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Last of Summer: Mango Panhaa

Green Mango Cooler Panha

Mango Panhaa is a green mango cooler made by steaming raw green mangoes with cardamom and saffron. It is usually made in bulk and stored as a concentrate in the fridge throughout summer.

Growing up, freshly squeezed juice was a rare treat so mango panhaa, lemonade and rooh-afzaa were our go to thirst quenchers. Packaged juice was not common in our household. Mom always made this every Sunday and we used to drink this whenever we came back home after playing with friends. Whenever we had guests come over unexpectedly in summer, they were offered this to quench their thirst. It is refreshing and cooling.

Very similar to the Bengali Aam pora shorbot, this is made by steaming the mangoes rather than roasting them. It is very fragrant due to liberal use of cardamoms and saffron. You can add sugar to the concentrate or adjust it while serving. Paprika and cumin powder can also be added to enhance the taste though I love the basic cardamom mango goodness.

Mango Panhaa Recipe

  • 3-4 firm raw mangoes
  • 3-4 cups water (to boil mangoes)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 – 15 cardamom pods shelled and seeds crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon rock salt

1. Boil the mangoes in water for 15 -20 minutes till soft. Alternately pressure cook them for 2 whistles. Let cool.

2. Peel the mangoes and remove the pulp. Mash the pulp so there are lumps.

3. Add sugar, water and salt and stir over low heat till well mixed for about 5 – 10 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, and then add cardamom powder and rock salt. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let cool.

Bottle in an airtight container and refrigerate

To serve

1. Mix 1 part panhaa concentrate with 3 parts water. Stir well. Adjust salt and sugar per taste.

Home Made Mango Juice

MangoJuice

What do you do with the skins of mangoes and the seeds after enjoying mangoes? Discard it. Don’t you dare! They are perfect for making mango juice. Its anyways what most of tetrapak mango juice makers use with a bit of real pulp to make “real mango juice”. Added sugar, color, preservatives and god alone knows what else to increase shelf life, add color and make it smell like real juice.

It’s just very easy to make homemade juice from left over skin and seeds. I get to control the quality of mangoes , amount of salt and sugar and can spice it up with flavorings of my choice ( paprika, cumin powder or red pepper). The color and the taste are all natural.

I used Alphonso mangoes as they are my personal favorite but any other would work just fine. Just add  more sugar if the mangoes are bit tart. also, use less water if you like your juice to be thicker.

This is perfect to be hydrated on summer afternoons when plain water is just a bit meh.

Homemade Mango Juice Recipe

  • Skins and Seeds of 4 mangoes
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (adjust based on how sweet the mangoes are)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper  or paprika or cumin powder

1. Turn the skin inside out. Soak the seeds and skins in a bowl of potable water for 10 minutes with sugar and salt. If you are not squeamish, give the seeds and skins a good rub. The juice and even some pulp will be released as you soak.

2. Squeeze off excess water from seeds and skins in a separate bowl. Discard the skins and seeds now. Retain the juice – water.

3. Add the juice from step 2. into bowl from step 1.

4. Add black pepper or cumin powder. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let this cool in the refrigerator.

Serve chilled with ice or as is.

Cinco de Mayo – Watermelon Mint Horchata

Watermelon Mint Horchata

Margarita’s are Mexico’s national cocktail. When you plan a fiesta they are the star’s. Horchata is what you drink the day after to cure the hangover. so in anticipation of partying this weekend for Cinco de Mayo; I am posting a hangover cure.

Besides being a hangover cure it’s also a cooling refreshing drink for hot summer days. Watermelon and mint add to the traditional cinnamon and rice recipe.Plain cinnamon and rice tastes just as good though watermelon and mint add tropical twist to the classic.

Give it a try this weekend – it’s a tasty non alcoholic alternative for your Mexican themed party!

Watermelon Mint Horchata Recipe
Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 2 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup watermelon pieces
  • Handful mint leaves

1.Soak  rice, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon stick for 4 -6 hours in 2 cups water.

2.Grind the soaked mix, sugar, watermelon and mint with 2 more cups of water. Strain. Add 1 cup of water. Refrigerate for couple of hours.

3.Serve chilled over ice with some watermelon wedges and mint leaves.

Roasted Pineapple and Raw Mango Cooler

Aam pora sorbot

Or Roasted pineapple and Raw mango Sarbat as we could call it in India. I was introduced to this concoction at Aheli where I had dinner with IIM C recruitment team. A sip of it and it seemed like spring – early summer brought to us in a glass. Light tangy notes of roasted raw mango, hint of cumin and black salt and smoky sweetness of jaggery.

This drink brought out our inner culinary expertise. We dissected its ingredients and discussed how it is different from Aam panhaa which is made from steamed raw mangoes v/s this being made from roasted raw mangoes. This went on for sometime till the meal was served. Good times!

Last weekend, I bought raw mangoes as they are in season. Varun took a fancy to the plume and knobby body of a whole pineapple and in it went into the shopping cart. Once home, as I roasted the raw mangoes, I remembered grilled pineapple and ice-cream that most folks serve at their outdoor grill parties. I thought grilled pineapple would go perfectly in this Sarbat. And it did. Once the rest of spices were added to grilled pineapple and mango pulp, and pressed through the sieve we had a thick concoction that was light and refreshing.

Serve it as is with iced water or soda, or spiked with rum or any other liquor you want, it’s a crowd pleaser. Bottled up the concoction lasts in the fridge for weeks for a sip here or there, after work, on the weekend or at any time you need a little pick me up.

Roasted Pineapple and Raw Mango Cooler

  • 2 medium raw mangoes
  • 1/2 a ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup jaggery
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  1. Roast the raw mangoes on a low flame one at a time till they are soft and charred. Let cool. Peel and discard the skin and the seed. Smash the pulp with a fork.
  2. Grill the pineapple pieces till soft and add it to the mango pulp.
  3. In a sauce pan, heat the pulp, with jaggery, sugar and rest of the spices till cooked through for a few minutes. Mix well.
  4. Pass the pulp through a sieve to remove any fibers or tough pieces.

Spike, garnish and serve or bottle up in an airtight container to enjoy later. Cheers!

Pomegranate Limoncino shots

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