Mango is a very versatile fruit. This is one fruit that can be used in curries, in salads, in punches, in desserts and in pickles, and it lends a different taste and flavour to every dish Raw mangoes have many health benefits as they are rich in vitamin C and are natural acidity regulators.
Panna (also known as panha or panhe) is a simple drink made of raw mangoes with a dash of spices to balance the sour taste of mangoes. It makes a wonderful mocktail to be served at parties as it can be made prior to the event, refrigerated and used when needed. Every Summer my refrigerator gets loaded with lime juice and panna. I prefer making it in small batches that last for only a day or two. Without refrigeration it will start fermenting by the end of the day. It tastes best chilled and served with cubes of ice with a mint leaf or a piece of mango as a garnish. Panna also means ’emerald’ in Hindi – probably one of the reasons why this juice gets its name is its light green colour.
Recipe: Aam ka Panna | Mango juice made with raw mangoes in Summer
Time : 20 mins, including steaming time
Serves : 8 glasses
3 Unripe mangoes, steamed till the flesh is well cooked.
1/2 cup Mint leaves1/4 tsp. Pink / Black salt
1.5 tsp. roasted cumin seeds powder
1/2 cup sugar (more to taste, if needed)
1 + 5 cups water
Preparing the mangoes: Cut off the stem end from the mangoes. Wash and make small cross-wise slits at the stem end. Now either pressure cook for one whistle without adding water to the vessel containing the mangoes or steam the mangoes till the skins turn soft and loose. Set aside to cool and then peel of the skin. Squish out the cooked pulp from the seeds with your hands completely. With the blunt edge of a knife remove the pulp from the inside of the skin.
Prepare a syrup with 1 cup of water and sugar heating till the sugar dissolves completely. Set aside to cool.
Blend the pulp, syrup, rest of the water, mint and salt in a blender till smooth. Taste and adjust salt and sugar as per taste. The drink has to be thin. If you feel the need, add a little more water and then adjust sugar and spice to taste. Strain through a muslin cloth or fruit juice strainer.
Roast cumin seeds till they turn dark and aromatic. Crush into a fine powder and add to the strained drink.
Serve chilled over ice if desired.
Garnish with a sprig of mint and a slice of ripe mango. Adds a nice colour and makes it attractive.
Before serving stir well as the clear juice will have risen to the top, making it faintly yellow, less fruity and less aromatic.
Mint is optional but desirable.
Black salt may be substituted by regular salt with a pinch of chaat masala but the flavour will be compromised.