Monday, April 25, 2016

Aam Panna


Summer is here in full swing and it is definitely making it's presence felt with sweltering heat and rising mercury levels!! Summer is never really complete if you haven't had your share of mangoes, watermelons and cucumbers. Apart from these you also need gallons of iced waters and fruit juices to help you cope with the brutal summer heat.


Speaking of fruit juices and summer drinks, I don't think anything can come close to Aam Panna. The quintessential Indian cooler that is made with raw mangoes, mint, lime and spices. This wonder drink not only quenches your thirst and keeps your body cool but it also helps in digestion and helps prevent sunstroke. Now, isn't that a perfect summer drink??


There are several ways to make this drink. You can either roast or grill the mangoes on an open flame for a smoky flavor. Or, simply boil or pressure cook them for a quicker version. I personally love to make Aam wanna by roasting the mangoes on an open flame because it imparts a smoky and an earthy flavor to the drink.


As for the seasonings, I like to add a combination of cumin, fennel and carom seeds. But you can keep it simple and  straight forward by adding Cumin seeds. You can also add green chili for heat. But I prefer it mild with just a hint of lime and mint!!


Another Important ingredient that goes into making Aam Panna is Black salt. A pungent smelling purplish-gray salt that is often used in India. This slat has a characteristic sulphur taste to it!! It you cannot get your hands on Black salt, then you can substitute it with Regular salt.

Whatever spices and seasonings you use, just make sure that you do not over do any of them. Or else, the tart flavor of the raw mangoes will be lost!!


Aam Panna recipe:
Preparation time: 10
Cooking time- 20
Serves- 4

Ingredients:
Raw mangoes- 2, medium sized
Mint leaves- 10-15
Cumin seeds- 1/2tsp
Saunf or fennel seeds- 1/4tspn
Ajwain or carom seeds- 1/4tspn
Juice of 1 lime
Sugar- 4tbspn
Water- 600ml
Black Salt- 1/2 tsp
Ice cubes and mint leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Place the mangoes on top of the gas burner and roast the mangoes till they turn completely black. This might take anywhere between 10-20mins.
  • Dry roast the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and carom seeds and powder them in a mortar and pestle and set aside.
  • Once the mangoes are completely black and soft, remove from heat and allow the mangoes to cool completely.
  • Peel the dark skin and remove the pulp and place it in a blender jar.
  • To the mango pulp, add the mint leaves, lime juice, sugar, black salt and 250ml of water and blend till the mixture is smooth.
  • Add the remaining water and mix well. Garnish with ice cubes and mint leaves and serve immediately!!
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