Mangoes, also known in India as - the king of fruits - are widely used in salads, salsa, chutneys, desserts and beverages. Aam panna (honestly, I don't know what it is called in English) is one of the most refreshing drinks that one could relish during summers. The only catch is that all the steps need to be followed chronologically. Mangoes are quite flexible as a cooking ingredient - the key to them is balance. If we're not careful with our quantities and how to blend the flavor with other ingredients, their taste/flavour can be overpowering.
The key ingredients you require are patience and commitment and rest everything you can get from the market or online.
Raw mangos - 1/2 kg
Sugar/Stevia/ gur - as per taste (stevia for people who don't consume sugar)
Ginger/dry ginger powder(soonth) - half of the size of the thumb/ 1/2 teaspoon
Fennel seeds/Saunf powder - 1 tablespoon
Cardamom pods - 4-5
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
Mint leaves - 5-6 strands
Tamarind - (optional) 1/2 teaspoon
Peppercorns/ Kaali mirch
Salt - as per taste
Char grill the raw mangoes till the skin is blackened. You can roast it in an oven as well, but make sure to check the temperature and time it properly.
Slowly take them off the heat and sit them for a while till they cool down a bit
Soak the fennel seeds in 100 ml water, we'll be using it later.
Take a pan to dry roast the whole spices. Add your cardamom, peppercorns, cumin seeds and salt. The advantage of adding salt while dry roasting the spices is that it helps to extract water from the spices and speeds up the roasting process.
Take a pestle and mortar and grind the spices to a fine powder or you can use a blender as well.
Now take the mangoes and scoop out all the pulp and set aside.
Take a blender and add your Mint, sugar/stevia, tamarind, ginger knob/dry ginger powder,fennel seeds along with water, the spice blend and blend them together, then add the mango pulp and blend together again to get a thick concentrate.
Take a glass add the concentrate, some ice and water or soda to it serve cold.
For those of us who would prefer it after sun has already set, add 30 ml of vodka or white rum to end your day on a happier note.
Do try and leave your comments and feel free to add anything you like.