Nimbu Paani

When I was deciding on what to study in university, my parents wanted me to study pharmacy. I outright refused. I already had a few family members in the field and it just didn’t excite me. Back in the day it just seemed like a job that one would expect women to do, like nursing. Now a days things are very different though. I did not want to be stuck in an office all day. I wanted to be out in the open and making a name for myself as a woman in a man’s world. My dream job was to become a doctor, but then I saw an ortho operation and I couldn’t stomach it. To this day if I watch a medical show and they perform an ortho procedure, my knees start aching and I get queasy. Somehow Engineering became the field I chose. Don’t ask me how this decision came about but it did, even though I had zero ability to draw and i can’t see 3rd shapes. I can only see 1 dimension.

I suffered through technical drawing in high school. I would copy friend’s drawings by holding up the drawing to the window and tracing it and then my brain still chose a field that required me to draw 3rd and I somehow subjected myself to years of torture. I brought this on myself because I wanted to be a women in a man’s world and I would rather suffer in silence that come clean and tell the male dominated industry that I Bobby am a 1 dimensional women living in a 3rd dimensional world.

When International Womens day came around. I embraced all things women. I never really paid attention to the whole sex equality. My parents raised me like my gran raised her daughters, with steel in their spine and we were told that if a boy could do it, then a girl could do it as well and she could do it better. After all, girls rule the world.

For the first time since watching the movie “On the basis of sex,” I really appreciated Ruth Bader Ginsbury’s fight. , I even binge watched “The Crown,” I am in awe of Queen Elizabeth, all the things she had to endure in her life and still is enduring.

In celebration and to honor us women of the world, I made dishes that were inspired by female chefs. This particular recipe was loved by all, even my mother who I might remind you is not a huge fan of lemons.

I came across this recipe in Chetna Makan’s recipe book and it reminded me so much of the panakum that is served in our Temple. I can’t remember the last time I tasted panakum. I asked my father for the recipe and he was like a little of this a little of that and I gave a very little interest in his method and never asked again.

This recipe was easy to make, the only objection my mother had was that it was too acidic and not sweet enough for her. This caused my world to tilt. Never ever ever in my life have I ever heard my mother say something is not sweet enough. She doesn’t do sugary drinks. It has been closed to 100 years since my mother last had a fizzy drink or a chocolate or a sweet. The only thing she eats are the cookies and cakes I bake. If it comes in a wrapper and is made by Cadbury or Nestle or any other chocolate company you get bet your last dollar she will not eat it, not for all the tea in China. Just kidding, it hasn’t been 100 years, but it has been many years.

If my Uncle was around he would have demanded that the entire jug was for him and then pitch up the next day with a bag of lemons and limes and want me to make endless jugs for him.

My dad couldn’t finish his glass, apparently the rose water was leaving a funny after taste in his mouth. Oh well, more for me.


  • ½ x cup lemon juice.
  • Juice of 2 limes.
  • ½ x cup icing sugar…. This depends on how sweet you want the drink to be.
  • ½ x tsp salt.
  • ½ x tsp black salt.
  • 8 x drops rose water.
  • 800ml x cold water.
  • Ice cubes to serve.


  • In a jug, whisk together the lemon and lime juice.
  • Add in the icing sugar, salt, black salt and rose water, whisk till the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add the water and mix till everything is well combined.
  • To serve, add ice cubes to a glass and pour of the nimbu paani mixture.

Tell me what you think of this recipe