Aam Panna is a very popular summer beverage in Northern India. It looks and tastes very refreshing and I’ve loved it since I was a child. It’s probably my #2 summer beverage (right between fresh lemonade and iced tea).
But apparently it has more benefits than just that of being a thirst quencher – this raw mango and mint drink is also a remedy for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. I guess you learn something new everyday!
It’s very easy to whip up and can even be made in larger batches and stored as a concentrate. Just add water & ice and a refreshing summer beverage shall be at your service.
Here’s what I used for about 4 servings, 350 ml each:
3 raw mangoes, about 400 gms
6 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp kala namak (rock salt)
1/4 tsp roasted jeera (cumin) powder
2 heaped tbsp fresh mint leaves (use 1/2-1 tbsp if using dried)
1 litre cold water
Few sprigs of mint for garnish
Here’s how I made it:
First I washed and wiped the mangoes. I don’t know why, but raw mangoes always seem to be very sticky on the outside – more so than ripe mangoes.
Then I roasted them individually over an open flame till the skin blackened in spots. This step must be undertaken with great caution because once the mango heats up, often small holes will pop in the skin – spraying out hot juice. Do not burn yourself. Use tongs to flip the mangoes and handle them with care.
It took approximately 5-6 minutes for each mango to look like this – mostly dull and brownish with some blackened spots .
Once the mangoes were slightly cool and I could handle them, I peeled and roughly chopped the flesh, discarding the seed.
The skin will come off very easily.
I placed the mango flesh, mint and sugar in the blender and pulsed them till a coarse puree was formed.
Then I added the kala namak and jeera powder and blended again till it formed a smooth puree.
Now you can store this puree in the refrigerator or freezer as a concentrate and use it whenever you please. This time, I decided to make the drink completely but before the raw mango season ends, I will make big batches and store the concentrate.
Transferring the puree to a pitcher, I added 1 litre of chilled water to it and mixed it well. (This is the point where you should check for sugar and salt and adjust it if you need to).
I placed the pitcher in the refrigerator to chill further. When I was ready for it, I stirred the panna once to make sure the concentrate and water hadn’t separated. I poured it over 3-4 cubes of ice and garnished each glass with a sprig of fresh mint.
So green. So cool. So fresh. The whole pitcher was drained in no time. I bought another batch of raw mangoes today for the next round!
- The fire roasting adds a lovely smokey flavour to the drink, but the easier way out is to pressure cook the mangoes with the peel in a little water for about 2 whistles. I will probably do this for a large batch. My mom has an even easier way out – peel and cut the raw mangoes and zap them in the microwave with a little water and the sugar for about 3-5 minutes on high.
- The sugar can be replaced with jaggery for a more rustic flavour and an even healthier drink – the nutrients of raw mango+jaggery together is almost a super drink!!
- Half the fun of the panna is the kala namak – try not to skimp on that, if you can help it.
Liked this recipe? Try some of these other cooling, summer beverages: Fresh Ginger Lemonade, Summery Cucumber & Mint Cooler, Amrood Chaat Cocktail, Banana Coconut Smoothie, Mango Mojito, Home-made Iced Tea, Iced Coffee
[wpanchor id=”panna”]Recipe for Aam Panna
- 3 raw mangoes, ~400 gms
- 6 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp kala namak (himalayan pink rock salt)
- ¼ tsp roasted jeera powder (cumin powder)
- 2 heaped tbsp fresh mint leaves (use ½-1 tbsp if using dried)
- 1 litre cold water
- Few sprigs of mint, to garnish
- Mesh Stove Protector
- Mixer Grinder
- Wash and dry the raw mangoes.
- Using a flame mesh (to protect your gas burners), roast the mangoes in their skin over an open flame until the skin becomes darker and develops black burnt spots on the skin. Be careful at this stage as the mango skin may pop and let out steam. This should take 5-6 mins per mango.
- Allow the mangoes to cool and carefully peel the skin off.
- Roughly chop the mango flesh and place it in a blender. Add the fresh mint leaves and sugar and give it all a quick whizz to make a puree.
- Add the kala namak and jeera and give it another quick whizz.
- Transfer to a large jug, add the cold water and mix well. Store in the refrigerator until required.
- When ready to serve, place ice cubes in 4 glasses. Give the aam panna a stir and pour over the ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint to serve.
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