Masala Shikanji (Masala Nimbu Pani), Shikanji or Shikanjvi is a famous and traditional spiced version Indian lemonade which is sweet and delicious. This refreshing, revitalizing, and energetic lemon-based drink is bursting with tangy, sweet, and spicy flavors.
Shikanji is one of the most preferred cooling drinks served in the Northern part of india. A sip of this zest and refreshing masala soda or masala shikanji is quite a relief from the blazing hot sun.
Sipping ice-cold Indian style sweet and spiced lemonade on a scorching hot day is one of the best delightful things you can do during the summer.
It is getting hotter, and all we crave is some icy-cold lemonade and limeade. Isn’t it?
This 6-ingredient masala shikanji recipe provides a tangy, spicy, and sweet-tasting masala shikanji every time. And making masala shikanji from scratch should be the easiest drink you make this summer.
This page has a simple and easy method for perfect Masala Shikanji (Indian lemonade) every time!
With this recipe, you’ll learn how to make masala shikanji easily and effortlessly. Also, this page has the perfect solution on how to find the perfect sweet and sour ratio for your shikanji.
What is Shikanji or Nimbu Pani?
Shikanji or Nimbu (Neembu) Pani is a sweet and tangy lemon drink. It is a popular North Indian drink, but now it has gained its popularity across India, thus, it is made in every part of India. You may call it an Indian version of lemonade. Here, Nimbu = Lime and Pani = Water. Two of the main ingredients of this drink are either lime or lemon and water. Other ingredients used in shikanji vary depending upon the region.
During the hot summer months, shikanji is the most hydrating and thrust quenching drink people make and relish. This is because this go-to summer drink ‘Neembu Pani’ is super quick and easy to make and is prepared with affordable handy ingredients. Another popular summer drink is aam panna that is also good for hydration.
What Is Masala Shikanji (Masala Soda)?
Masala Shikanji or Shikanjvi is an Indian spiced version of lemonade which is a staple during summer months. Shikanji is made throughout India and is also known as Neembu/Nimbu Pani in many parts of India.
The exact translation of Neembu Pani is ‘Lemon Water’. You may also call it Indian Lemonade, where lemonade is mixed with some homemade shikanji masala and mint leaves. Like lemonade, this masala shikanji is also an energetic, rehydrating, and rejuvenating drink. So it is one of the best thirst quenchers in those days when the sun feels hot.
Thus, during summers you will find them at kiosks and restaurants. Shikanji can be easily made at home.
This spicy lemony coolant is great for your digestion, especially during hot summer months. When you combine lemons with cumin, salt, and pepper, it turns into a tummy-friendly drink and helps in better and smooth digestion.
This sweet, tangy, and spicy Masala Shikanji and Masala Soda are also beloved drinks in parties and celebrations.
This masala shikanji is:
✓ easy to make
✓ tastes great
✓ great for digestion
✓ rich in nutrients
✓ a natural coolant
✓ cooling, refreshing & rejuvenating
✓ good for weight loss when made with honey
✓ a great cure for hangovers
✓ great for park picnics or a barbecue
✓ perfect with summer snacks
How to Make Shikanji Masala?
Making shikanji masala is very simple and the ingredients used in masala may vary a bit depending upon the regions. This Masala Shikanji recipe uses my Mom’s homemade recipe. Feel free to add or remove some spices according to your taste preference.
For shikanji masala you just need to mix the following powdered spices:
1 teaspoon rock salt (or use regular table salt)
1 teaspoon black salt (or himalayan pink salt)
3 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 teaspoon chat masala powder
1.5 teaspoon dried mint powder
To make mint powder, simply air-dry mint leaves (preferably in shade) and powder them in a blender.
How to make masala shikanji?
Method to make Masala Shikanji is very simple — all you need is a bit of squeezing and mixing. This is how you make masala shikanji in 5 simple steps:
Mix lemon juice with sugar and shikanji masala.
Pour shikanji base into serving-glasses along with ice, lemon slices and mint leaves.
Add water or soda.
Mix and sip.
Check out the full recipe with instructions in the recipe box on this page.
What is the difference between masala shikanji or masala soda?
Masala shikanji and masala soda both are lemon based spicy and sweet drinks. The only difference is in the choice of liquid used to mix the base. If you use soda water to a Shikanji mixture then it is called masala soda. If you use regular water then it is called masala shikanji.
I have shown both variations in my video recipe on this page.
Below are some basic ideas for different shikanji recipes:
Sugar, water, lemon juice, and ice.
- **Masala Shikanji (Masala Neembu Pani): **
Sugar, shikanji masala, mint leaves, water, lemon juice, and ice.
- **Masala Soda: **
Sugar, shikanji masala, mint, leaves, soda water, lemon juice, and ice.
What Are The Ingredients For Masala Shikanji?
Making masala shikanji is very easy and simple. You will need only 6 ingredients to make masala shikanji. These ingredients are: lemon juice, sugar, ice, mint leaves, shikanji masala, and water. Let’s dive into their details.
