Aam ka Panna is a flavorful, cooling, digestive drink that is best enjoyed in the heat of summer. This particularly simple recipe manages to combine an amazingly simple mix of healthful herbs and spices like mint leaves, cumin, and black salt to tantalize your every taste bud and promise to leave you feeling refreshed, light and guilt-free after drinking a sweet treat!
Recipe credit goes to a student of my mother’s, Lakshmi, who very lovingly prepared it and served it to my mother and her students after a recital. Thanks Lakshmi!
Ingredients (makes 1.5 quarts of juice):
- Raw Mangoes (2 medium sized ones)
- Oil (< 1 tsp)
- Powdered Sugar (take the same amount of sugar as that of the mango pulp)
- Cumin seeds (1 tablespoon)
- Black salt (1 tablespoon or as per taste)
- Mint (pudina) leaves (a handful)
- First coat the mangoes (one by one) with some regular cooking oil and cook on a medium flame directly. The skin should become burned, while the insides will get well cooked.
- Switch off the flame when you see that the skin is burned evenly. Don’t keep it for too long after it reaches the above charred state, because then, the panna might acquire a burned flavor since the pulp also will get slightly burned. Ensure that you don’t under cook the mango also, since the insides won’t fully cook then.
- Keep the burned mango aside for a bit so that the inside heat permeates deeper into the core of the mango. Also, keeping it aside for some time helps in peeling the mango more easily.
- Now cut the pulp, which should be soft and collect it inside a cup.
- Dry roast the cumin seeds and powder.
- Take an equal amount of powdered sugar.
- Blend the sugar, mango pulp, roasted cumin powder, black salt, mint leaves and some water (enough to make blending easy).
- Your concentrate is now ready.
- Add required amount of water, per your taste and consistency preference before serving. The 2 medium sized mangoes that my mother and I used were not very sour. So, with the quantities mentioned above, we were about to make about 1.5 liters or 1.5 quarts of juice.
- Adjust the salt, sugar, cumin powder levels based on individual preference. Your yummy health drink is now ready! Enjoy!
Sweet (sugar), sour (mango), salty (black salt), pungent (cumin), bitter (mint leaves, cumin), astringent (mint leaves).
This recipe is tridoshic in general i.e. it pacifies vata, pitta and kapha doshas. It is also a great digestive aid and helps in maintaining a balanced digestion (agni), especially during the summer months, when our digestions are prone to getting weak. Raw mangoes and mint leaves are very cooling and great for pitta pacification. Cumin is a great spice for digestion. It is heating and stimulating, so great for vatas and kaphas. However, the beauty of cumin is that it is not too heating for pittas and can be safely consumed by them also. Freshly roasted and ground spices are always higher in prana (vital life force), stronger in potency and fresh in flavor. The addition of black salt again increases the digestive and health benefits of this drink. The addition of sugar in this recipe has also got a purpose. It gives the sweetness necessary for balancing the sour and salty tastes. It is also needed to give that refreshing, energizing after-effect that this drink is sure to leave you with. Don’t overdo the sugar, especially for kaphas and during spring.
This recipe for aam ka panna is a very sattvic one. It is light, refreshing, uplifting and if served fresh will surely leave you feeling calm, centered and relaxed. There are subtle ways in which this recipe can end up becoming rajasic – not adding enough sugar to balance the sourness, adding too much salt etc. Tamasic qualities can increase if stale ingredients are used or if the drink is stored for too long and then used. Usually, if stored in the refrigerator, the concentrate can last for at most 2-3 days, after which it will start to get increasingly stale.