Shikanji Recipe

Shikanji Recipe

Posted on Apr 29, 2024

Invite The Summer Breeze With A Refreshing Shikanji Recipe

The bustling streets of India on summer days are a display of colourful and crowded stalls. The busiest stall out of these is the beverage stall selling the age-old, thirst-quenching drink, the nimbu pani or shikanji. This lemon drink is a cool, revitalising and hydrating beverage, infused with the peppery flavour of freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with water, sugar, and sometimes a dash of salt or spices. Nimbu pani is not just a drink; it's a beloved ally during the sweltering heat of summer or whenever you feel parched and weary. But like most people, do you also wonder what the difference is between a Nimbu pani and a shikanji? Clear this confusion from your mind as we explain it to you. 

Difference Between Shikanji and Nimbu Pani 

The only major difference between shikanji and nimbu pani is the place they belong to. Lemonade is called nimbu pani in the southern and western parts of India, whereas in North India, this masala drink is called shikanji. Only slight variations in the spices exist based on the taste of the states of India. 

Ingredients Required For Homemade Shikanji/ Nimbu Pani

The ingredients are the threads of tradition, and the preparation is an act of love. Nimbu pani or shikanji is the peak innovation of Indian beverages. To prepare this drink using our nimbu pani recipe in the comfort of your kitchen, you need the following basic ingredients: 

• Cold Water: You'll need 4 cups of water that are either cold or at room temperature. 
• Lemon or lime juice: Both can be used as each other's alternatives. You can select any as per your choice. You can take 2 medium-sized lemons or 3 limes of the same size. 
• Sweetener: You can use your favourite sweeteners, such as white sugar, brown sugar, honey, or jaggery. Each sweetener has a distinctive taste, so you may select according to your preferences. 
• Black pepper powder: Use 1/4 teaspoon of ground black or white pepper for a little sour taste. This ingredient is optional, so you can ignore it if you do not prefer pepper in your beverages. (Not required for nimbu pani) 
• Roasted Cumin powder: Use 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder 
• Chaat Masala: Chaat Masala brings the tangy taste of your shikanji. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of this sharp-flavoured powder. (Not required for nimbu pani) 
• Black salt: Use 1/4 teaspoon of black salt or edible rock salt. You can also use regular salt as an alternative. 
• Mint leaves: After the preparation, 3 to 4 mint leaves are required for garnishing purposes, but they are optional. 
• Ice cubes: Use 6 to 7 ice cubes at the end. If you prefer room-temperature beverages, you can avoid adding this ingredient to this shikanji masala recipe

How To Make Nimbu Pani: Classic Recipe

To create a flavourful, hydrating, and quenching nimbu pani, you need to first arrange the ingredients mentioned above, except for the spices. Then, start following the steps mentioned below. 

Step 1:  In a mixing bowl or jar, add 4 cups of water, either cold or room temperature. You can also use sparkling water for this purpose.

Step 2: Halve the lemons or limes and squeeze them directly into the water. For a better juice extraction, place these lemons in a lemon press. 

Step 3: Add 6 to 8 tablespoons of your favourite sweetener and stir it using a big spoon until completely dissolved. 

Step 4: Stir the liquid properly and pour it into nice glasses. Finally, garnish it with mint leaves and add ice cubes if required.

How To Make Shikanji: Masala Recipe

Now, you do not have to go out whenever you crave a masala shikanji. To prepare this alternating version of nimbu-pani for yourself, you need to follow the given masala shikanji recipe: 

Step 1: Add 4 cups of cold or room temperature water in a jar or bowl. 

Step 2: Halve 2 lemons or 3 limes and squeeze them in the water. 

Step 3: Add your preferred sweetener. 

Step 4: Add the listed masala to your prepared solution. You can also alter the quantity of spices to meet your requirements.

Optionally add the roasted cumin powder and stir the drink until it is completely mixed.

Step 5: Pour the shikanji into glasses and garnish it with mint leaves. 

Step 6: Serve it cold by adding chunks of ice or ice cubes to this refreshing drink. 


This citrus drink is prepared in almost every Indian household. It reminds us of a nostalgic childhood and is connected to every Indian's memories. There are numerous possible variations of this drink. Removing some spices will turn the shikanji into Nimbu Pani, adding some spices will turn the nimbu shikanji into masala shikanji, and many more. But the refreshment that this drink gives remains permanent. This cool drink is a slice of Indian culture that bespoke hospitality and remembrance. Shikanji or nimbu pani is a reminder that in between life's chaos, there's always time for a moment of cool, tangy bliss and shared moments.


Can the Shikanji be stored if It's made from sparkling water? 

Certainly! You can store the shikanji in an air-tight bottle for up to 2 days. However, we recommend not to store it in large quantities since the fizz might fade away with time, and the drink might turn slightly taste-driven. 

What additional ingredients can I include in my Nimbu Pani recipe? 

Just like any other recipe, the nimbus pani can have multiple variants as well. You can enhance the taste further by adding items like ginger juice, mint juice, soda water or roasted cumin.

How can I use Sabja seeds in the shikanji

You must first soak the sabja seeds in the water and then drain them well in a mesh strainer before adding them to your shikanji. Add 1-2 tablespoons of sabja seeds to your glass of nimbu-pani or shikanji, stir and mix well. Have your go-to summer drink!

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