Aam Panna, or mango mint cooler, is a very popular summer drink in those Northern parts of India that experience the strong, hot & dry loo winds. Exposure to these loo winds can cause fatal heat-strokes, and this refreshing combination of raw mango and mint helps in preventing those heat-strokes.
My mom used to make this aam panna regularly in Kanpur, because Dad used to come home for lunch from his factory. I didn't bother much about it in Patna, as Patna is not a loo-prone area, but, now in Jaipur, aam panna is once again a part of our regular summer diet. Here's how I make it (this is one of the few recipes that my mom was able to teach me before she passed away)...
2 large raw green mangoes, peeled
2 tbsp mint leaves' paste
4 glasses of water
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp black salt / rock salt (kaala namak)
2 tsp roasted & powdered cumin seeds (jeera)
- Pressure cook the mangoes in 2 glasses of water, for about 7 minutes.
- Allow to cool, and then squeeze the pulp through a strainer, adding the remaining water.
- Mix in the mint paste, sugar, salt and roasted cumin powder.
- Serve chilled with crushed ice.
My blender doesn't work with very little quantities, so I usually buy an entire bunch of fresh mint leaves, and run the whole lot through the blender, storing the paste in the freezer in an air-tight container. The mangoes, I prefer to boil fresh every time. The sharp tang of the raw mangoes, combined with the coolness of mint, makes this a very satisfying summer cooler drink in this extreme North-Indian heat.
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