Garam Masala Tuesdays: Aam Panna

by Shumaila

The weather is really confusing. It gets  quite pleasant at night, but during the day its HOT and humid, making it impossible to do anything. And to have a house that has no AC, just swamp coolers to cool you off, the humidity can be your worst enemy.

And when, your husband’s office decides to choose this as the perfect time to not send your husband home for lunch, you become too lazy to cook anything.

In our household, lunch is the main meal, with dinner generally consisting of lunch leftovers or bread, egg and salad. So if V doesn’t come home for lunch, I have to really struggle with myself to cook something for myself. And today my lazy self won. I didn’t cook anything- eating whatever little was there in the refrigerator. So, that’s why I have no dish to write about today on GMT.

I did not make anything as there was only one person to cook for- and I hate cooking for one- especially if that one is me!

Instead, I chose to make a drink that is just perfect for the heat these days- Aam Panna.

“Aam (the hindi word for mango) Panna” is a raw mango based drink. It is an Indian drink that is very popular during the summer since it is an effective remedy for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It is also great for digestion, while being a good source of Vitamin B1 and B2. It is also considered as a curative for blood disorders because of its high Vitamin C content. It is considered as a tonic which increases body resistance against tuberculosis, anemia, cholera and dysentry. Now, this is definitely a drink worth sipping!

GARAM MASALA TUESDAYS: AAM PANNA

Aam Panna is a great drink to beat the summer heat and is pretty straight forward to make. It is a little sour, tangy in taste, since it is made from raw mangoes. When selecting the mango- go for green colored aw mangoes that have firm skins and gives off tart smell. Avoid raw mangoes that feel soggy around the stem.

The quantities given below can be increased/decreased according to individual preferences. The mint and the mango should be the highlight of the drink, so preferably leave the cumin and other spice amount on the lower side. This recipe yields a concentrate which can be stored for around 2 weeks in the refrigerator. You can make it as liquidy or as thick as you want. I like it a little thick, but V prefers it thinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 raw mangoes
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp chaat masala, optional
  • 1 tsp rock salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp sugar, or jaggery (in case you have, else sugar would do)
  • 2 sprigs mint, (I had about 25-30 leaves)

Directions

  1. Put the mangoes unpeeled in water and let it come to a boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Once cool, peel the skin off and mash pulp discarding seed. I generally use a knife and remove the pulp into a blender.
  3. Grind together sugar, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala (if using), pepper powder, rock salt and mint leaves in a grinder/processor till they turn into a smooth powder.
  4. Add this mix to the mango pulp and blend it into a smooth purée.
  5. This purée can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for two weeks.
  6. To make drink, blend together about 3-4 tbsp. of the mango pulp to a glass full of water and few ice cubes. Garnish with some fresh mint leaves. Serve chilled.

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