Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Aam Panna -Cooling Indian Raw Mango Drink

As I had mentioned in several previous posts, I am not a great fan of ripe juicy mangoes.Of course I use them, but has not great affection for the supposed king of fruits. Instead it is the tangy or sour raw mango that excites me. You can have them as such,use in gravies, dals, pickles etc .There are several varieties of mango and several ways of using it. One way of enjoying the raw mango is making a cooling summer drink out of it. You cook the mango -roast it,steam it,boil in water,squeeze out the pulp and add required amount of sweetner or spices and liquid. A simple cooling, sweet-sour drink  called Aam Panna is ready.

Aam panna/panha or kairi panna is a cooling summer drink popular in Northern and Central parts of India like Maharashtra,Gujarat, UP etc."Aam" stands for mangoes and "panna" or "panha" or the South Indian "Panaka" stands for Drink. There are also regional variations of making the drink. Some add cardamom to it and dish out a sweet drink whereas others prefer it tangy and spicy. Growing up in the Southern most part of India,this drink was unknown in my childhood,but after tasting it I have made it a regular in my kitchen.Given below is my version of Aam panna .

Ingredients:
Raw Green Mangoes: atleast 1 big whole
Cumin :1/4 tsp + roasted and powdered
Black Peppercorn: freshly grated/crushed as needed
Black Salt: as needed
Asafetida/Hing: a pinch
Sugar: 1/4 cup +/- as per taste

Water: as needed

Garnish: Ice Cubes,Mint Leaves (optional)

Preparation:
Wash and boil mango in enough water till it is soft.This takes about 10-15 minutes. Cool,peel ,squeeze out the soft flesh.An easier way to do this is peel the mango,remove the stone,chop into small pieces and grind/pulp it in the mixer.Normally,you have to squeeze out the juice from the soft mango,but the mixer makes it easier.Also instead of cooking the whole mango,you can peel,chop and then cook it though traditionally it is the whole mango that is cooked and then pulped.

Add the roasted cumin powder,pepper,black salt,hing and sugar and mix well till sugar is absorbed.Do the taste test and adjust the seasonings.

Our Aam panna concentrate is ready.

For serving,add 2-4 tbsp of concentrate in a serving glass,add enough water,stir well and serve with ice cubes.Garnish with mint leaves.


The concentrate can be spiced and sweetened according to your taste.You can also go for a sweeter version by adding just sugar,powdered cardamom and saffron and removing spices and black salt.I prefer the salty-spicy version given above.Another version also adds ground mint leaves to the the already refreshing drink.

Aam panna is known for its heat resistant properties and is effective remedy for gastro- intestinal disorders thanks to the presence of pectin in green/raw which is a soluble fibre and a stabilizing agent. It is also high in Vitamin C and increases body resistance against TB,cholera,dysentery etc or typical summer diseases.Black Salt in the drink also acts as a coolant spice.Cumin also aids in digestion.

Enjoy the refreshing drink and beat the heat.

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