Lemons: Fresh and juicy lemons are the key ingredients of any shikanji. Limes can also be used for making shikanji.
Sweetener: Traditionally, sugar is used in shikanji, but you can also use honey or any other sweetener of your choice. The addition of sweetener balances the sour flavors.
Mint Leaves: These herbs add a nice and refreshing flavor to this rejuvenating drink.
Shikanji Masala: This is a masala blend (spice mix) prepared by mixing some powdered spices such as black salt, rock salt, roasted cumin powder, black pepper powder, chat masala powder, and dried mint powder.
Water or soda water: Any one of these liquid fillers is added to dilute the shikanji base.
How much sweetener is needed for this Shikanji?
The proportions of sweetener will vary depending on how sweet you like your Shikanji. So feel free to adjust the amount of sweetener according to your taste preference.
Some other similar interesting drinks to try during summer:
How much lemon juice is required for a Shikanji Recipe?
The amount of lemon juice depends upon how strong shikanji you want. And also how sour your lemons are. If the lemons are too sour, then you can reduce the amount of lemon juice or when they are not so sour then increase the amount of lemon juice.
How To Store Masala Shikanji?
You can either store the sugar + lemon mixture, or sugar + lemon + shikanji masala mixture. To store shikanji base, pour it into an air-tight jar in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Whenever you are craving for shikanji, simply use this base to make masala shikanji in 1 minute.
Can I freeze Masala Shikanji?
Yes, you can freeze the shikanji base. To freeze it, pour the spicy lemon and sugar mixture into ice cubes separately. Once frozen, transfer these cubes to a freezer-safe container or a ziplock bag.
Whenever you want to serve, just add chilled water to ice cubes and let them melt. Add some lemon slices and mint leaves, and you are done with masala shikanji.
How to serve Masala Shikanji?
You can have this masala shikanji or masala soda (neembu soda) anytime you want. You can serve it as an after-meal drink like mango lassi, or as a snack or brunch. I personally like to relish it in the evening time along with my brunch.
Some amazing tips and variations to make the best Masala Shikanji and Masala Soda at home:
To make ginger shikanji, add 1 freshly squeezed teaspoon ginger juice (simply grate or mince ginger and squeeze) to each glass.
You can also add some ground ginger to your shikanji masala.
I love the taste of black salt in my shikanji. However, if you can’t find black salt then feel free to add Himalayan pink salt.
I usually add 10 tablespoons of sugar for 1/2 cup of lemon juice. But you can also use 1:1 ratio of sugar and lemon juice.
Rock salt can be replaced with regular table salt.
You can also substitute lemon juice with the same amount of lime juice to make ‘Lime Shikanji’.
If making masala soda or neembu soda, then lemon soda water can also be used in this recipe.
You can also fill your shikanji glasses with some soaked chia or basil seeds.
If you like boozy flavorings in your lemonade, then feel free to add some rose wine, vodka, gin, or rum to your masala shikanji.
If you have so many lemons then you can juice them and freeze them into ice cubes too.
For more intense lemony flavors, you can also add some grated lemon zest to the shikanji recipe.
Make sure to strain the lemon juice if you are juicing with bare hands.
I like to make masala shikanji directly into serving glasses. But you can always use a large pitcher to combine all the ingredients.
Some other chilled drinks to try:
Masala Shikanji - Masala Soda (Step-by-step photo instructions)
How To Cut Lemons To Get More Juice:
- Put 3 lemons on a hard counter and roll them back and forth. Keep applying heavy pressure with the palm of your hand. Once rolled, press them between your thumb and fingers. These steps will help them break down and you will get more juice. Alternatively, you can also microwave lemons for 20-30 seconds before rolling them.
- Cut the lemon into 8 pieces.
- Juice all the lemons using a citrus reamer or simply squeeze them with your bare hands
How To Make Shikanji Masala:
- In a small mixing bowl, add black salt, black pepper powder, roasted cumin powder, rock salt, chat masala powder, and mint powder. Mix everything well to combine.
- Shikanji masala is ready. Keep it aside.
How To Make Masala Shikanji Base:
- Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to a large glass.
- Next, add 10 tablespoons sugar (or honey), 4 teaspoons (or more) Shikanji masala.
- Stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
Rimming The Glass(optional):
- Dip the rim of your glass into the lemon juice.
- Then carefully dip the moistened glass into the shikanji masala powder or brown sugar.
How To Serve Masala Shikanji:
- Lightly crush a handful of mint leaves using a mortar and pestle.
- Fill 4 tall serving glasses with the ice cubes. You can use whole or crushed ice cubes.
- After that, add 1-2 sliced lemons to each glass.
- Next, add crushed mint leaves to each glass.
- After that add about 2-3 tablespoons of lemon mixture to each glass.
- Then pour chilled water or chilled soda into each glass.
- Shikanji is ready. Stir well and serve chilled.