22 June, 2017

Aam Panna Recipe | Indian Raw Mango Cooler

Learn how to make Aam ka Panna ~ Sweet and sour Indian raw mango cooler flavoured with spices, black salt and mint

It’s officially summer in my neck of woods and for the last two weeks the heatwaves have swept across the nation. I am not very active on social media these days as it will be considered sin to spend time within the four walls. The windows and doors are wide open, and I spend most of my time pottering around the garden, laying on grass and snoozing under the perfect blue skies. My morning walks have become longer as I enjoy the company of mother nature and her children like tweeting birds and wild life, walking in the woodlands under the protective canopy of giant trees. The kitchen is the last place on my mind as simple salads, quick coconut-yogurt based curries and ice creams have officially become our meals and washing them with gallons of water to quench the thirst and to keep the body cool.



It's time like this when I sift through my handwritten recipe diary in search of recipes that has been tried and tested for centuries. The recipes for scorching summer months to keep the body cool due to excess hear from the sun. One such recipe is a very popular raw mango recipe from the northern part of India called Aam Panna, a very refreshing raw mango cooler flavoured with spices and good helping of fresh mint. It is this Aam ka Panna, with its sweet tangy flavor makes it extremely rejuvenating and its health benefits make it a go to drink and a must try recipes for the summers when the mighty mango season arrives. Aam Panna is consumed in the summers as it acts as a coolant, rehydrates body and provides the essential electrolytes lost during the hot weather. A glass of this drink in a summer afternoon can combat fatigue and energize a person.


It is well known fact that seasonal variations introduce a multitude of changes in health conditions of the human body, and how one should combine seasonal produce in our diet. Thousands of years before modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, the sages of India developed Ayurveda (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge), which continues to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems. More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life. It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realising their full human potential. As per Ayurvedic principle, heat during the summer causes variations in vaatha (lethargy) and kapha (phlegm) and subsides jataraagni (the fire which induces hunger) which leads to loss of appetite. The ingredients in Aam ka Panna, which acts as a coolant in the hot sweltering summer, is believed to counteract such elements and rejuvenate mind and body.

Ingredients for Aam Panna


Aam ka Panna is prepared using raw mangoes, sugar and assorted spices and it not only quenches thirst, but also prevents the excessive loss of sodium chloride and iron during summer due to excessive sweating. The Indian summer is brutal and this seasonal raw mango cooler is not just tasty but also packed with many health benefits to beat the heat and avoid heat strokes. As much as I love thick, sweet Mango Lassi, this Aam Panna with its sweet and sour taste with a hint of spices and refreshing mint tops my list of summer coolers.

The main ingredient is, well, raw green mangoes which is a rich source of pectin which gradually diminishes after the formation of the stone. The presence of oxalic, citric and malic acids lends sour flavour to the unripe mango and the rich Vitamin B and Vitamin C presence in raw mangoes provides antioxidants. On a summer days, we lose a lot of electrolytes from our body, especially body salts like sodium. A glass of refreshing Aam Panna is sufficient to balance these electrolytes as it is rich in minerals. The importance of electrolyte can’t be overlooked as it gives us energy, removes fatigue, regulates fluid balance and regulates pH. With the ingredients like raw mango, sugar (or jaggery) and salt in Aam Panna, we can be assured of balancing the electrolytes. So, whenever you are feeling fatigued, consume Aam Panna! Heat strokes and prickly heats are also quite prevalent during summers. A cool refreshing glass of this Indian Raw Mango Cooler will keep them at bay.



In most recipes, the basic ingredients for the Aam Panna Concentrate are the same; raw mango, sweetener (sugar or jaggery), roasted cumin seed powder, and kala namak (black salt). Apart from these, I have also used black peppercorns and fennel seeds in this recipe which are cooling to the body. I prefer to use the raw mangoes which are quite sour as I love the sweet and sour taste of panna. All the ingredients listed are easily available in any Indian stores and if not, they can be easily sourced from online stores like eBay and Amazon.

There are three different ways of preparing the raw mangoes for this recipe. The first and the best way is to roast the mangoes on a bed of coal or by directly exposing them to the open fire to give it distinctive smoky flavour. The second method (the one I used in this recipe) is to pressure cook the whole mangoes with skin and to extract the pulp once cooked. The third and less messy way is to peel the mangoes and chop the pulp into chunky pieces and cooking them in a bowl of water. Once the mango pulp is extracted, it is ground to smooth paste and passed through sieve to remove any fibres. The pulp is then cooked with sugar or jaggery and finished off with the spices and salt. The prepared Aam Panna Concentrate is cooled to room temperature before storing it in a sterilised, air tight bottle in a refrigerator for up to a month.

To make Aam Panna, blend together the aam panna concentrate, fresh mint leaves, ice cubes and water and enjoy this delightful drink. Generally, the drink is light green in colour unlike mine where I am way too generous with mint. I beg you to give this recipe a try before we bid adieu to the mango season. If there is one summer drink you want to make this summer, then let this Aam Panna be the one. Trust me, you will not regret spending few mins of your time and energy to make this absolutely refreshing drink this summer.




