Monday, July 21, 2014

Panha (Green Mango Drink)

In this insane heat, you need a drink to cool you down. This is a classic Indian drink found all along the West Coast of India.

The two spices added (cardamom, fennel) are quite cooling. The salt is needed to balance the sweet-sour taste and also to act as a restorative in the insanely hot summers when you're sweating out all that salt.

The recipe below basically makes a concentrate. You add ice and dilute the drink with some cold water and drink it. Even though it's not traditional the CC really loves to add seltzer water instead of ice water.

The saffron is non-negotiable. You need it for both the taste and the color. The drink should be this really beautiful yellowish-orange color.


2 raw mangoes (frozen is fine)
1 cup jaggery (substitute by brown sugar)

2 tbsp. cardamom
1 tbsp. fennel
1/2 tbsp. black salt

1 large pinch saffron

Recipe (Panha Pulp)

Note: Raw mangoes are found in the frozen section of most Indian stores.

Cut up the mangoes if you have fresh ones. Otherwise combine the frozen mangoes, the jaggery (or brown sugar) with some water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 12 minutes at medium heat until the mangoes are tender. (You'll only need about 6-7 minutes for the frozen ones).

Meanwhile, combine the cardamom, fennel and black salt and grind to a fine powder in a coffee grinder.

Take the mangoes off the heat and add the spices (including saffron) to it. Let it sit for about 2-3 minutes.

Put the mixture in a blender and blend really fine.

Pass the pulp through a fine sieve and store. This will easily last 2-3 weeks in your refrigerator. More if you freeze it.

Recipe (Panha)

Take 2-3 tbsp. of the panha pulp and combine with ice and cold water. Mix thoroughly and consume. You can add some more salt and/or sugar to taste.

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