I realised the true worth of Mango Panna (pronounced as pun-na) only after shifting to North India. During the summer season here, I faced a time of intense heat. There’s a dry, hot wind blowing across. Heat strokes are common, but can be prevented by means of some traditional drinks. The lime juice/shikanji, Melon and Cucumber Cooler, and panna are some of these. This simple preparation makes a fresh concentrate of the panna.
So now all I need to do is to make and stock up a bottle of Mango Panna concentrate in my fridge, in the cold zone. Whenever I need a glass, I add a few spoons of this, some cold water and ice, bits of mint leaves and I’m all ready to challenge the heat to do it’s worst!
Preparing the Mango Panna Concentrate
Keep a look out for raw green mangoes when you go shopping and get a few for this concentrate. Make this preparation on a weekly basis during the summer season. Four small mangoes should give you enough concentrate for 8-10 glasses of this absolutely refreshing drink.
Cooking the raw mango
Cook the raw mango well. I usually just pop it into the rice cooker while cooking rice. This arrangement saves fuel, time and is convenient too. Two in one cooking! Use a separate vessel of course.
Scooping the cooked pulp
Slice open the mangoes and scoop up the pulp into a clean vessel. For this recipe, you will need 3/4 cup of the pulp. I used three small mangoes. Adjust the quantity to suit your family’s size.
Blending with the other flavours
Put the pulp in a blender. Add 6 pepper corns, 2-4 tablespoons of sugar/jaggery, 5-6 crystals/1 teaspoon of black salt, 1 tsp of roasted cumin seeds/jeera powder and around 15 cleaned mint leaves. Blend this really well, into a smooth, greenish-coloured paste.
If you don’t like the mint flavour, or if you don’t want the drink to be green, avoid the mint leaves. Just add it chopped later. However, I recommend it for the cooling and other benefits it has for the body.
Mixing up your glass of Mango Panna
There, it’s ready! Transfer to a glass jar and store in the colder areas of your fridge. All you need to do is to take a tablespoon or two of the concentrate in a tall glass and pour in chilled water. Some mint leaves and ice are all it takes to get it ready for action!
When you want to brace up before going out, you have a ready-to-make drink. Feel the cooling effect in you, even when you go out in the heat. Welcome your guests coming in from the hot sun with glasses of this Mango Panna, and they will certainly thank you for it. It’s much better than bottled, sugary and zero value fizzy drinks.
Mango Panna ConcentrateCourse: DrinksCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Mango Panna Concentrate is a handy, healthy and delicious tool to beat the heat. Refrigerate this, and you can mix up a refreshing drink on demand, in a jiffy.
4 raw unripe mangoes, cooked in a cooker till soft
2-4 tbsp sugar/pounded jaggery
15 mint leaves. cleaned
6 pepper corns
1 tsp roasted cumin seeds/jeera powder
5-6 crystals or 1 tsp black salt
- Scoop out the cooked mango pulp.
- Blend the pulp with the rest of the ingredients.
- Store in a glass jar in the fridge.
- To serve, dilute with chilled water, add ice and fresh mint leaves.
- The concentrate will remain fresh for a week in your fridge.