Ah, Indian summers. For the ordinary desi, an Indian summer brings with it dread. Unless you’re under the age of 14, Indian summers mean getting burnt to a crisp under the harsh sunlight and shrivelling up like a drying prune.
On that note, you can imagine the ordinary desi’s utter shock and confusion when they read romanticised accounts of this very same summer from the colonial era.
However, along with the heat of summer, comes its bounty of joyousness. Namely being the season of mangoes.
Even the raw mango has a place of fondness in the desi heart. Whether pickled in brine and spices to last the coming year, or sliced up and sprinkled with salt and chilly powder, the raw mango has its die hard fans across the country. However, a popular homemade secret of the north of India (that for some reason hasn’t really been made famous down south) is a drink called “Aam Panna”, also made from raw mangoes.
Its mildly spiced, sweet and tangy mango drink will guarantee you make it every summer henceforth. It really is worth it!
Ingredients (makes 1.5 litres)
2 large raw mangoes
3 cups regular water
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 tsp ginger powder
2 cardamom pods
1 tsp salt
Juice and zest of 1 lime (optional)
Mint leaves (optional)
- Wash the mangoes and pressure cook with regular water for 15 minutes.
- Once mangoes are cooked and cool, peel off the skin and scoop the flesh out with the steel spoon and into the saucepan.
- Add the drinking water, sugar, spices and salt into the saucepan and leave it to boil until the mango pulp dissolves into the water.
- Serve cold with some crushed mint leaves and dash of lime for extra tanginess!
No pressure cooker? No problem! Peel and chop the mango, discarding the seed and boil the flesh with the regular water. All the other steps remain the same!
This recipe is for immediate use and will last a week. To make the concentrate version of this, reduce the quantity of water from 4 cups to 1 cup, and double the quantity of the spices. The high pectin content of mangoes will turn the mix into a thick jam-like consistency. Store in clean, airtight containers and mix with water whenever you want!