India always has scorching summers and it is vital that we keep ourselves cool inside with the right kind of diet and plenty of fluids. Summers are hot, bright and sweltering. It is called the season of “pitta” and to keep cool and not allow Pitta Dosha to become pervasive. It is good to have more alkaline drinks or food to stay hydrated. That doesn’t mean you reach out for packaged Juice or sodas, instead, it is best to go back to our roots and drink traditional summer drinks to cool down this summer. Drinking hot beverages like Tea or Coffee can distress the Pitta Dosha so what would be ideal to drink in summer?
Let us get back to our roots and sip Buttermilk, Coconut Water, Sugarcane Juice, Lemonade or NimbuPani, Aam Panna, Jaljeera or any fresh fruit drink pressed at home.
Most women in India have their magic potions or recipe for Aam Panna, a raw mango drink. Along with quenching the thirst, it protects from heat stroke in the sultry summers. Aam Panna is full of different tastes; a bit sour, a bit tangy, a bit sweet and a bit salty.
Easy to make at home with few ingredients it can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Store the concentrate in bottles and when you are going to serve just take 2 tbsp of the Aam Panna in a glass and add cold water and a couple of fresh mint leaves to it. I wonder why no one has thought of bottling it and selling it. Let me share my grandma’s recipe for Aam Panna.
Ingredients for Aam Panna
1 raw mango
1 cup Sugar
1 tbsp roasted jeera or cumin powder
Pinch of Black salt
Salt to taste
Fresh Mint leaves
Ice cubes (optional)
- In a pressure cooker, wash the mango, add 4 cups water and cook till 4 whistles. If you do not have a pressure cooker than boil it in a pan with more water and until the mango is soft and gooey. You can even roast it in a barbecue.
- Once the mango is done, cool and peel off the skin. Scrape the soft pulp with a spoon and collect it in a bowl.
- Dry roast the cumin seeds on a hot tawa and once brown the aroma will waft in the air. Make a coarse powder and keep aside.
- For native users and those who keep away from sugar, you can use jaggery or Demerara sugar.
- Take the mango pulp add the rest of the ingredients; salt, black salt, sugar, mint leaves and cumin powder and blend until smooth.
- Serve Aam Panna in a tall glass. Pour 2 tbsp of the mango concentrate and fill with cold water. Add ice cubes if desired and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
A summer cooler to literally keep the heat at bay, Aam Panna is a saviour in tropical India.
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