Aam Panna Concentrate (Sweer and sour refreshing Indian raw mango cooler flavoured with spices and black salt)
Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Low
Makes: About 1½ - 2 cups
Shelf Life: Up to a month

Ingredients:
3 medium Raw Mangoes
¾ - 1 cup Sugar (Adjust as per taste)
½ tsp Kala Namak/Black Salt (Replace it with sea salt or Himalayan pink salt or table salt if not available)

Spices Used:
2 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Black Peppercorns
1 tsp Saunf/Fennel Seeds (Optional)



Method:
Preparation:
  1. Soak the fennel seeds in ½ cup of boiling water. Cover and let it rest for 30 mins to 1 hour.
  2. There are three ways to prepare the mangoes for Aam Panna. The first method and the one I used for this recipe is to cook the whole mangoes in a pressure cooker. Wash the raw mangoes and place them in a pressure cooker or in a sauce pan. Add about 2 cups of water and cover the lid. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles (about 7-8 mins) or for about 15 mins if cooking in a pan on medium to high heat. Let the pressure release completely before opening the lid. Transfer the cooked raw mango into a plate and let it cool down to room temperature.
  3. Second method is to peel the skin of raw mangoes and dice the pulp into large pieces. Place them in a sauce pan and add just enough water to cover them. Close the lid and cook on medium flame for 6-7 mins or until the pulp is cooked. Drain the liquid and reserve it for later use. Let the pulp cool down to room temperature.
  4. Third method is roast the raw mangoes in an open fire or on a bed of coal. Place the mangoes on a direct flame and roast them until the skin is burnt and charred, rotating them at intervals. Keep it aside and let it cool down to room temperature.
  5. While the mangoes are cooling, roast the cumin seeds on low flame until it turns golden brown, about 2 mins. Turn off the heat and transfer it into a plate and let it cool down to room temperature. Add black peppercorns and crush them into fine powder in a pestle and mortar or in a spice grinder.
  6. Once the mangoes are cooled down to room temperature, peel their skins and take out their pulp by squeezing with hands. Discard the skin and seed. Transfer the mango pulp into a mixer grinder along with soaked fennel seeds along with the water in which they are soaked, and grind them to smooth puree. Add about ½ - ¾ cup of water and grind the puree.

Proceed to cook:
  1. Strain the mango puree to remove the fibres and transfer the puree to the pan. Straining the mango puree is optional and you can leave it out if you don’t mind the fibres.
  2. Cook the mango puree on medium flame for 3-4 minutes or until it comes to a gentle boil. Add the sugar and continue to stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
  3. Add about ¼ cup of water, ground cumin and black peppercorn, kala namak (black salt) and salt. Remember that the mixture will thicken as it cools down, so add little more water if you find the puree too thick at this junction. Reduce the flame to low and mix them well. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture comes to a gentle boil.
  4. Turn off the flame and let the mixture cool down to room temperature. Once cool, transfer the Aam Panna concentrate into a clean, dry and sterilised bottles.




Sia’s Notes:
  • You can replace sugar with jaggery for the earthy flavour. Prepare the jaggery syrup by cooking it with ½ cup of water until it is completely dissolved. Let it cool down to room temperature before passing it through sieve to remove any impurities. Add this jaggery syrup in place of sugar and follow the recipe direction.
  • You can add about ¼ tsp of crushed green cardamom powder towards the end of cooking for different flavour.
  • Kala Namak (black salt) adds a lot of flavour to the panna. Black salt is considered a cooling spice in Ayurvedic medicine and is used as a laxative and digestive aid. It is easily available in most Indian grocery stores and can also be purchased from online stores like eBay and Amazon.
  • Make sure that the storage bottle or jar is sterilised and is dry. The aam panna concentrate can be stored for up to a month in a refrigerator.




Aam Panna (Sweet and sour Indian raw mango cooler flavoured with mint)
Makes: About 1 litre
Prep Time: 4-5 mins
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for couple of hours
Serving Suggestion: As a refreshing summer drink

Ingredients:
¾ cup Aam Panna Concentrate (Adjust as per taste)
¼-½ cup Fresh Mint Leaves (Adjust as per taste)
1 litre Chilled Water
Ice Cubes

Method:
  1. Place the mint leaves, aam panna concentrate, and couple of ice cubes in a food processor and blend it for a minute or two. Pour in chilled water and continue to blend for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add couple of ice cubes in a serving glass before pouring the Aam Panna. Serve this chilled refreshing summer cooler which will not only quench thirst, but will also add the lost minerals to the body which are lost due to excess heat. Enjoy!


Sia’s Notes:
  • The addition of crushed fresh mint is optional, but I do recommend it. I am quite generous with the amount of mint used as I find it quite refreshing and to my taste. You can adjust the amount of mint leaves in this recipe as per your taste.

6 comments :

  1. Perfect for the summer days we are having, thank you for sharing this recipe Sia !!

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  2. This is such a gorgeous drink. It's so different to anything I've come across before, the flavour profile is amazing and your photography shows off the beauty of this drink wonderfully. I'm in love!

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  3. What an interesting and refreshing looking drink. I haven't heard of aam panna concentrate so thanks for enlightening me

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  4. This cooler looks so refreshing! I am a huge fan of mango too!!

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  5. Need to get my hands on some raw mango to make the concentrate AND this cooler! Looks delish! It's winter here in Aus but I'd still have it.

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  6. I never tried Aam Panna but it sounds fantastic! Very refreshing. It's definitely something I would like to try someday. I love how informative this post is. I didn't know so many facts about mango, but now I know :) Thanks!

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