingredient and cannot be skipped.
Sugar: I use raw sugar in this recipe; however, plain white sugar can also be used.
Mint leaves: This is optional and can be skipped.
Spices: Ground cumin, ground pepper, and salt.
Useful tips and variations
Both lime and lemon can be used to make shikanji.
All spices are optional except black Indian salt. This is the only essential spice.
Turn this humble nimbu pani into a cocktail by adding vodka or jin.
You can also use club soda instead of water to make nimbu soda.
Nimbu pani can be infused with berries to make berry lemonade.
Serve it up with this delicious Indian popcorn at bbq and gatherings.
More refreshing summer drinks:
This refreshing shikanji helps you stay hydrated and gives energy during hot summer days. It is also a very good source of vitamin C and also aids digestion.
It is very similar but some spices may vary depending on the region. This drink is popular as shikanji in North India and nimbu panu in the Mumbai region.
Yes. This Indian limeade can be made and stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. However, if you are planning to make it ahead, do not add the mint leaves. Add them just before serving.
Kala namak is sulfurous pungent-smelling black Indian salt that is used in Indian cooking and comes from the Himalayan region. It is commonly used in chutneys, snacks, kachumber salad, and raita. It is also sprinkled on fruits to add taste and flavor. Black salt has been mentioned in Ayurveda and is considered a cooling spice that is used as a healing agent.
Related: Mango nectar.
This Indian limeade is:
- very easy to make,
- refreshing and healthy,
- perfect for hot summer days.
Nimbu Pani / Shikanji (Indian Limeade)
- 3-4 lime (or lemon)
- 4 glasses water
- 4 tablespoon sugar or as per taste
- ¾ teaspoon black salt
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder optional
- ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper optional
- 4-5 mint leaves
- Ice cubes as needed
- Combine lime juice, water, sugar, salt, black salt, ground pepper, cumin powder, and mint leaves in a jug. Mix well.
- Taste and adjust the sugar as per your preference.
- Pour ice cubes in glasses and put the nimbu paani on top. Serve immediately.
- Alternatively, chill in the refrigerator and serve as needed.
This was the first time I have tried this drink and I am obsessed! So good
love this indian style lemonade, Im glad I have all the spices needed.
What an exotic lemonade. I never tried it before. But I definitely will. I love added cumin. How interesting.
super reffreshing and perfect for summer!
The cumin and ground pepper give this lemonade such a nice kick!
So delicious and refreshing! I'm making this all summer long!
such a tasty and refreshing cocktail!
So refreshing and perfect for summer, will be a staple for sure!
It looks so delicious! I'm going to make this at the weekend, when we are having an indian feast for tea.
Thank you, Pippa. I hope you enjoy it 🙂
Mandy Applegate says
This transported me straight back to India - I loved drinking nimbu pani and this recipe was perfect!
This lemonade is like no other I have ever tasted. The flavor is so much more complex and I like that it doesn't have that sickly sweetness so common in other lemonade. Thanks for sharing the yummy recipe!
Lynn Polito says
This is so refreshing and delicious! I loved it!
My kids love limeade so I had to try your Indian Limeade version. So easy to make and the flavor profile is amazing!! You have to try the summertime non-alcoholic cocktail!!
This is amazing! The cumin really made this refreshing drink stand out! Loved it!
I am so glad you enjoyed it, Jenn. Thank you.