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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.

Summer In A Cup: Mango Panna Cotta

MAngo Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is a simple custard made by simmering milk, cream, sugar and gelatin and chilled till it sets. Silky smooth it is light and a perfect weeknight dessert. Quick and easy to make, leave it in the fridge to set, top with some fresh fruits to ease the guilt.

As mangoes are in season, and I had fresh cream on hand (since we boil milk everyday and save the creamy skin) I made a mango panna cotta. Most recipes call for the custard to be set for at least 4 hours but we couldn’t really wait more than two. Topped with fresh mangoes it was every bit of summer in a cup.

Use canned mango pulp, fresh Mexican mangoes or substitute with other seasonal fruits – strawberries and rhubarb particularly would be awesome this time of the year in US/UK.

Give it a try – its easy to make in a large quantity if you are entertaining or scaled down dessert just for two!

Mango Panna Cotta Recipe
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 packet Gelatin ( or Agar Agar if vegetarian)
  • 1 cup fresh cream
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup mango pulp
  • 1/4 cup sugar (optional if the mango is sweet)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)

Garnish

  • Fresh mango cubed
  • Mint

1.  Add the gelatin to water and stir well so that there are no lumps. Set aside for 5 -10 minutes.

2. In the meantime bring the cream, milk, sugar, mango pulp and vanilla bean to a simmer. Take off heat.

3. Add gelatin and stir well.

4. Remove the vanilla bean, if using, split and scrape it. Mix well. If you want a smooth mixture without tell-tale mango pulp bits then run through a blender.

5. Ladle in individual cups. Keep in refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours.

6. To serve, top with fresh fruit and mint leaves. Enjoy!

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